McCoy: Is Reds rookie Elly De La Cruz out of place in leadoff spot?

There is no doubt under God’s green outfield that Cincinnati Reds rookie Elly De La Cruz is an incredible talent.

But batting leadoff? Shouldn’t that experiment end, although it is not an experiment. Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell keeps writing his name at the top of his lineup cards.

Isn’t a leadoff hitter’s job to get on base? It is obvious that Bell wants to use De La Cruz’s fastest man in the world speed.

But 51 strikeouts in his last 32 games? How about 81 strikeouts in 238 plate appearances?

And taking a walk seems to be an affront to him. Only 16 walks in 55 games.

And most incredibly, he stole second, third and home on two pitches on July 8. Since then, he has one stolen base in more than a month.

Does he shorten his swing with two strikes? Nope, he tries to hit a splashdown home run in the Ohio River.

There are at least two better options: TJ Friedl, the bunt master and contact hitter, or Jonathan India. India was batting leadoff with the right approach until Bell dropped him to third and put De La Cruz at the top.

And India hasn’t been the same. De La Cruz needs to bat third or fourth. I’ve never managed an MLB game, but it seems so obvious to me ... and others.

Eric the Red

Much is being made of the possibility of Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. performing a 50/50, 50 homers and 50 stolen bases. It has never been done.

But how about this one, which adds fuel to my warped opinion that Eric Davis was one of the all-time best all-around players?

Over a 162-game span (a full season), from June 18, 1986 to July 10, 1987, Eric the Red hit .307 with 49 home runs and 93 stolen bases.

Pitching concerns?

MLB-TV’s Mark DeRosa played 17 years for eight teams — Atlanta, Texas, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland, St. Louis, San Francisco, Washington and Toronto (How did he miss Cincinnati?). His career slash line was .268/.340/.412 and hit exactly 100 home runs. Suffice it to say he was a glove man and took a bat to home plate for no apparent reason.

On a recent show he was asked if he was concerned about the Cincinnati Reds and he said, “Yes, I’m worried. They are putting a lot of pressure on their young pitchers. When Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo come back, they are going to have to ride them hard and that’s a lot of pressure on young pitchers.”

I must say that I agree, along with all the usage manager David Bell is extracting from a seemingly very tired bullpen.


Reds at Pirates, 7:05 p.m., Bally Sports Ohio, 700, 1410

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