Batting 2nd.....the first baseman....Joey....Votto
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The Sports Talk debate that has raged for over a year, has become reality, at least for a game. Bryan Price has Joey Votto batting 2nd today vs Tampa Bay. Brandon Phillips flips spots with Votto and hits 3rd. It's the first time Votto has started/hit 2nd since August 8, 2008 vs Houston. On that day, Jeff Keppinger batted leadoff and Jay Bruce hit 3rd. Votto had hit 3rd in 635 consecutive games.
Votto has 8 career starts batting 2nd: .314-.351-.429-.780 (37 PA)
Some of the players that hit 2nd in 2013 and their AB's:
Trout (343), Bautista (242), Machado (657), Puig (211), Heyward (239), Mauer (358), Hunter (588), Beltran (348), Hosmer (211).
Here is a complete list of #2 hitters from 2013 and HERE is the list for 2014.
National media on who bats 2nd:
*In January, Anthony Castrovine, MLB.com, wrote about Votto batting 2nd.
*Joe Sheehan, SI, June, 2013: The case for hitting your stud 2nd.
*An on-base guy moves up in the order, to set the table for the 3-4-5 hitters.
*Each spot a hitter moves up in the order means about 18 more plate appearances a season. Isn't the idea to get your best hitters more AB's?
*If Hamilton is on base, it increases the fastballs for Votto (see below).
*If your top 2 hitters struggle to get on base, your best hitter bats with bases empty a great of the time.
*Is there a downside when your team has scored 28 runs in 11 games, fewest in MLB baseball?
From Sports Talk during the offseason
Here is what Joey told me about his spot in the batting order
Listen to podcast of all of our conversations HERE
"If they want to bat me 9th or bat me 2nd, I might not be happy about it, but I'm going to do exactly what they tell me, because that's my job."
"I'm an employee. I work for the Cincinnati Reds. My boss is Bryan Price. His boss is Walt Jocketty. I listen to everyone above me.
"Teams changed their approach with Billy running last year. I saw pitches that split the plate that I'd never gotten before, because of him. I told him he's the first player that has ever protected me."
"If Billy being on base helps the team, and it distracts me, too bad for me."-Votto
"If he's on base, with all hell breaking loose, and it cost me a pitch or two, too bad, I need to do better."-Votto
Brandon Phillips career:
Batting 2nd: .276-.320-.420-.741
Batting 3rd: .276-.321-.425-.747
Reds: Production from 2nd spot
2014: .300 BA, .333 OBP, .425 SLG, .758 OPS
2013: .228 BA (30th), .281 SLG (30th), .350 SLG (26th), .632 OPS (28th)
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 11: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a home run in the 9th inning during the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Great American Ball Park on April 11, 2014 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)