Originally Posted by Edd Roush
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.
Donald's more than slightly better than Izturis at the plate. He's about .150 OPS points better. Izturis is a sub-Castro hitter these days, and at age 33 I wouldn't expect anything special from his glove.
Technically the Reds can only keep one of them on the major league roster (assuming a seven-man pen, which is becoming standard practice) and I'd vastly prefer it be Donald. Izturis should be competing with Burriss in AAA to be the guy who gets the call if Cozart gets injured.