Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
Paul Janish got a minor league deal and spring training invite from the Baltimore Orioles. That means he'll be back at Ed Smith Stadium, formerly the spring training home of the Reds before they decamped for Arizona.
Supposedly, the Orioles wanted a veteran shortstop to work with their young pitchers in Norfolk. Janish also has a chance to make the team as a utility guy.
The Orioles have a reputation for shuffling the roster constantly, even calling up and sending down players who are out of options (asking them to decline if claimed by other teams). So even if Janish doesn't make the roster out of spring training, he probably has a better chance of being called up with Baltimore than with KC and Colorado last year.
And if he does end up a Norfolk Tide, that's convenient for me. I see a lot more IL games than PCL.
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The Royals called up just one player when the Omaha Storm Chasers' season ended: pitcher Tim Collins.
Looks like they are still hoping Christian Colon recovers in time for the post-season.
Christian Colon flew to Arizona to test his broken finger in Instrux. The team wants to see if he can contribute in October— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughStar) September 24, 2014
For awhile, I was wondering if the Royals were going to make the post-season. But it now looks like they will, probably as the first wild card.
I'm really baffled that they aren't carrying another utility infielder. They've got no depth. With any other team, I'd think Paul Janish had a good chance of being called up. But the Royals are weird.
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The Omaha Storm Chasers defeated the Pawtucket Red Sox in a rain-delayed game Tuesday night to take the AAA Championship...again.
Paul Janish is somewhere in the above photo, but I couldn't pick him out. I did recognize him this photo, #21, front and center.
George Grande and Jim Kaat called the game for NBC. Grande is a Reds announcer, so he was pretty familiar with Paul Janish. He said some nice things about him. According to him, the Storm Chasers had the worse defense in the league until Janish came on board. They ended up solidly in the middle of the pack. (Hey, one man can only do so much.) He also said the Storm Chasers manager pointed to Brian Bocock and Paul Janish when asked who the leaders in the clubhouse were.
FWIW...the Royals put backup SS Christian Colon on the 15-day DL yesterday. The timing seems a bit odd. He broke his finger 10 days ago. With the expanded rosters, there's no need to DL him if they want to call up someone else. The only reason to put him on the DL is to substitute someone else for the postseason roster...someone who was not on the 25 man roster on Aug. 31.
They could have waited until they actually had to set the postseason roster, so it's still a little odd. I think what this means is that they don't think he'll be healthy enough to play this year. Also, DLing him the day after Omaha's season ended suggests that they're considering calling up someone from the AAA team.
The Royals have not called up anyone to replace Colon yet. Today's an off day for them, so they might not make a move until tomorrow. Assuming they even make a move.
In other news, Bryan Price thinks Tony Cingrani's role might be in the pen next year.
"I think the more he starts, the more it becomes apparent that he definitely needs to improve the breaking ball and the change-up or he'll be better served pitching out of the bullpen."
Ugh. I'm afraid they're going to do the same thing with him that they did with Aroldis Chapman. The Reds see next year as their window. In the long run, they might be better off letting Cingrani perfect his secondary pitches in AAA, but they're in "win now" mode and don't have time for that.
Both the IL and the PCL went the distance this year. Omaha won Game 5 yesterday, so they are PCL champions for the second year in a row.
The announcers noted that Janish had been on the Rice team that won the College World Series in Omaha eleven years ago.
There's one more game: the one-game PCL vs. IL championship, played in Charlotte, NC this year. That's tomorrow night.
As for whether Janish will be called up after Omaha's season is done...I haven't a clue. They could definitely use some infield depth in Kansas City, but Ciriaco might get the call, rather than Janish. It's also possible they'll try to stick with Colon, broken finger and all.
If I were the GM, I'd pick Janish. But then, if I were the GM, I wouldn't have let the team go without a backup SS for most of the season. Anyways, Janish has a better glove; Ciriaco's been a better hitter, but not that much better. But Ciriaco was called up when rosters expanded last year, and that's probably an advantage. They know him.
It might be moot, anyway. The Royals are collapsing, and are in danger of missing the postseason. I feel so sorry for their fans. They got their hopes us this year. If they are dashed, it's going to be ugly. The natives are definitely getting restless.
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Royals backup infielder Christian Colon suffered an injury that will likely end his season.
Christian Colon broke his middle finger. A team official said he will be out for "a while."— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughStar) September 3, 2014
This might create an opening for Paul Janish. Colon is probably the only reserve player on the roster you'd want to see in the middle infield.
OTOH, the Rockies seem much more concerned about offense than defense (and I can understand why). And they have Cal Ripken starting at SS. Alcides Escobar has started at SS every game this season. My mind is boggled.
Stay tuned, I guess.
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The Omaha Storm Chasers clinched a postseason berth in the wee hours last night, in a rain-delayed game. Today was the last game of the regular season, and it ended up being called early due to "travel curfew." Janish's former team, the Sky Sox, wanted to get the heck out of dodge. With the game meaningless - the Sky Sox are the cellar dwellers of their division - they wanted to make sure they made their flight. So the game was called with two outs in the bottom of the 8th.
Janish did not play in today's game. I wondered if he'd been called up, but it looks like it was just a day game after a night game thing. The Royals have announced their September callups. Johnny Giavotella was the infielder who got the call.
Looks like the Royals are going with Jayson Nix as their backup SS. Even though he's pretty horrendous there. They do have a SS on the 40-man roster, Christian Colon, but it seems he's not being called up, either.
Janish went 2 for 3 with a double and walk last night, in the last game of the regular season. That makes his line .268 / .323 / .359 for the season, .314 / .375 / .438 for the Storm Chasers. I assume he'll start at SS in the PCL playoffs, so last night wasn't his last game.
In other news, Oakland has DFA'd Joe Savery. He put up decent numbers this year, and someone will likely take a flyer on him. But he will not be eligible to play in the postseason.
Well, the Reds traded Jonathan Broxton to division rival Milwaukee today. It was evident well before this, but that trade makes it official: put a fork in the Reds, they're done.
Tony Cingrani still has not thrown a pitch since mid-June. He has some kind of shoulder problem. Which is apparently much more serious than they thought at first, or at least that they let on.
No reason to rush him back now, that's for sure. Hopefully he'll be healthy and ready to go next season.
For teams with more hope than the Reds, tonight is the deadline for setting up the roster for the postseason. Rosters expand tomorrow; any player you want to use in the postseason must be added to the roster tonight.
In theory. In practice, any player anywhere in the team's organization as of midnight tonight is eligible for the postseason, if they are substituted for someone on the DL.
The Royals plan to add three players to their roster tonight, all young prospects. Not sure how they will make room, but they have only three players on the DL. And one of them, Hosmer, is expected to be back for the postseason, so it's really two spots for roster substitution. Most teams have more. Some even stock up the DL at the deadline, to increase their options. This might be bad news for Paul Janish's chances of making the postseason roster.
The Omaha Storm Chasers game is in rain delay now. They have a good chance of making the PCL post season, so the Royals might want to wait to call up players until after it's over. But they're going to have a bit of a roster crunch, at least if they want to use any of the late callups in the playoffs.
I dunno, normally, I'd expect Janish to have a good chance of being added to the postseason roster. But the Royals are different. Maybe it's because they're not used to being in the postseason, but they don't seem to be doing the kinds of things teams usually do in their situation.
Not to mention, they're kind of collapsing. They might let their postseason opportunity slip away.
Been offline the past couple of weeks. I joined my parents on an "adventure" trip to Africa. Which meant no running water, no electricity, and definitely no Internet. (Not to say all Africa is like that - we spent a lot of time off the beaten path.)
I ended up sitting next to a professional athlete in the plane on the way back. Not a baseball player. A basketball player - Tanzania-born Hasheem Thabeet. Man, is he tall.
Anyways, I returned to find a lot had happened in the world of baseball. A new commissioner has been named. The Reds have fallen below .500 and are solidly in fourth place in the division; their season is likely done, though apparently owner Bob Castellini is still hoping.
The Reds have been decimated by injury. Including Tony Cingrani. He has not thrown a pitch since June, and at this point it seems unlikely he'll return this year. Supposedly he'll start a throwing program soon, but with the Reds having nothing to play for except draft picks, there's no reason to push him.
Things seem to be looking up for Paul Janish, though. He is en fuego for the Omaha Storm Chasers. He went 2 for 4 with a double and a home run last night (off lefty John Lannan). He's OPSing .877 for the Storm Chasers. .345 / .408 / .469
And the Royals took over the top spot in their division while I was gone. They are looking like a legit playoff team. That's good news for Janish. With the post-season roster rules, many teams like to carry a player like Janish: versatile guy who can be a solid backup at SS. Be interesting to see if they add him to the roster before the Aug. 31 deadline. (Even if they don't, he can still be added later.)
Janish also got a shout-out from former teammate and still good friend Jay Bruce. Bruce participated in the ice bucket challenge, and challenged Janish to do the same. Which probably means Janish will be getting an ice water bath and writing a check soon. All for a good cause, of course.
Today is still sadly baseball-less when it comes to big league games, but AAA has started up again. The CBS Sports Network's "Minor League Game of the Week" airs tonight at 9pm ET. It's the Omaha Storm Chasers at the New Orleans Zephyrs. Paul Janish is starting at SS for the Storm Chasers.
Former Reds prospect Donnie Joseph is a Zephyr. The Reds had really high hopes for him at one point, but traded him for established reliever Jonathan Broxton.
Apparently, the Royals traded him to the Marlins. Joseph was a Storm Chaser not long ago.
Update: I just noticed Josh Rodriguez is New Orleans' third baseman. I'm kind of surprised he hasn't gotten more of a shot. He's put up some decent numbers in AAA.
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Paul Janish has been playing (almost) every day with the Omaha Storm Chasers, and hitting pretty well. He's had several multi-hit games, including going 4 for 4 today. His ground rule double drove Brett Tomko from the game. He's hitting .333 / .405 / .364 with Omaha, good for a .769 OPS. His OPS in Colorado Springs was just .586.
Not sure why he's hitting so well now. Small sample size, of course. But also, he was hitting a lot better even before he left the Sky Sox. His June OPS was something like 200 points higher than in April and May. So maybe he just got off to a slow start. (Even though he was blistering hot in spring training - leading the Cactus League at one point.)
The Royals are currently 6.5 games back of Detroit in the AL Central, and if the season ended today, they'd be 2.5 games out of the wild card - the first runner up. They aren't out of it yet, for sure.
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