My position has never included the need to consider Jimenez' merits off the bench. As recently as May 8th, Sean Casey was referring to Jimenez as a "spark" off the bench, but that's immaterial.Originally Posted by johngalt
D'Angelo Jimenez is an above-average MLB starting Second Baseman. He has been since the moment he put on a Reds uniform. He ranked 7th among MLB starting 2B in offensive value last season. He was better than that while in a Reds uniform the year before and he would have finished right around there had he stayed on the field this year. After a slow start, his April OPS was .763. The guy was producing when Miley and O'Brien decided they didn't need him anymore.
If Jimenez was complaining about playing time, he had every reason to do so. If our logic is that above-average players are expendable because of other above-average players on the team, then the Reds might as well just dump Kearns when Pena comes back because Austin's complained about playing time as well.
Ryan Freel's ability to play 2B isn't any more material a thing than his ability to play 3B. He'll play either with the same result defensively. It's pretty much impossible to position Freel as making Jimenez expendable unless we include Joe Randa as being similarly expendable. The Reds could have not signed Randa, kept Jimenez, and plopped Freel at 3B and they'd have been just fine. Instead, they've no simply dumped an above-average MLB starter on the scrap heap while he's performing. That's not a smart thing to do. In fact, I'd love for someone to find me five examples of similar in-season moves by any team or teams from the past 20 years.
And now we've got a kid (who's nowhere near ready) manning the position. Oh, he'll smile and he'll work hard and he'll get bat on ball and Miley will gush and George Grande will burst at the seams with enthusiasm. But that kid will also hurt the team with his performance as Dave Miley's newest Out Machine thrown into the 2-slot with no reason whatsoever. And now we've got another guy coming off the bench who's only value is that we can, when he plays the field, have the oddity of a Lopez to Lopez force Out at 2B. Yay.
Net gain= negative. Didn't "fix" anything. The Reds have the same issues they did when Jimenez was in the clubhouse. Same issues they'll have going forward. They're now worse offensively without the guy. And their pitching is just as bad. Go figure.