Re: Henry Rodriguez Update (Espn.com)
It wouldn't shock me to see the Reds drop Phillips after this season, saving the $12 million for a TOR pitcher/ cleanup hitter in the lineup. (Part of me thinks Ubaldo and Beltran are added.) Valaika, Janish, perhaps Kris Negron, Cody Puckett, a minor league free agent, and the ageless wonder that is Miguel split 2B among them until Rodriguez is ready at the halfway point of the season.
Rodriguez can certainly play the position. He has above average tools for a 2B pretty much across the board. He will hit with pop and has a decent hit tool. His arm is good, range can be solid, and speed is solid. If he were to come up at the All Star break in 2012, I'd expect a line of 270/330/400 with defense league average, maybe a little below.
But he has been known to vapor lock and his work ethic has also been questioned. That won't fly with Jocketty or the Red veterans.
One off the wall suggestion might be to be really aggressive with Torreyes this year and next. A move to Bakersfield before the end of the year (depending on how Dayton is in the playoff race), then another move to AA at the start of next season might see the young hitter as an option out of either Spring Training or later in the year. (Jocketty has been aggressive in that area, taking really untested guys if he thinks they're the best choice.) That would give the Reds a defender as good as Phillips. (Yeah, I said that.) His bat would be the interesting item, but, as a likely eighth place hitter, it wouldn't have to be much. I think he could go 240/300/350 or better while playing Gold Glove caliber defense.
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