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Dusty Baker isn’t looking to add youngsters to the mix

Jun 6, 2011, 5:53 PM EDT

dusty baker toothpick AP

The Reds are getting a .216/.311/.371 line from their left fielders and a .231/.282/.265 line from their shortstops, but manager Dusty Baker doesn’t think it makes sense to bring up Yonder Alonso, Todd Frazier or Zack Cozart at the moment.

“We chose this team for a reason,” Baker told the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay.  “That’s a very good Triple-A team down there. Whatever you do, it’s something with the guys who are here. You don’t pull the plug on those guys right now. It’s too early for that.”

Two months in doesn’t necessarily seem too early, especially with the Reds struggling lately and playing .500 ball overall.  Alonso is hitting .324/.381/.519 while playing mostly left field for Louisville.  Frazier, who was up for one day last month, is hitting .280/.362/.514.  He’s played mostly third base, but he’s started 12 games in left field when Alonso has played first base.  Cozart is batting .294/.336/.446 as the everyday shortstop.

Meanwhile, the Reds’ left fielders rank 13th among the NL’s 16 teams in OPS, while the team’s shortstops are dead last.

I’m not going to slam Baker here.  None of those Triple-A players are sure things, and if the Reds do decide to make a change in left field, they might well be better off just giving the job to Chris Heisey.  Cozart is a better hitter than Paul Janish, and there’s a good argument for giving him Edgar Renteria‘s roster spot.  However, I wouldn’t count on him posting a .700 OPS in the majors and Janish is a terrific defender.

Since they play in the NL Central, the Reds can hold out for now.  Maybe they will consider changes in a couple of weeks if no one steps up in the left field mix and if Janish continues to slump.

  1. spudchukar - Jun 6, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    Matt, All cogent stances, except for the penultimate sentence. With both the Cards and Brewers streaking, and the Pirates nipping at their heels, I’m not sure playing in the NL Central is reason for patience.

  2. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 6, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    I am not surprised he said this. He has never made a secret of not playing young guys, except to blow their arms out on the pitching mound.

  3. Andrew - Jun 6, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    Looks like royalsfaninfargo beat me. I was going to say, “Has Dusty Baker ever wanted to use his younger players in lieu of veterans?”

  4. sisqsage - Jun 6, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    Dusty didnt’t develop one young position player in all of his years with the Giants. Stubborn as a mule.

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