Dusty Baker, as expected, had some positive words for departed shortstop Paul Janish
The big news yesterday, of course, was the supplanting of Janish with prospect Zack Cozart. Janish was handed the keys to the starting shortstop position out of Spring Training, with Edgar Renteria listed as the backup. Both, quite frankly, deserved the ol' heave-ho. But Renteria was retain, presumably to keep some depth. Here's what Dusty had to say about Janish:
"Janish put quite a bit of pressure on himself and his confidence was waning some, so he needed to go down and — more than anything — get his confidence together. Confidence is a big part of this game," Baker said. "He's definitely a quality shortstop."
Blah blah blah. Regardless of whether it was "confidence" or "weak wrists" or however you want to put it, he was given the opportunity and didn't capitalize on it. I'm sure we'll see him back in the bigs sometime because his glove is really that good, but I doubt he ever gets another shot as a starter. Which sounds about right. Good luck, Zack Cozart. May your tenure as Reds shortstop be a fruitful one.
Edinson Volquez was sent out to the minors yesterday along with Janish
I was listening to Marty last night and he wondered aloud if we have seen the last of him in a Reds uniform. It struck me, because I haven't really thought about it in those terms. But after checking his numbers I'm beginning to wonder myself. Since his All-Star performance in '08, he's walked over 5 batters per 9 in a shade under 200 innings. Of course, he's also striking out over 9 per 9. Even so, it's incredibly difficult (as he has demonstrated) to be a success major league pitcher when giving up that many free passes.
The one player I can think of that seems to be able to get away with it is Carlos Marmol. He walked 6 per 9 last year, but he also struck out 16 (yeah, six freakin' teen) per 9. Maybe they should look to move Volquez to the 'pen and see if he can fare better over short outings. Luckily, he did not sign that long-term extension the Reds offered this past winter, so the team is not on the hook for anything but his salary this year (which is very reasonable). But the fact remains that he is an incredibly talented hurler. I'd hate to see some other team harness that and come back to haunt us.
Mike Leake takes the hill tonight for the Reds against Brewers ace Zack Greinke
Leake has been quietly excellent since returning from the minors, as he has started eight games and posted a 2.89 ERA with a 3.4/1 K/BB ratio over 53 innings. As much as we wring our hands over the state of the starting rotation, at least Leake and Johnny Cueto have been slicin' up eyeballs.
Mike Bauman of MLB.com says the Cozart call-up and Janish send-down "a bold move"
I wouldn't call it exactly that. A "bold move" would be to bench struggling Scott Rolen or to trade Ramon Hernandez. Replacing a shortstop who many thought was a career back-up anyway isn't what I would call "bold". The only "bold" part of it is that they took so long to do it. Or perhaps that they didn't ditch Renteria instead. How many "phrases" can I frame with quotation marks in this here "stupid" clipping?
Bill Parker at ESPN's SweetSpot is optimistic about the Reds chances from here on out
The Cozart/Volquez moves are steps in the right direction, he says, though some problems still remain. To wit:
"So the Reds’ problems, after dealing with their shortstops and Volquez, seem to boil down to Arroyo, Wood and clutch hitting. The last bit can’t be dealt with; study has shown that "clutch," to the extent it exists, is impossible to separate from simple dumb luck, good or bad. Wood should be fine for essentially the same reason: He has really struggled with runners in scoring position, and unless the team has some reason to believe he has problems pitching out of the stretch or gets more rattled than most do with men on second or third, those numbers should get better. Arroyo on the other hand has been legitimately struggling for two months, and is a real worry; if they’re willing to recognize his huge contract as a sunk cost and move him to a long-relief role (or off the team entirely), and in favor of Sam LeCure (if healthy) a possible acquisition on the trade market, that could really improve the team going forward."
None of us, I'm assuming, are laboring under the delusion that Arroyo is going anywhere. He's a notorious 2nd-half blazer anyway, so hopefully that trend continues and he lights it up in the late summer months. Wood is down in Louisville for the time being, so that is kind of a non-factor. And the clutch thing, as he says, is just what it is. I'm still really optimistic about this team going forward, but the frustration is definitely mounting. If they are going to make the playoffs, they have to start working towards that end and right soon.
Follow me after the jomp for some of the best #Reds tweets of the week:
I hate when I get to a point in the #Reds season where I hope for bad things to not happen rather than for good things TO happen.
I understand the sentiment, but I don't think I'm quite there yet. I'm still hoping for BroYo to make his classic 2nd-half surge and I'm still hoping Stubbs and Bruce get hot and carry the team through the end of the summer.
Well, my #reds are laying a colossal egg right now. Time to get this thing turned around boys!! We got the talent, let's find the passion!!
On a related note, Lachey's newest album titled "Let's Find the Passion" is scheduled to drop just in time for Christmas this year #Guerrillamarketing
After the Jay HR ties it up,"It is an active Cardinal dugout & it looks like a wake in the #reds dugout." Marty sounds apoplectic at this point.
I think we were all apoplectic at that point. Now let's never speak of it again.
Come to park and see Cozart's locker empty and i was juiced!!! Congrads to Zach and the Cozart family.#reds#flocka
He seems like such a swell guy, yeah? Congrads to Dontrelle himself, as he'll likely be starting for the Reds on Sunday.
#Reds 2B @DatDudeBP is No. 3 on the @CBSSports 140 of Must-Follow Sports Personalities. Behind @shaq and @ochocinco.
Funny thing, I saw Shaq singing "Elmo's World" on his twitter the other day.