DISSECTING THE REDS'
Jay Bruce has played in every one of the Reds 95 games this season. With 67
regular season games left, Bruce is on pace to easily surpass his previous
games played totals from his first two seasons in the majors. In fact, Bruce
has played just six fewer games (101) than he did last season and thirteen
fewer (108) than he did during his 2008 rookie campaign.
So far in 2010, many of Bruce's numbers already exceed those of his previous
seasons. In 339 at-bats this season, Bruce has a career-high (and counting)
in doubles (21), triples (4), stolen bases (5), and has just one less walk
(37) than he did in all of 2009 and four more than in 2008. He is currently
sitting on a .329 OBP and a .257 batting average. Both higher than at
season's end in '08 (.314OBP .254AVG) and '09 (.303OBP .223AVG). Bruce has
already passed his 2009 hit total (77) by ten, in six fewer at-bats. In some
aspects, Bruce is improving. Be that as it may, there are many statistical
categories in which Bruce is not.
During Bruce's rookie season in 2008 he notched 413 at-bats. With 105 hits
Bruce drove in 52 runs, scored a career-high 63 runs, and hit 21 homers. In
2009, Bruce had 77 hits in 345 at-bats and posted career-highs in homers
(22) and runs batted in (58). Jay Bruce is the only Red besides Frank
Robinson to hit 20 or more home runs during each of his first two seasons.
Plate discipline was still developing in '08 as Bruce struck out 27% of the
time, but he dramatically decreased his strikeout rate to 21% in '09. Bruce
also increased his slugging percentage from .453 in '08 to .470 in '09. Not
Although Bruce has advanced in certain departments this season, the 23
year-old has failed miserably in others. In his 339 at-bats this season,
Bruce has just 37 runs batted in and 10 home runs. Extremely weak even for a
high-caliber defensive outfielder. His 89 strikeouts (26%) are consistent to
his rookie year struggles and his slugging percentage (.431) has dropped 9%
from last season. Bruce is hitting just .205 with runners in scoring
position this year and despite a hot June (.307AVG, 12RBI), has failed to go
deep and has drove in just one run in the month of July while posting an
awful .130 average. He drove in his only run of July during the fifth inning
of Tuesday night's
8-7 win over the Washington Nationals.
Here's where it gets interesting. Twenty-eight of Bruce's 37 RBI this season
have came during Cincinnati victories. So did 80% of his doubles, 75% of his
triples, 60% of his homers, and 62% of his walks. His batting average is
.146 when the Reds lose and .348 when they win.
Producing seven of his ten homers during the situation, Bruce appears to
like the first two pitches of each at-bat averaging .386 when attempting at
the first and .339 when hacking at the second. Bruce's most productive count
is 0-1 where he's drove in 18 runs, hit ten doubles, and belted half of his
Jay Bruce's bat could provide an already potent offense with a surge into
the post season. Like Edinson Volquez, Bruce could bring blockbuster-trade
value to the Reds' second half without Walt Jocketty having to lift a
finger. If the Reds continue to win, and Mr. Bruce can avoid deep pitch
counts, his recent struggles should disintegrate. Bruuuuuuuce!!!!
Bronson Arroyo (10-4, 3.96) will face Stephen Strasburg (4-2, 2.03) and the
Washington Nationals at 7:10pm on Wednesday.
Jay Bruce went 2-5 during the Reds'
8-5 loss to the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, scored a run, and
raised his average to .259 on the season. Wednesday was Bruce's first
multi-hit game since July 1.