Pittsburgh and Votto followup
Reds lineup vs. Pirates
*Getting back to the hot button issue of the week and some hopefully final thoughts…let’s end the comparisons of Joey Votto not moving to LF for Yonder Alonso to Albert Pujols playing 3B earlier this season for the Cardinals or Joe Mauer’s start in RF last night for the Twins
Apples and oranges.
Pujols’ move was temporary because the Cardinals were in a pinch without David Freese. He also came up as a third baseman so it wasn’t entirely foreign. Yet in those seven games and four starts, he committed three errors in 17 chances. Not exactly robust, eh?
As for Mauer, the Twins were in a real big shorthanded situation last night. Three of their outfielders were injured. Another guy had a family leave. Someone they called up from the Minors had a flight issue and missed the game. Mauer is a former three-sport star in high school and a great athlete.
I would imagine had the Reds been in real peril, Votto would move anywhere they asked him for a night. Just like a pitcher would play the outfield in a 19 inning game or Paul Janish would pitch mop up in a blowout. Let’s just move on.
*Also in my Votto story last night, I made a mistake and should own up to it. I said that he made clear he would explore free agency when signing his three-year contract in January. He did not say or articulate that. What I should have said is the three-year deal, which ends in 2013 when he’d be eligible for the first, was a clear signal he’d explore free agency. Big difference. I apologize for the foul up.
*Speaking of Janish and being shorthanded, I was reading the game story comments (I actually do that sometimes) and saw I was hammered for using that term, shorthanded, as the Reds did not pinch-hit for Janish in the sixth inning with two outs and two on while down 1-0. I repeat, they were down by a 1-0 score.
Miguel Cairo has one inning at shortstop last season and a total of 14 innings logged over 4 games since 2009. Todd Frazier hasn’t played shortstop since 2008 at Class A Sarasota. In a 1-0 game, you want the most important infield spot covered by someone not comfortable there for 3-4 innings? This isn’t Little League. It’s just not simple to put a dude there and expect instant defense. Obviously, in the ninth inning when things were a little more desperate, lifting Janish was the right thing to do.
*And incidentally, Dusty Baker planned to use Cairo at SS and either Ramon Hernandez or Frazier at 3B.
*Moving back to the present and future, don’t forget that Saturday’s game was switched to a 4:11 p.m. ET start because it’s on FOX.