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Shin-Soo Choo isn’t sure he can play center field either

Feb 11, 2013, 2:14 PM EDT

Texas Rangers v Cleveland Indians Getty Images

When the Reds acquired Shin-Soo Choo and announced that he’d be playing center field this season there was a lot of skepticism about his ability to handle the position defensively at age 30 after starting just one game there since 2007.

And it turns out Choo is skeptical too, telling John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer:

I’m not comfortable there yet. At the major league level, I played 99 percent of my games in right field. I’ll try. I’ll work on it this spring training. We’ll see how they’re thinking. If they’re not [happy], somebody else will be playing in center field. I’ll try the best I can.

Not exactly the words Reds fans probably want to hear, although Choo is right in that if the team decides he simply can’t hack it in center field they could try to move Gold Glove-winning right fielder Jay Bruce there instead.

There’s no doubt that Choo and his excellent on-base skills will provide a huge boost to the Reds’ lineup, but with either Choo or Bruce in center field and 34-year-old Ryan Ludwick in left field the outfield defense could give back a bunch of runs.

  1. paperlions - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Damn you whoever pointed out that he looks like Strutting Leo in that pic….damn you to heck.

  2. thomas844 - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    His bat more than makes up for his defensive uncertainty. Having a strikeout king in Stubbs who bats between .210-.220 doesn’t cut it even if he is a superior CF. The Cardinals in 2011 weren’t certain about Berkman playing the OF either. That seemed to work out pretty well for them.

  3. chacochicken - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Does Dusty really want Choo and his .381 OBP clogging up the base paths? Sure he’ll steal a few but maybe he can get Drew Stubbs back somehow.

  4. Old Gator - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Shin Shoo Choo?


  5. rjostewart - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    A Bruce-Hamilton-Choo outfield sounds quite nice, though…

    • stlouis1baseball - Feb 11, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      Yeah…I look for you guys to call up Hamilton on the quick.
      Especially when the CF experiment starts to rear it’s ugly head.
      Either way…it’s a win for the Redlegs.

  6. lpd1964 - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Reds fans saw enough of the strikeout machine Drew Stubbs to know Choo is a big upgrade regardless of his defense in CF.

  7. Kevin Gillman - Feb 11, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Stubbs is still young enough to turn his career around. The Indians can use his speed too in the 9 spot, and play hit and run with either Kipnis or Asdrubal Cabrera. I will miss Choo, but he wasn’t staying after this season anyway, and we essentially picked up Trevor Bauer for Choo.

  8. jwbiii - Feb 11, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    In other Choo related news

  9. unclemosesgreen - Feb 11, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    If Billy Hamilton is ready to patrol CF, he 1) can’t be worse than Stubbs, and 2) would push Choo to LF, returning Lucky Dudwick to his real position – situational bench bat.

  10. stevincinci - Feb 11, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Ludwick aint playing bench guy for 6 million a year. He’ll be the everyday LF, batting 4th. Bruce and Choo will be fine. Score more than they give up.

  11. blockedprospect - Feb 11, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    FYI, Bruce has never won a Gold Glove – the article says he has.

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