Cincinnati Reds: A family feud in left field

I hopped on a blog website a couple days ago, and one of the first posts I read was “Xavier Paul: Why is he still here?”

derrick robinson

Derrick Robinson might be one of the fastest guys on the Reds. His speed has helped turn many single hits, into doubles.

Then, in the third game of the most recent series against the Cubs, he went 2-4 with a run, a double and  a homer that brought in three runs.

That’s why Paul is still here.

All season long, we’ve had this feud within the family. Not so much the Cincinnati Reds ball club, but more so within the Reds community; whether that’s online,  or out in the streets. I’ve seen valid (and of course completely invalid) arguments coming from the sides of Paul and left field equal Derrick Robinson.

Robinson is arguably the fastest guy on the team. In the final game of the series against the Cardinals, Robinson was 2-4 with both of his hits coming as doubles. He can turn first base on a dime if he has to.

That’s why Robinson is still here.

So, with these two fielders jockeying for position, how do you choose? Both are equally above average fielders and both can hit the ball, not only on a nightly basis, but when it comes down to crunch time as well.

Robinson has started in 41 games this season. He’s batting .317, which is hardly terrible, and his on base percentage sits at about .410. From the games I’ve seen, a little less than half of that .410 has been because he was simply able to outrun the throw to first.

For Paul, he’s more experienced than Robinson, who had is major league debut earlier this year. Paul is sitting at .288, slightly above his career average of 265. He isn’t quite on base as much as Robinson, either.

And if you don’t like seasonal stats for these two, let me throw you the last seven.

Robinson has been at the plate 11 times in the past seven games and has acquired three hits. He’s batting .273 with two runs for himself and all three of his hits being doubles. Paul is hitting .385 for batting 13 times. He’s batted in three runs off of a homer against the Cubs on June 11 and has five hits.

If it were me, I’d be putting Robinson out there in left just a little more so than Paul, the opposite of what team manager Dusty Baker is doing right now. You’re going to get the same kind of effort and athleticism on defense and both are batting almost equal throughout the season.

The one thing the rookie Robinson has going for him is speed. The kid is fast and knows where the ball is and knows his own speed. He’s still a kid, so he’s not trying to be a hero when he doesn’t need to be.

You don’t need to be a hero when you have plays like this or this.

Note: I wrote a piece last week about Joey Votto being a road warrior. In case you haven’t seen, Votto is hitting .325, stole a base (big deal for him) and yes, hit another home run.

  • Stephen Koenigsfeld

    Thank you for the kind words! I’m only getting started and hope to improve my writing as I advance in my career. I post on Mondays and Thursdays, so I hope you continue to come back to read some of my other pieces. And of course, if you have something you’d like to see me write about, please feel free to give suggestions.

  • http://yahoo Peter R. Eichele

    I would like to know how many games Dusty Baker has lost due to his poor management of the Cincinnati Reds. I.E. How often did he take a pitcher out of a game and lose the game? It seems too often he has too fast a “HOOK” when pitchers are cruising along with a 1-4 hitter and he takes them out and they lost the game. To me, like a lot of Reds fans, I would get rid of him this year if they DO NOT make the playoffs. The series with the Cardinals at the beginning of August (2,3,4) and the series in August (26, 27, 28) and the four game series at home in September (2, 3, 4, 5) will be the deciding factor. The Reds have the favor of playing 7 out of 10 games vs. the Cardinals at home. I would say we would know the fate of the Reds the first week of September. Dusty Baker has a lot of wins basically for managing such a long time, but he HAS NOT shown me the ability to win a World Series. If this year goes by the boards, I say they send him packing with a lifetime supply of toothpicks and hire a new manager. I don’t understand how Castellini, Jockety, etc. gave him a two year extension which I feel it should have been 1 year with an option depending on his performance. What aggravates me is that he will only lets Chapman pitch one inning and if this guy was considered to be a starter, why can’t he go two innings? So, the bullpen gives up like 7 runs (estimate) and they lose where their opposition left their fireballer in and he wins the game. DUH!!

    • Stephen Koenigsfeld

      I like your points. Unlike some about the whole Dusty issue, you make valid arguments. I agree, we’ll know where this Reds team is heading by the first or second week in September. But October rolls around and you throw stats out the door. The Reds didn’t lose a single home series last year, and then lost their first one to the Giants in the playoffs. Those home games against the Cards will be critical, because they’re good. No doubt about it. However, Dusty’s management has been spot on in some cases. I like having him put Robinson in the two-hole in that series against the Cards. But yes, the whole issue with Chapman and pulling pitchers early (i.e. last night) is rough. But you’ve got to save the arms of the professional players. I can’t imagine throwing 100 pitches once or twice a week at full speed. But when push comes to shove, somethings got to be done. The Reds have one of the better bull pens in the league. Got to utilize it.

  • Mike

    I would prefer letting both of these guys play, Robinson has great speed and Paul gives you a tough at bat every time. Heisey is the guy who had his chance but cannot stay healthy. I really liked him but his time in Cincy has passed

    • Stephen Koenigsfeld

      I got some feedback yesterday that I really liked that goes along with what you’re saying. When pitchers, such as Arroyo, give up some of those fly balls, have Robinson in the lineup. His speed on defense will save a couple outs per game. Then, when you’ve got hard throwers, like Latos and Bailey, put Paul in the lineup. Also a great defender and proving he is just as powerful off the bat.