In two weeks, I was planning to make the two hour trip down to Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to see the Red Sox take on the Louisville Bats. Though I’m a Red Sox fan and would welcome the chance to see youngsters like Clay Buchholz and Justin Masterson for a far more reasonable price than a trip to Fenway, this trip wasn’t about them. This trip was to be my best chance to see The Deal, Jay Bruce, the number one baseball playing prospect in the world, in action.
Alas, the Reds were not on my side. The team announced today that Bruce will be recalled from Louisville in time for Tuesday’s game against the Pirates. He had been crushing International League pitching, posting a .364 batting average, 10 homeruns and 37 runs batted in this season.
Where Bruce will play when he arrives in Cincinnati is still up in the air. I always thought he projected as a centerfielder in the majors, but apparently the good folks in the Reds front office do not share that assessment and see him as a long term solution at one of the corner outfield slots. Problem is, those positions are currently occupied by Ken Griffey, Jr., who won’t be going anywhere at least until he hits his 600th career homerun (and probably not even then – he would need to approve any trade), and Adam Dunn, who is working on a fifth consecutive 40-homer season. So, if The Deal is gonna see any playing time, any at all, it will probably be in center…provided he can unseat the Hall of Fame-bound duo of Corey Patterson and Ryan Freel.
I hadn’t realized this previously, but the Reds have some serious potential in the next couple of years. A lineup featuring Bruce, Dunn, Joey Votto, and Brandon Phillips? A rotation featuring Aaron Harang, Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, and Homer Bailey? Careful, Reds fans – brighter days might be on the horizon.
And you know what? All is not lost – Clay Buchholz is still on a rehab assignment in Pawtucket…