Originally Posted by Kc61
Donald had a .690 OPS in 2010 and a .765 in 2011. While he had a bad year in 2012, I think the Reds will give him the spot for middle infielder. These are numbers that Izturis hasn't approached in many years (he did hit .710 OPS, but in 2004).
With Cozart and Phillips such fine defenders, I don't see the need for a no-hit, good field guy as a backup. I think the Reds probably learned their lesson with Janish/Valdez. With a five man bench, have players who hit a little.
Now, if Cozart should get hurt, all bets are off, and Izturis could get quite a lot of playing time. I just think Donald will be deemed the better choice for the bench while Cozart and Phillips are starting most every day.
Again, I am not arguing that Izturis is a better hitter than Donald. Just that either Izturis or Donald are likely the fourth or fifth bats off the bench. I think we can both agree that they are competing for the spot vacated by Wilson Valdez. Wilson Valdez got a whopping 15 PAs as a PH last year. Even though Donald is likely a slightly better hitter than Valdez, he is still not going to get a ton of PAs off the bench.
I think I would rather have a much better glove than a barely bat out of my backup middle infielder. The better glove would not be used as a defensive replacement for Phillips or Cozart, but rather as a helper to pitchers when Cozart and maybe Phillips need a day off. I am not sure Donald (or anyone else on the 25 man roster you propose) can play an average defensive shortstop when Cozart needs a day off. Izturis will give an above average defensive performance on those days off. Remember Zack had 24 games off last year and we will need someone to start shortstop when Dusty inevitably gives him a rest.