From Chris Kahrl
Notionally, swapping out Abad for QMcC is about adding "outfield depth" in Ken Griffey Jr.'s absence, but that involves a suspension of disbelief more than a little bit beyond anyone's capacity for gullibility. McCracken really does nothing well at this point, offering no threat to opposing pitchers or balls seeking a cozy spot in the outfield grass, his capacity to surprise Adam Wainwright not excepted. The convenient development is that it looks like the Reds' solution is to use Griffey's absence as the easy way to get Ryan Freel into the lineup. The interesting thing is that the Reds do not seem like they're predisposed to make that a situation in which Tony Womack gets even a lion's share of playing time at second. Instead, they're putting Brandon Phillips to work, and they do still also have to find at-bats for Rich Aurilia. Who knows, it might actually all add up, although I think there's an argument to be made for having Chris Denorfia up for everyday work in Griffey's absence, with Freel playing second most days, and Phillips getting a pair of starts per week at second and short. Stick Womack in the McCracken slot as the token speedy pinch-hitter, and keep Abad around in Griffey's absence as the pinch-hitter with some sock. Still, all in all, it's a promising distribution of playing time, despite McCracken's existence.