Cincinnati Reds: Chris Heisey Should Be the Everyday Left Fielder

Michael HammonsCorrespondent IJune 24, 2011

CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 22: Chris Heisey #28 of the Cincinnati Reds looks up after hitting his second home run of the game in the fifth inning against the New York Yankees at Great American Ball Park on June 22, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

As an avid consumer of an/all Cincinnati Reds-related news and information, there are fewer "hot button" issues on the team than the current situation in left field.

Essentially, what has developed over the course of the season is a "three-headed monster" scenario where Jonny Gomes, Chris Heisey and Fred Lewis are splitting playing time.

The majority of fans seem to side with Heisey.  

Of course, it doesn't matter what we think, as Dusty Baker is the one filling out the lineup card and he has yet to settle on any sort of permanent solution.

I just look at it like this: We know what kind of players Gomes and Lewis are. They are in their early 30s and they are who they are going to be for the next few seasons and nothing more.

With Heisey, the younger player, there is more of an upside.

Wednesday's shocking three-home-run game notwithstanding, he has to do more with the chances he's given, as he's only batting .220.

Of course, the argument could be made that he's never allowed to get into any sort of rhythm.

I just want to see Heisey thrown out there for a long stretch of games and given the opportunity to succeed.  He was the Minor League Player of the Year in 2009, so I feel as if the pedigree is there.

He's such a versatile player, as he can drop down timely bunts in addition to his power and also plays a solid outfield defense.

I don't see that versatility in Gomes, who loads up on fastballs from below-average pitching and is oftentimes the epitome of "home run or bust."

At least for the next six games of interleague play in the American League stadiums, this issue will be cast aside, as the Reds will be able to have the extra bat in the lineup in the form of a DH.

In the long term, it's hard to say what's going to happen in left field, as minor leaguers such as Dave Sappelt and Yonder Alonso are also knocking on the door.

For this year, though, for the Reds to have their best shot at not only repeating what they did last year but to perhaps move beyond that, I would like to see the skill set of Chris Heisey on a daily basis.