Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
With the Reds hovering at .500, many Cincinnati fans are panicking. As Paul Daugherty notes, "The impulse to Do Something in baseball is almost always wrong" - but at times like this, people can't resist demanding that the front office do something, anything.
The problem is obvious: pitching. Particularly starting pitching. But without any realistic way to address that need, there's talk of calling up position players from AAA - in particular, shortstop Zack Cozart, who is on a tear in Louisville. Paul Janish has been hitting better lately - 3 for 5 yesterday, and .333 for the past 7 days. He still doesn't hit for much power, though, and Cozart does offer a bit more pop.
Of course, Cozart hasn't done anything on the big league level. It's possible he would struggle to adjust. Heck, it's likely. And if that does happen, those calling for him now would be calling for him to be sent back to Louisville. Hopefully, Walt Jocketty has a little more patience than the fans and media do.
Hal McCoy has a nice article about how Janish's defense has earned him the starting job. Given the terrible pitching, good defense up the middle is even more important - a way to improve your pitching when you can't improve the pitchers.
Also, today is draft day. Earlier this year, many expected Rice standout Anthony Rendon to be taken with the first pick. The Pirates have reportedly decided on Gerrit Cole instead. There are rumors (which may or may not be true) that Seattle is passing on Rendon, too, because of concern over his shoulder. He is still expected to go somewhere in the first round, however.
UPDATE: Mark Sheldon says Dusty Baker has ruled out any callups for hitters. Baker says the problem is pitching, not hitting, and that the gap between AAA and MLB is wider than ever. Sheldon does hint that the Reds may be quietly pursuing a starting pitcher. (They tried and failed to get Cliff Lee last year.)
And the Mariners passed on Anthony Rendon. Rumor had it that his shoulder got a "yellow light" from team doctors - not green, not red, but yellow. However, he was taken by the Nationals with the sixth pick. Maybe I'll get to see him when he reaches AAA and plays in Syracuse.
Labels: Paul Janish
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