Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
The Reds roster is now down to 34 players. There's plenty of room to protect young prospects, sign free agents, and perhaps draft a Rule 5 player. Paul Janish is still on the roster, but some are predicting he'll be non-tendered. I still think the Reds will probably keep him for depth, since they have none at SS, and he still has options. He'll be cheap, and they don't seem to need his roster spot for anyone else. But who knows.
Been thinking about what went wrong for Janish this season. Maybe he was just unlucky. Maybe he couldn't handle the pressure of being the starter on a team that was playing much worse than fans and pundits had expected. Maybe he was exposed, playing every day.
But according to the Reds announcers, you can't accuse him not working hard enough. They said no one worked harder, and wondered if he worked too hard. They thought he spent so much time in the weight room he looked tired during the games.
I suppose that's possible; beat writer John Fay reported last year that Janish had a tendency to wear down over the season. Not surprising for a tough position like SS.
But I wonder if it's something more specific. One of the Reds coaches thought Janish's wrists were too weak, and recommended that he work on strengthening them. He reportedly did just that.
It may have backfired. I'm reminded of that time tennis great Andre Agassi bulked up, putting on 20 lbs. of solid muscle. He was tired of being blown off the court by power servers like Pete Sampras, and thought getting stronger was the solution.
It wasn't. The extra muscle made him stronger, but it also slowed him down. He later said that speed is an underrated component of sports in general. He eased up on the weight lifting and went back to his skinny, speedy self.
I wonder if something similar happened with Janish. Perhaps stronger wrists meant slower bat speed. In any case, whatever he did this year wasn't working; maybe he should go back to whatever he was doing last year.
Labels: Paul Janish
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