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Moss at crossroads

CINCINNATI — It appears that Brandon Moss will head into next year as the incumbent right fielder. But during Moss’ “exit meeting” with manager John Russell and GM Neal Huntington, it was made clear that he still has a lot of work to do to establish job security.

“He realizes the opportunity he got this year, and also realizes he really didn’t take advantage of it,” manager John Russell said. “He knows this is a very important offseason for him.

“We told him the opportunity might not be as large next time. He understood that and agreed with it. We’re not trying to put pressure on Brandon — he doesn’t have to hit .450 in spring training — but we want to see some adjustments (at the plate). It’s kind of a crossroads for him.”

With Jose Tabata and Gorkys Hernandez on their ways up and Andrew McCutchen and Lastings Milledge playing well, there might not be room for Moss in the Pirates’ outfield. His future probably includes a pinch-hitter role, which might not be such a bad thing, considering he’s gotten five hits in his past nine pinch at-bats.

Coming off the bench, this season Moss is batting .257 (9 for 35) with a homer and five RBI. For his career, Moss has a better OPS off the bench (.756) than as a starter (.689).

– Follow me on Twitter @RobBiertempfel.

Lineups for tonight’s game:

PIRATES (62-97)

  1. Andrew McCutchen cf
  2. Andy LaRoche 3b
  3. Garrett Jones 1b
  4. Lastings Milledge lf
  5. Brandon Moss rf
  6. Delwyn Young 2b
  7. Jason Jaramillo c
  8. Ramon Vazquez ss
  9. Zach Duke (11-15, 3.94) lhp

REDS (76-84)

  1. Drew Stubbs cf
  2. Paul Janish ss
  3. Joey Votto 1b
  4. Brandon Phillips 2b
  5. Scott Rolen 3b
  6. Jonny Gomes rf
  7. Darnell McDonald lf
  8. Ramon Hernandez c
  9. Johnny Cueto (10-11, 4.35) rhp

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