March 7, 2011

The Daily Brief: Dusty Baker Has Two Shortstops; And He Has a Plan

Last Game
The Cincinnati Reds showed the Chicago Cubs who was boss yesterday, as the Reds beat the Cubs 10-0. Paul Janish and Edgar Renteria were both among the offensive heroes, with Renteria starting at second base. Johnny Cueto and Francisco Cordero showed sharp command that one hopes they don’t lose before the season begins. Me, I’m looking forward to the next time the Reds and Cubs meet, because the Red Hot Family will be there in person to see it.

Next Game
Today the Reds host the Milwaukee Brewers, with Homer Bailey going against Yovani Gallardo. The first pitch is scheduled for 3:05pm EST. This game will also be televised by Fox Sports Ohio.

Baker’s Shortstop Plan
In light of Edgar Renteria starting at second base today (while Paul Janish started at shortstop), beat reporter John Fay interviewed Reds manager Dusty Baker about how he plans to use Renteria.

Baker said it’s merely an emergency plan. It sounds like the bulk of Renteria’s time will come at shortstop.

“As long as Brandon (Phillips is) healthy, whoever plays behind Brandon is not going to play a lot,” Baker said. “But what if something happens to Brandon. Renteria is going to play some at shortstop, too. How much he plays depends on how (Paul) Janish plays.”

Renteria is not in the mix for time at third base.

That last bit has to set the Baker-sense a-tingling. Baker has been consistent in his position that Janish is the shortstop. I hope he’s willing to give Janish time to play through if he struggles much like he did for Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs last year. The team will be better if Baker doesn’t fall back into his veteran-playing habits.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
The Reds have improved their record each of the past four years. They won 72 games in 2007, 74 in 2008, 78 in 2009, and 91 in 2010.

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