Minors report: No quit in Janish
Reds prospect has overcome freak elbow injury
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Fortunes can turn on a dime for a Minor Leaguer, and turn again almost as quick.
Reds infield prospect Paul Janish certainly knows that.
While playing for Class A Dayton on June 8, 2005, Janish (pronounced YAH-nish) was running out a ground ball when a bad throw forced a collision between him and the first baseman. He injured his elbow as a result and needed season-ending Tommy John elbow surgery to replace his ligament.
"The injury was just a freak deal and there was not a whole lot you could do about it," Janish said.
Fortunately for Janish, the injury didn't derail his development. He returned in 2006 and earned two promotions. First, the Houston-area native batted .398 with five homers in 26 games at Dayton. In 91 games at high Class A Sarasota, he batted .278 with nine homers and 55 RBIs. The season ended with a final jump to Double-A Chattanooga.
"All in all, looking back at it, it couldn't have worked out any better," Janish said. "I kind of got back on the map with a solid year. Hopefully, I can do it again."
During the winter, the Reds rewarded the 2004 fifth-round draft pick with a non-roster invite to big-league camp.
"It's kind of cool being around [Alex] Gonzalez and [Juan] Castro and those guys known for being so stellar defensively," Janish said. "I think just being around those guys, you realize the separation is not that big. I don't have any choice but to get better."
On the move: In two games this spring, right-hander Brad Salmon has looked sharp with two scoreless innings. Salmon, who throws in the low-to-mid 90s, has impressed the club with his power stuff and could have a chance to earn a bullpen spot. Salmon pitched at Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville last season and was added to the 40-man roster over the winter.
Name in the game: Former Reds reliever Ted Power is now entering his second season as pitching coach for Triple-A Louisville. Power had a 14-year big league career, including two stints with Cincinnati (1983-87, 1991).
They're No. 1: In his first spring start on Sunday vs. the Pirates, Homer Bailey allowed three earned runs and three hits over two innings. He walked one and struck out one. Bailey was the Reds' first-round draft pick (seventh overall) in 2004.
Class of '06: Shortstop Chris Valaika, the Reds' third-round draft pick last year, batted .324 with eight home runs and 60 RBIs in 70 games with rookie level Billings in his first pro season. Valaika is in Reds Minor League camp for the first time.
What they're saying: "He's been impressive. He's got great hands. He has a true accurate throwing arm. He's made all the plays." -- Reds bench/infield coach Bucky Dent, on Janish's ability in camp.