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View Full Version : Who is the backup SS in 2012?



RedsManRick
09-30-2011, 12:29 PM
So let's assume the Reds stick with a 12 man pitching staff, as they've done the last few years. Of the 13 remaining position players, there's 2 catchers and 5 OF. That leaves 6 IF. We can assume Votto, Phillips, Rolen and Cozart based what what's been said so far. Cairo is signed and not going anywhere most likely. He can back up 1B/2B/3B. That means the Reds basically have to use that last spot on a guy who can handle SS.

But the only guy in the system currently ready to play SS at the major league level is Janish. And while I'm higher on him than most, his continued low BABIP suggests it's not just a function of bad luck, but in part a function of a guy who simply doesn't hit the ball very hard.

Sure, there are few guys in the minors on the way, but there's no way they're ready to start the year in the majors (or be in the majors at any point).

There's talk of Fransisco being the next in line at 3B, but I don't see a spot for him unless they carry only 4 OF (No Heisey? No Sappelt? No Alonso?) or 6 RP. And that would leave Frazier 'in the hole' for a roster spot... unless they're willing use a backup SS who can man the position without embarrassing himself once a week or as an injury replacement but who you don't want out there on a regular basis. Maybe Valiaka fits that role, but hit bat isn't great and I don't think his glove plays all that well at SS.

So what do you guys think? Could the Reds use Fransisco as the 5th OF and Frazier as the backup SS? Count on BP to be the backup SS knowing that Cairo can handle 2B? Crazy enough to use Cairo as the backup SS? Or are we looking at another year of Janish with Fransisco/Frazier only on the roster if the Reds are OK not having a true 5th OF and not keeping one of Heisey?Sappelt?

reds1869
09-30-2011, 12:38 PM
Great topic. I would be fine with Francisco as the 5th outfielder which would allow Janish to serve as a defensive specialist. Juan can handle himself competently in left from what I saw in winter ball, though he certainly won't win any gold glove awards. He is very much below average in the OF but also not an embarrassment. His pop off the bench makes him very valuable to the Reds. If/when Rolen goes down to injury he can step into 3B and the club can call up which ever OF is in Louisville.

TRF
09-30-2011, 12:44 PM
Janish can play 2B, SS or 3B. Obvious choice for a guy to amass about 150-200 AB's. 2nd best IF defender behind BP.

UKFlounder
09-30-2011, 12:45 PM
I suspect it will be either Janish or someone from out of the organization - maybe a Cairo like signing that nobody pays a lot of attention to until that player does something in spring to win a spot.

I have no clue about who that player may be, but I do think (hope?) there will be at least one candidate from out of the organization.

Kc61
09-30-2011, 12:46 PM
This is a good topic. IMO as long as Cairo is on the club, it is hard to find a spot for Francisco because the Reds will want a bench infielder who can play SS. Neither Cairo nor Francisco plays short.

So, the answer is --- Todd Frazier.

By keeping a multi-positional player like Frazier, who also plays SS, you can also keep both Cairo and JF.

Frazier can fill in as fifth outfielder, backup infielder, and occasional SS.

So the Reds bench is Francisco, Cairo, Frazier, Heisey, and Hanigan.

Reds would then get a good veteran AAA shortstop in case somebody goes down with injury.

bucksfan2
09-30-2011, 12:48 PM
Lets assume that the major shakeup either occurs in the rotation or is a LF and that means Alonso is traded. So if you take the 13 position players, the givens are Votto, Phillips, Cozart, Rolen, Bruce, Stubbs, Alonso (trade), Mesoraco, Hanigan, and Heisey. That leaves you with 3 players left. I think Cairo has done a heck of a job for what the Reds have asked him to do. That said I hardly consider him a given to make the club. His contract is such that it wouldn't hurt them to cut or trade him.

If I were to make the decisions the last three would be Frazier, Francisco, and Sappelt. I think backup SS is an overrated aspect of the roster considering your emergency SS could be Frazier for a handful of innings until the next game. Build your best 25 man team, if you have to make a switch you are playing short handed for one game. If you go with Cairo then I think Sappelt is the odd man out. Francisco is going to be needed to play 3b on a semi platoon basis. Frazier is the only guy who could play a reasonable SS in a small sample.

UKFlounder
09-30-2011, 12:50 PM
You only need the backup SS for a few innings in case of injury, but that assumes your starter never takes a day off. Do you make a roster move every time he needs to rest or try to break a slump, or do you accept that a "few innings" may be "a few games."

Cozart is not exactly a proven player in the majors yet, so it's not like second, where you can pencil in Phillips virtually every day


If I were to make the decisions the last three would be Frazier, Francisco, and Sappelt. I think backup SS is an overrated aspect of the roster considering your emergency SS could be Frazier for a handful of innings until the next game. Build your best 25 man team, if you have to make a switch you are playing short handed for one game. If you go with Cairo then I think Sappelt is the odd man out. Francisco is going to be needed to play 3b on a semi platoon basis. Frazier is the only guy who could play a reasonable SS in a small sample.

Guacarock
09-30-2011, 12:56 PM
Jocketty has said he would prefer to back up Cozart with a veteran SS. If so, I'd like to see someone like Jamey Carroll get the nod. He can not only play the position, but also handle multiple IF-OF spots in a utility role.

And it would be nice to have a high OBP guy on the bench. Francisco, Heisey, Cairo are all decent reserves, but none will likely post a high OBP or be in a position to serve as good table-setters.

I can't see bringing Renteria back -- he's limited to 2B and SS and doesn't play either with much range or agility these days. Janish offers a strong glove and would remain cheap, so he's a possible option, and probably would handle it OK. But someone like Carroll would bring more skills to the table, so would be the better alternative in my book.

RedsManRick
09-30-2011, 12:59 PM
Great topic. I would be fine with Francisco as the 5th outfielder which would allow Janish to serve as a defensive specialist. Juan can handle himself competently in left from what I saw in winter ball, though he certainly won't win any gold glove awards. He is very much below average in the OF but also not an embarrassment. His pop off the bench makes him very valuable to the Reds. If/when Rolen goes down to injury he can step into 3B and the club can call up which ever OF is in Louisville.

So which of Alonso, Heisey, Sappelt is not a Red on opening day?

reds1869
09-30-2011, 01:05 PM
So which of Alonso, Heisey, Sappelt is not a Red on opening day?

Probably whichever one is traded. But assuming the entire roster is back I would send Sappelt to AAA.

Kc61
09-30-2011, 01:06 PM
So which of Alonso, Heisey, Sappelt is not a Red on opening day?

I can't see Sappelt on the opening day roster.

Blitz Dorsey
09-30-2011, 01:15 PM
This is a good topic. IMO as long as Cairo is on the club, it is hard to find a spot for Francisco because the Reds will want a bench infielder who can play SS. Neither Cairo nor Francisco plays short.

So, the answer is --- Todd Frazier.

By keeping a multi-positional player like Frazier, who also plays SS, you can also keep both Cairo and JF.

Frazier can fill in as fifth outfielder, backup infielder, and occasional SS.

So the Reds bench is Francisco, Cairo, Frazier, Heisey, and Hanigan.

Reds would then get a good veteran AAA shortstop in case somebody goes down with injury.

I hope this is what happens. Really don't want to suffer through another year of seeing Paul Janish in a Reds uniform.

RedsManRick
09-30-2011, 01:48 PM
For the record, I'd like to trade both Alonso and Fransisco -- their value will never be higher. Fransisco looks like EE with a bit more power and a lot less patience. Alonso strikes me as a solid bat, but not a star, and likely to give back a lot of value in LF by virtue of his defense.

Miguel Cairo has been a nice role player, but he's not a great fit at this point. I completely agree that Jamey Carrol would be a very good in the utility role -- and possibly as the starter at SS if Cozart couldn't keep his OBP north of .300.

TRF
09-30-2011, 02:04 PM
I hope this is what happens. Really don't want to suffer through another year of seeing Paul Janish in a Reds uniform.

You can bet no pitcher taking the mound for Cincinnati felt that way seeing him out there.

corkedbat
09-30-2011, 04:42 PM
Cozart is the starter with Janish in reserve until DiDi is ready. I like the thought of having DiGregorio's ability to hit LH'd on the roster, but it probably won't happen before next September (barring injury).

Kc61
09-30-2011, 04:50 PM
Cozart is the starter with Janish in reserve until DiDi is ready. I like the thought of having DiGregorio's ability to hit LH'd on the roster, but it probably won't happen before next September (barring injury).

If I recall, DiGregorio was a point guard.

Janish had about 330 official at bats with an OPS just over .500 if I recall.

I think he will be elsewhere next year.

TRF
09-30-2011, 05:08 PM
If I recall, DiGregorio was a point guard.

Janish had about 330 official at bats with an OPS just over .500 if I recall.

I think he will be elsewhere next year.

The year before it was 200 AB's and a .723 OPS

He's the backup.

mth123
09-30-2011, 07:37 PM
I'd go with Frazier. He can be useful every day instead of clogging a roster spot for his once in 10 day usage that a glove man would be. I'd sign a minor league vet in the Janish mold (or just designate Rojas as the emergency glove man) and stick him in AAA. If Cozart needs to be out for multiple days in a row, then I make a roster move and bring up the glove guy as the starter. But if we're not talking consecutive days, then Frazier won't build up cumulative damage to the pitching staff and provides a useful player who can play many positions and provide RH pop.

Cozart is young. Strategically placed days off (like before or after an off day) should be all the rest he needs. They aren't going to get a world beater to be a back-up so if Cozart falters or misses a lot of time, the position will be weak anyhow. May as well make the bench spot as strong and useful as possible until that happens. A guy like Carroll would be a great fit, but if he's going to soak up $3 or $4 Million of the payroll, its a luxury that this team can't afford. All expendable funds need to be earmarked for improvingthe rotation. If that requires a deal of Alonso, Votto or Bruce, then getting a middle of the order bat should be the next priority. After those spots are set, and only after those spots are set, is when the reds should be allocating anything above minimum for stuff like this.

Guacarock
09-30-2011, 09:08 PM
I'd go with Frazier. He can be useful every day instead of clogging a roster spot for his once in 10 day usage that a glove man would be. I'd sign a minor league vet in the Janish mold (or just designate Rojas as the emergency glove man) and stick him in AAA. If Cozart needs to be out for multiple days in a row, then I make a roster move and bring up the glove guy as the starter. But if we're not talking consecutive days, then Frazier won't build up cumulative damage to the pitching staff and provides a useful player who can play many positions and provide RH pop.

Cozart is young. Strategically placed days off (like before or after an off day) should be all the rest he needs. They aren't going to get a world beater to be a back-up so if Cozart falters or misses a lot of time, the position will be weak anyhow. May as well make the bench spot as strong and useful as possible until that happens. A guy like Carroll would be a great fit, but if he's going to soak up $3 or $4 Million of the payroll, its a luxury that this team can't afford. All expendable funds need to be earmarked for improvingthe rotation. If that requires a deal of Alonso, Votto or Bruce, then getting a middle of the order bat should be the next priority. After those spots are set, and only after those spots are set, is when the reds should be allocating anything above minimum for stuff like this.

I'm comfortable with Frazier being the backup along the lines of usage you have outlined. That is, if Frazier remains on the team, and isn't used this winter as trade sweetener to secure that TOR arm or middle of the order bat we might need.

If we decide to have veteran backup at SS, I want someone like Carroll, who can also play 2B, 3B, LF and RF. He made $2.3 million this season for the Dodgers, and is a free-agent this winter. Doubt he would require $3-$4 million to sign. Perhaps $2.5 million but that's OK if he gives us a high OBP guy off the bench who can be wheeled around to multiple positions. That's a more practical allocation of our financial resources than re-signing Renteria for $2.5 million, knowing he's limited to playing 2B and SS.

As for Alonso, again, I would be willing to deal him for a TOR arm, but would rather see us develop a different package for that purpose -- combining more fringe prospects like Sappelt, Frazier, Francisco, etc. If Alonso is retained and can improve his defense in LF, we might not need to spend money on a middle of the order bat. Alonso could fill that need, freeing us up to focus our attention more exclusively on the rotation and bullpen. As this season demonstrated, our offense really isn't so shabby, but our pitching isn't close to adequate yet, and needs some significant retooling.