Cincinnati Reds backup shortstop Edgar Renteria has not had what you would call a good 2011. His batting average is .219, he gets on only 30% of the time, and his slugging is at .246. Between him and starter Paul Janish, the Reds are sporting one of the worst shortstop tandems in all of baseball.
The Internets have a solution, though: Free Zach Cozart.
Cozart plays shortstop for the AAA Louisville Bats, and he’s been doing well. In contrast to Renteria and Janish, Cozart seems to be able to actually hit. So far this year, he’s batting .318, getting on base 36% of the time, and has a slugging percentage of .496. His defense seems solid, too.
These facts have people clamoring for the release of Renteria and the call-up of Cozart. And it does make a certain amount of sense. The team has been getting no offense from the shortstop. In my opinion, great defense is an excuse for no offense at that position, but when there’s an alternative, there is logic in trying it.
Reds beat writer John Fay talked to general manager Walt Jocketty about it.
I asked Walt Jocketty Saturday if Cozart’s play was about to force the issue. “We’re not at that point yet,” he said.
Jocketty has always been a patient GM. But with the .500 ball the Reds have been playing all year–in no small part to a hit or miss offense–I hope he doesn’t miss “that point” before it’s too late.