Bruce takes rare day off, still leads MLB in innings played


Jay Bruce is no Cal Ripken, but he’s as close to an iron man as Major League Baseball has this season. He leads all of baseball in innings played. Even though he didn’t start Saturday’s game against the Brewers at Great American Ball Park, his lead was safe.

It was only the second game Bruce hasn’t started out of 130. He has played in 1,156 1/3 innings out of a possible 1,169 1/3.

Chris Heisey started in right field Saturday for the first time this season. He made 10 starts there last season.

Bruce said manager Dusty Baker pulled him into his office after Friday’s game to tell him he wouldn’t start Saturday. He protested just a little bit.

Of course, even an off day isn’t really an off day for big league players. Bruce still had to come to the park and get ready to play in case he was needed. Baker did tell him to come in late, so that was one benefit.

“It’s not a specific goal, but I come to the field to play every day,” Bruce said. “I expect to do that. Health is obviously a big key, and I’ve been able to stay healthy. I’d like to be out there every day, but I appreciate Dusty just letting me know, ‘Get a day off here. There aren’t many opportunities the rest of the year.’ I look forward to enjoying the day and moving on from here and finishing strong.”

Bruce started 149 games last season, 151 games in 2011 and 133 in 2010. He has slumped in August this season, hitting .192. His average has fallen from .278 on July 31 to .266. He has gotten at least one hit in 14 of the 20 games, but he hasn’t had one multi-hit game in August.

“In years past, Dusty would give me a day off to kind of hang and take a mental break,” Bruce said. “I think this is strictly a physical break for me. I’ll use it, and I’ll be ready to play. You never know.”

Joey Votto has started all but one game this season and ranks third in baseball in innings played (1,139 1/3). There are few remaining opportunities for Votto or Bruce or any of the regular Reds to take days off because every game is so important.

Starting Monday, the Reds play seven of their next 10 games against the Cardinals, the team they’re chasing in the wild-card race.

“It is hard (not playing),” Bruce said. “(Baker’s) pretty adamant about giving guys some rest when he thinks they need it. I respect that.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Stephenson, Scooter lift Reds to 11-8 win over Braves
Stephenson, Scooter lift Reds to 11-8 win over Braves

Julio Teheran still considers himself to be Atlanta’s ace, even if his numbers suggest otherwise. “Yeah, that’s the spot I want to be in hopefully for my whole career,” he said. “That doesn’t mean I won’t have ups and downs. We’re all human. We all make mistakes.” Scooter Gennett hit a grand slam...
7 things to know about Bengals loss to Chiefs
7 things to know about Bengals loss to Chiefs

There weren’t a lot of positives to come out of Saturday night’s preseason game at Paul Brown Stadium. Not only did the Cincinnati Bengals defense surrender scores on the first five Kansas City possessions, including four touchdown drives in a row, the offense failed to reach the end zone in a 30-12 loss. »RELATED: Chiefs QBs light...
HS Results 8/19: Springboro opens season with shutout win

The Springboro girls soccer team started the season on a winning note with a 1-0 win over Bearden (TN) at the Bearden High School Invitational on Saturday. Liv Page tallied the game-winner off an Alex Garver assist with 28 minutes to play in the second half. Keeper Kristy Catrine posted the shutout with five saves. Boro continues play in the tournament...
H.S. football: New coach, new conference for Greenon

After he was hired to coach the Greenon High School football team in February, one of the first things Josh Wooten did was find his “yes” men. Well, in a manner of speaking. Wooten presented potential coaching hires with four questions: Can I trust you? Do you love Greenon? Do you love our community? Do you love our kids? “If your...
Chiefs QBs light up Bengals defense in 30-12 rout
Chiefs QBs light up Bengals defense in 30-12 rout

The Cincinnati Bengals lost starting safety Shawn Williams to a right elbow injury in addition to losing track of numerous Kansas City wide receivers Saturday night as three Chiefs quarterbacks steered a rout at Paul Brown Stadium. Kansas City scored on its first five possessions, the last four of which resulted in touchdowns as the Chiefs whipped...
More Stories