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Reds shift Jay Bruce to first base with Joey Votto out

Jul 7, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds v St. Louis Cardinals Getty Images

Jay Bruce has been exclusively an outfielder in the majors and minors, playing there for each of his 1,257 professional games, but with first baseman Joey Votto likely headed to the disabled list Reds manager Bryan Price has Bruce starting at first base tonight against the Cubs.

Previously when Votto was sidelined the Reds used backup catcher Brayan Pena as their primary first baseman, but he’s currently on the paternity list. Once he returns it’ll be interesting to see if Pryce may also have realized how much that hurt the lineup considering Pena’s paltry offensive numbers.

For tonight at least the Reds are using Skip Schumaker in right field even though he actually has some past experience at first base. Schumaker isn’t much of a hitter either, but his lifetime .711 OPS is still 50 points higher than Pena’s career mark.

However, Bruce is considered an excellent defensive right fielder, so it’s not so clear if moving him to first base is worth whatever tradeoff comes with swapping Schumaker for Pena offensively.

  1. jm91rs - Jul 7, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    This sounds odd. If Schumaker can play 2nd base and all outfield positions, he would seem like a better fit for a first baseman than a guy that’s never played it and plays gold glove caliber right field. I get that you’d prefer a lefty on 1st (and I think Skip bats left but throws right), but I’m not excited to see what this experiment will bring.

  2. thomas844 - Jul 7, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    Putting Ludwick at first, Skip in left, and keeping Jay in right would have made the most sense to me.

  3. thatsnuckinfuts - Jul 7, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    Pena is on the Paternity List

  4. donttouchdownmethere - Jul 7, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Pena is on paternity leave thus not available for tonight’s game. I believe they have called Tucker Barnhart up from AAA to back up Mesoraco.

    Still, with the roster restructions there has to be a better solution at 1B.

  5. thehakko936 - Jul 7, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Bruce to first? That is the best ‘ol Walt can do? Season…..over.

  6. bengalsucker - Jul 7, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Lutz is hitting .340 or something down in AAA and plays first. Why not bring him up? He’s on the 40 man. So not only do you weaken one position (1B), you weaken RF by taking your GG player out of it. Is this Dusty Baker in disguise? Good god

    • jonrox - Jul 7, 2014 at 9:11 PM

      Lutz is out of the lineup at AAA Louisville tonight, which suggests he may be making en route.

      • jonrox - Jul 7, 2014 at 9:12 PM

        Lutz is out of the lineup at AAA Louisville tonight, which suggests he may be making en route. Although, with the Bats being in Lousville and the Reds being in Cincinnati tonight, it seems weird that he couldn’t make the ~1.5 hour drive before game time.

    • pglewis - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:37 AM

      Lutz hit .360 in AA Pensacola but he’s only hitting .220 in AAA.

  7. Marty McKee - Jul 7, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    Walt makes a lot of baffling decisions (mainly two-year contracts for terrible utilitymen), but this is his most bafflingest.

  8. jscruisen - Jul 7, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Price is an idiot! That constant puzzled look gives proof that he needs to go! Why not put Mesoraco on first, and put Barnhart behind the plate? A much better offensive lineup, but I guess it makes too much sense! Maybe next year!

    • jm91rs - Jul 7, 2014 at 9:31 PM

      I’ve never heard of mesoraco playing any position other than catcher. First might be the easiest position but it’s nothing like catching and without some sort of practice in the field it’s not easy.

    • pglewis - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:41 AM

      Tucker Barnhart hit a paltry .107 while he was up; he was barely ON the interstate. I like that kid; he has some good fundamentals and showed signs he may be a hot-shot for throwing runners out. But as of today one thing he is not is a better offensive choice.

  9. hoopmatch - Jul 7, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    Could the Price actually be wrong?! Say it ain’t so!

  10. jonrox - Jul 7, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    So rather than DL’ing Votto and replacing him with someone who can play, and rather than sending down one of the 13! pitchers currently on staff for the aforementioned player, they will be playing one man down, one player out of position (who originally excels at his real position), and Skip Schumacher (whose entire value as a player exists solely in Walt Jocketty’s head)

    Par for the course in Cincy

    • jm91rs - Jul 7, 2014 at 9:32 PM

      Schumaker has played far better than most thought he would

      • jonrox - Jul 7, 2014 at 9:51 PM

        Do you mean today, or for the season?

        For the season, his triple slash is across the board lower than 2013, and 2013 was across the board lower than 2012. This is the worst year of his career so far. Are you suggesting “most” thought he would be even worse?

  11. sportsfan18 - Jul 7, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    put brandon phillips on 1st…

    he can use his mouth to catch everything…

    it’s open often enough…

  12. doctorrustbelt - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:57 AM

    Skip DOES NOT have Jay Bruce’s range in the outfield.

    … but… Skip DOES have more range than adam dunn.

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