Baker shakes up Reds' lineup again
Skipper alters slumping lineup for third time in a week
CINCINNATI -- Dusty Baker doesn't like making vast lineup changes very often. On Wednesday, the Reds manager had shaken his slumping order up for a third time in a week.For Wednesday's series finale vs. the Cubs, right fielder Ken Griffey Jr. was moved back to his customary third spot in the order after four games in the two-hole. "You guys ask me if it's for today or permanent. Hey man, I'm just trying to find the right formula and solution for that day," Baker said. "It seems like lately no matter how we mix them, we get the same results." The Reds came into the day batting .246 as a team and .183 over their previous seven games. Griffey was 3-for-17 as a No. 2 hitter and is batting only .238 overall. "Junior has been swinging better the last couple of days," Baker said. "That was the point of putting him in the second hole -- so he'd get some pitches. When the leadoff man gets on, he might get some fastballs. The last couple of days, we've had trouble getting the leadoff man on." Griffey wasn't the lone lineup alteration. Joey Votto, who moved from seventh to fourth in the previous lineup change, was put into the fifth spot -- a place where Baker envisions him being eventually throughout the rookie's career. Edwin Encarnacion went from batting fifth to hitting seventh. With lefty hitters batting .348 against Cubs starter Jon Lieber, as compared to right-hander's .241 average against the veteran, Cincinnati tried maximizing with left-handers. Struggling .200 hitter Corey Patterson batted leadoff. And shortstop Jeff Keppinger received an overdue game out of the lineup. Keppinger came in having played in all 34 games this season -- with 33 starts.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.