FanPost

Jeff Keppinger

As you've probably heard, fan favorite Jeff Keppinger is headed to the DL after fracturing his knee by fouling a ball off it. According to Wikipedia, he's done this before.

In 2005, Keppinger again excelled in Norfolk while hitting .337. He was poised to return to the majors in June when Kazuo Matsui was injured, but bad luck struck when Keppinger fractured his kneecap around the same time as Matsui. The injury not only prevented his return to the majors but ended his entire 2005 season.

According to Baseball Cube, Kepp played 62 games in 2005. That means he missed more than half the season when he fractured his kneecap last time.

C. Trent has post worth reading, though it was written before the Janish callup became official:

Keppinger had an x-ray taken Tuesday night and Reds manager Dusty Baker said the doctors told him it wasn't as bad of a break as it could have been. Keppinger will have an MRI taken on Wednesday. Still, he is expected to be put on the disabled list and miss a substantial amount of time.

I don't think this is the same kind of knee injury Sea Bass has. It sounds more serious. Maybe the fact that Kepp continued to play for a couple of innings after the injury means it's not that bad. But it sounds to me like they are preparing to go without Kepp for a long time.

Trent also has some quotes from Dusty on Janish:

Janish, 25, is one of the best fielding players in the Reds minor league system and with a 1-for-2 performance in the Bats' victory Tuesday night raised his batting average to .293. He also picked up two RBIs and now has 20 on the season.

Baker said he liked what he saw of Janish in spring training.

"He's a good one, so if he's the one, we’ll have to find a way to match him up with the guys he best suits and Jerry the other ones. It's nice to have guys who can play multiple positions," Baker said. "(Janish) is a slick fielder; he's a big-time slick fielder. He's got some sock in his bat, especially on the high fastball. He's got good speed and it’s a good example of what we've got in the organization."

John Fay lays out the possibilities for a replacement. He says A-Gon is nowhere near ready, and probably won't be for quite awhile. And he thinks Valaika is a possibility. But the most realistic scenario is Hairston and Janish battle it out until one wins the job.

Fay points out that many doubted Keppinger would ever be a big league player. I'm not sure why. He's hit well throughout his minor league career. Not much power, but infielders don't have to hit like Barry Bonds.

Janish has not hit that well in his minor league career, though he's been raking this year, after a slow start. He will provide a very solid glove at SS. I hope Dusty gives him a chance.

I was not expecting Jay Bruce or Andy Phillips to be called up. The Reds need a shortstop. Hairston can play SS, but he needs a backup, and there isn't one. Bruce can't play SS (and since he's a lefty, I doubt they'll convert him ;-). Andy Phillips played SS for the Alabama Crimson Tide, but was soon moved down the defensive spectrum by the Yankees.

I thought they might call up a disposable player, like the Gay Porn Star last year. The fact that they didn't suggests they are expecting this to be a long-term situation.

And if neither Janish nor Hairston step up? If the Reds still think they have a chance, they might trade for a SS. If not, they may as well let Janish try to figure it out.