Redlegs Rundown

January 27, 2010 8:27 AM

What To Do At SS

With spring training just a few short weeks away (thank GOD!!), the Reds are faced with the harsh reality of Paul Janish and his very light bat at shortstop all year or they can keep waiting to see if a guy like Orlando Cabrera's price tag continues to plummet. 

It's no secret the Reds don't have much, if any, money to go out and get a player worthy of a big salary.  But, if Cabrera, who is a proven commodity, is still available in a few weeks AND his price tag has come down several million dollars, do you give it a shot?  Or do you stick with Paul Janish? 

Cabrera's career numbers are:  .275 average, 114 HRs, and 761 RBI and a .977 fielding percentage.  Not bad, but he will command possibly as much as $6 million a season.  Last year, he played 160 games, hitting nine homers but drove in a pretty impressive 77 runs for Oakland and Minnesota. 

Compare that to Janish's numbers: .205 average, 2 HRs, 22 RBI, but a .986 fielding percentage.  Over the last few months of the season, Janish was second-best in the league fielding.  And he even showed some signs of life at the plate down the stretch.  Of course, for Janish, that "sign of life" was a batting average of just .243 in August.  He answered that with a profound thud in September when he batted .176.  Ugly! 

The Reds' offense last year was terrible.  Let's be honest.  They weren't any good.  There are guys who are capable of more, but there are also guys who can do less.  If you look at a "potential" lineup of Stubbs, whoever plays LF, Votto, Phillips, Bruce, Rolen (breaking up the lefties and righties), Hernandez, and Janish there is a chance they could be better.  There's also a chance Janish will hit .075 and Stubbs could fall on his face and you'll be forced to play Taveras (God help us all). 

So, should the Reds bite (another) bullet and sign Cabrera?  If it's my money, I would.  Janish is a slick fielder.  If they go with him to start the season, they could have the best infield in the national league with Rolen and Phillips on the other sides of him.  But, Janish will never hit the .250 they hope and pray he can.  Just my opinion.   

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