Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
Edgar Renteria should be nothing more than an afterthought.
One year ago, Paul Janish appeared poised to take over the shortstop position, only to see 35-year-old Orlando Cabrera signed to a contract and handed the job. While Janish and his gold-glove-quality defensive skills subsequently languished on the bench, Cabrera’s hack-tastic hitting approach [.303 OBP], minimal power [.354 SLG], and not-what-it-once-was defense added sparse value. Cabrera has since departed and been replaced by another aging shortstop whose best days are long behind him.
It is a well-accepted fact that Janish won’t hit much, but does he really need to at the bottom of the order on a National League club? What he does is play spectacular defense, and a Phillips-Janish keystone combination would be among the best in the game. Run prevention will play a huge role in the team’s chances this season, and Baker will be doing his pitching staff a huge favor if he plays talent ahead of what is left of Renteria.
If Janish gets hurt -- or if he hits like Ray Oyler instead of approximating the .260/.338/385 he put up last year -- there are better fall-back options than Renteria. Zach Cozart is waiting in the wings, having provided strong defense, 17 home runs, and 30 stolen bases in Triple-A last year, while Chris Valaika is a good young hitter who catches what he gets to. Janish, Cozart and Valaika all have promise, and 37-year-old Miguel Cairo already provides greybeard infield depth, so Renteria should be deemed superfluous. Trust the kids, Dusty.
Labels: Paul Janish
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