All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Monday, August 02, 2010

An Opportunity for Janish?

Orlando Cabrera, the Reds' starting shortstop, strained his oblique tonight grounding into a double play. I don't know if it was the swing or the running that did it, but he clutched his side and was replaced by Paul Janish.

Reds beat writer John Fay says Cabrera is likely headed to the DL. He thinks Janish will be the starter:

Paul Janish, hitting .270 in limited time, will likely take over as the starter.

Chris Valaika is top hitting infielder at Triple-A. He’s hitting .301. He’s playing primarily second. Zach Cozart, the shortstop at Louisville, is hitting .268. Neither has played in the big leagues.

Fay said on Twitter that he thinks Valaika will get the call.

Valaika is not really the top-hitting infielder. He's got the highest batting average (aside from first baseman Daniel Dorn). But if you look at OPS or OBP, Zack Cozart is better.

However, I agree with Fay that Valaika is likely to be called up. He's on the 40-man roster, and though he's played mostly 2B this season, he started out at SS. He's not the defender Janish and Cozart are, but he'll do in a pinch. And he's no longer one of the Reds' top prospects, so they may be more willing to sit him on the bench behind Janish.

Drew Sutton is another possibility. He's on the 40-man, and is hitting well. However, his defense is pretty bad. They seem to be grooming him to be a bench guy. He's playing left field, first base, pinch-hitting, DHing, etc. His bad glove was supposedly the reason he was sent down in favor of Miguel Cairo during spring training. So I don't see him as a backup SS.

Another possibility would be call up Cozart. He's not on the 40-man, so some sort of roster move would have to be made. Cozart could be the Reds' SS of the future, so if he's called up, they'll want him to play every day. That would mean Janish remains on the bench. (I really hope that doesn't happen. Janish deserves a shot. He's waited so patiently for an opportunity this year, and has been so solid, on offense and defense...only to get so little playing time it's become a running joke. Again.)

The Reds are in a heated pennant race, trading off first place in the division with the Cardinals practically on a daily basis. They may not want to throw Cozart in to sink or swim with that kind of pressure. Then again, they may not trust Janish to hold down SS, either. If this injury had happened before the deadline, the Reds might have made a move at SS.

But it's too late now. I hope Janish gets his shot...and shows them them something to think about.


posted by BubbaFan, 11:06 PM


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