"That's definitely taken some hits away from me," Bruce said. "I don't use it as an excuse. But the bottom line is it takes hits away. You smoke a ball up the middle and you think it's a hit. But the shortstop is playing right behind second base.
"It's definitely cut down on average. You look at a player like Mark Teixiera. He was a .300, .280 hitter. You put the shift on him. He's a guy who drives the ball, pull hitter. He uses the other side of the field some. But guys like that are hitting in the .250s."
"Everyone's like, 'Hit a ground ball to shortstop or hit one down the line.' Like you can do whatever you want." he said. "A lot of times, pitchers pitch to the shift. And shifts are getting more sophisticated. In New York, (shortstop Derek) Jeter was playing third, in on the grass. So you can't bunt. Ideally, you want to get a hit. It's hard to do."
Reds hitting coach Don Long said eventually hitters will be taught in the minors to beat the shift.
"Not everybody's going to be the perfect hitter and be able to do everything," he said. "But I think you're going to find guys who want to have the ability to hit to both sides of the field."
Well, according to manager Bryan Price, you probably won't get much out of Bruce if you ask him how is left knee is doing these days.
"I think he's prefer not to be asked about his knee," Price said, per the Cincinnati Enquirer. "It was a part of 2014 and will not be a part of 2015."
Bruce hit .217 with 18 home runs, 21 doubles and 66 RBI in 137 games in 2014.
"You learn not to be surprised by anything," he told MLB.com. "Also, it's all talk until it's not. That's something you can't think too much about, honestly. Walt and I have spoken, and he just said nothing but great things. I'm very happy to be here and I wnat to be a Cincinnati Red. I don't want to go anywhere. But they have to do their due diligence and I don't blame them for doing that. We're trying to be the best team we can be."
Bruce slumped in 2014 to the tune of a .217/.281/.373 stat line with 18 home runs in 137 games. He also required arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in May, but that cost him only two weeks.
The team is searching for a left-handed hitter, and Bruce hits the bill. Bruce will make a little over $12 million in both 2015 and 2016. He was a $13 million club option for 2017.
The team has made no secret of its desire to give up one of its starting pitchers, including premier talents such as Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos. But the Reds are also discussing possible swaps involving two-time All-Star right fielder Jay Bruce, major league sources have told Rosenthal.
The Reds have $75.5 million committed in 2015 and could try to vault back into playoff contention behind a healthy Joey Votto and Bruce. But it might not be a viable financial option. They spent $114 million on payroll last year and are projected to be at $120 million next season. Trading Bruce and one starting pitcher would reduce that figure significantly - Bruce alone will be owed $12 million.
One problem with that tactic is that the Reds would be trading an undervalued Bruce coming off a poor season in which he batted .217 with 18 home runs. However, the power-desperate Padres are reportedly inteterested in obtaining Bruce.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|9/28/2014 vs Pittsburgh|
|vs Cole (Career)||2||0||0||0||.333||0|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 5 || 6 |
| 7 || 8 |
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| 16 || 17 |
|More Batting Stats|
|Postseason Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
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