It appears as if all of the strikeouts by Cincinnatti Reds outfielder Drew Stubbs has finally caught up with him as he is slated to bat seventh in tonight's game which followed a recent batch of games where he was out of the leadoff spot. Manager Dusty Baker had grown increasingly vocal in the last few days about how Stubbs' ridiculously high strikeout rate has hurt the lineup and that he was looking for a more traditional leadoff hitter. Chris Heisey is looking like he will get the chance to run with the gig for now as Stubbs drops all the way to seventh. So what does this mean for his fantasy baseball value? In a word: not good.
Obviously hitting in the leadoff spot maximizes the amount of plate appearances a given hitter can have and so the counting stats are positively reinforced. Also someone with as much speed as Stubbs benefits greatly by hitting leadoff due to the many more opportunities to steal a base. Getting on in the first at-bat ensures there is no one else on base to clog up second for the steal and so that is another negative for his drop in the order. Also his runs will be affected in a negative way since he wont be on base in front of the big boppers in the lineup.
Put altogether and this move is a very bad one for Stubbs and his fantasy baseball value. He was a batting average liability before this season and now with the drop in the order, his calling card of steals will also be negatively impacted. He will still be very useful but the drop in runs and steals combined with the poor average make him look a lot worse in the eyes of his owners from the start of the season.