All baseball players depend on rhythm to keep their game consistent. In a game where getting a hit three times out of ten at bats can make you an all-star, getting hot can become even more important to your overall success. One hot streak can make or break a contract season. Cincinnati Reds superstar Chris Heisey is in the middle of one of those streaks, but it appears that Dusty Baker is not seeing that. Riding the hot hand is a skill that every manager must possess to truly maximize his team's potential. As a huge Reds fan, I am thrilled with the job they have done so far and Dusty has done a decent job in comparison to years past. Still, he is missing the boat with Chris Heisey.
Heisey has started six of his last ten games. In those games, he has 11 hits in only 24 at bats. He also has driven in seven runs and hit a pair of long balls. He is seeing the ball very well with only three strike outs in that time. He also has scored six runs himself. There is no doubt that Heisey is in the middle of a hot streak.
What Was He Thinking?
Dusty did some odd things where Heisey is concerned here. Consider that Heisey had a stretch against the Phillies and the Cubs where he had two starts and went 4-7 in those two games. Baker then sat him for three straight games seemingly out of nowhere. It was not a match up thing, rather an odd occurrence. If you look back through the Reds season, you will see this happening with Heisey often. It also happened with Todd Frazier for a long time. Baker has long been rumored to play favorites, and one has to wonder if that is part of what is going on here. When a guy is red hot like that, let him ride that streak out.
With Xavier Paul and others stepping up and playing well, I hope that Baker will take into consideration the value of riding a hot player both for the individual and the team. Sitting a hot player can cool them sometimes, leading to an offense that sputters. We have certainly seen spells of that over the season.
*Southern is a life-long Cincinnati Reds fan that grew up watching Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and the boys dominate the Major Leagues. He longs for those days once again in Cincinnati.
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