Cincinnati Reds Lineup Possibilities and Two Players to Watch in 2014

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Updated: February 26, 2014

In a February 19th post to the Cincinnati.com blog for the Cincinnati Reds, C. Trent Rosecrans talked to Cincinnati Reds Manager Bryan Price about what his lineup will look like in 2014. It provided the first piece of information from Price about what 2014 will look like to the fans.

The lineup was a huge topic to the Reds fans last season, especially on Twitter. There were a multitude of fans that believed the struggles of the 2013 season were based solely on Dusty Baker’s lineups. The big concern with Baker’s lineup was that he appeared to hate the idea of batting Joey Votto and Jay Bruce back to back in any situation.

Baker was an old school manager and many Reds fans seemed to forget that during his time with the Reds. Baker believed that batting your best left handed hitters back to back would allow the opposing manager to use his LOOGY (Lefty One Out Guy) against two hitters instead of just one. In 2013, Bruce hit .246 against lefties and Votto hit .251. Both of these are down from what their average is against right handed pitchers but the numbers are not that bad.

With that being said, Rosecrans put what the everyday lineups will look like in 2014. Here is what Rosecrans put in his post:

Against right-handed starters

1. Billy Hamilton, CF
2. Brandon Phillips, 2B
3. Joey Votto, 1B
4. Jay Bruce, RF
5. Ryan Ludwick, LF
6. Todd Frazier, 3B
7. Devin Mesoraco, C
8. Zack Cozart, SS
9. pitcher

Against left-handed starters
1. Billy Hamilton, CF
2. Brandon Phillips, 2B
3. Joey Votto, 1B
4. Ryan Ludwick, LF
5. Jay Bruce, RF
6. Todd Frazier, 3B
7. Devin Mesoraco, C
8. Zack Cozart, SS
9. pitcher

As scary as it sounds, a lot of the potential for this lineup will rest on the shoulders of Ryan Ludwick.

In 2012, Ludwick had a monster year with 26 home runs and 80 RBIs, but his 2013 started off in the worst way. While sliding into third base on Opening Day, Ludwick hurt his shoulder and missed the majority of the rest of the season. He came back late in the year but anyone who watched could tell he was not 100 percent healthy.

Hopefully in 2014, he can produce similar numbers to what he had in 2012. That is a huge hopefully seeing that Ludwick is now 35 and will turn 36 during the season. It has to be in the back of Price’s mind that if Ludwick struggles he will have to turn to Chris Heisey or Skip Schumaker.

A couple of names to keep an eye on this season are Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco.

Frazier struggled in 2013, as he batted .234 and had 19 homers with 73 RBIs. His 2013 included a 39-game homerless streak. Frazier was definitely a victim to the sophomore slump last year, and it was also the first season that he took over third base from Scott Rolen. It will be interesting to see how he performs in 2014. He could be set up to be a sleeper for the Reds this season.

Mesoraco batted .238 with nine homers and 42 RBIs, while spliting time behind the dish with Ryan Hanigan in 2013. Hanigan was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays during the offseason, so Mesoraco will be handed the starting catching job in 2014. Mesoraco showed in 2013 that the more playing time that he got in consecutive games the better he performed, especially at the plate. Brayan Peña was signed in the offseason to be in the backup role for Mesoraco.

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