Joey Votto will bat second for the Reds this afternoon

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Interesting lineup note for the Reds, as first baseman Joey Votto will bat second this afternoon against Alex Cobb and the Rays.

This will be the first time that Votto has batted second since August 8, 2008. For a team that used Zack Cozart out of the No. 2 spot for long stretches last year, it’s an experiment that is long overdue.

While conventional wisdom has said that your team’s best hitter should bat third, studies have shown that it’s actually more beneficial to have them bat second, as it assures them more plate appearances over the course of a season. Sounds pretty logical, right? It also increases the chance that your best hitter won’t be standing in the on-deck circle to end a ballgame.

Votto has led the National League in on-base percentage and walks for three straight years, so basically, the Reds should try to get him to the plate as often as possible. Moving up one spot in the order might not have a major impact, but the potential benefits are obvious enough to at least give it a try for a while. Kudos to Bryan Price for doing something that Dusty Baker wouldn’t.

White Sox reliever Cordero suspended 3 games for hitting Contreras

Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports
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CHICAGO — Major League Baseball suspended Chicago White Sox reliever Jimmy Cordero for three games Saturday and fined him an undisclosed amount for hitting the Cubs’ Willson Contreras with a pitch.

Manager Rick Renteria was suspended for one game, and he and pitching coach Don Cooper were also fined. Renteria, who served his suspension on Saturday, expected Cordero to appeal his punishment.

“They did what they had to do,” Renteria said. “They have a protocol that they instituted this year. They’re trying to stay consistent and follow it, so just abide by it.”

Cordero, Renteria and Cooper were ejected from Friday’s 10-0 loss by plate umpire Dan Bellino after Cordero hit Contreras with a pitch in the seventh inning. Cordero said after the game it was unintentional and he simply threw a bad pitch.

Contreras hit a three-run shot off Dylan Cease in the third, then exited the batter’s box with sky-high bat flip. He also greeted White Sox utilityman Yolmer Sanchez, who pitched the ninth, with a solo shot for his eighth career multihomer game.

The playoff-bound White Sox had lost six straight and were tied with Cleveland for second place in the AL Central behind Minnesota entering Saturday’s game.