03/23/2005

McCoy on Stratton

McCoy’s notes column today is full of shock that Stratton got sent down. The funny thing, though, is that McCoy sees it as a choice of Jason Romano over Stratton:

The club used the stock answer used to explain so many demotions of players who paste good numbers in the box score but get demoted … he needs at-bats.

Said general manager Dan O’Brien, “We told Rob he had done everything he could do in camp. When it gets down to that 25th roster spot, it comes down to being the individual who can fill that role.”

In other words, the Reds weren’t looking for a 275-pound power-hitting outfielder, preferring to keep — for the moment — 185-pound outfielder Jason Romano, hitting .250 this spring after hitting .154 in 22 games with the Reds last year.

Jeez. It isn’t often that I’m less cynical than McCoy, and I’ve certainly never been one to defend the likes of Jason Romano. BUT, I tend to agree with O’Brien. First, I’ve never heard even a hint that Romano makes the club going north, barring injury. As is posted below, the last job is between Cruz or the loser of the Valentin/Estallela battle for backup catcher (i.e. Cruz or a 3rd catcher).

IMO, they need a lefty off the bench, and Cruz has done well pinch-hitting before, so if Valentin gets beat out for the backup spot (which sounds like what’s going to happen), I’d send him down (contract extension notwithstanding). Not sure if he has options.