2011 Reds

If Edgar Renteria refuses to play third base…

…he needs to be designated for assignment. Immediately.

That is all.

Okay, that’s not quite all. I’m in a ranting mood. Sorry. Here’s what I wrote last night:

I noted yesterday the idiocy of moving Janish off shortstop in order to accommodate Edgar Renteria. It’s just moronic.

Well, it got worse today. In the fifth, with Cincinnati clinging to a one-run lead, Dusty Baker engineered a double-switch. Bill Bray relieved Sam LeCure, Janish moved to third, and Renteria entered as the shortstop. Someone explain to me the logic of moving your best defensive player to another position, so you can put your worst defensive player in the game — at the most important defensive position!

Two pitches later, Renteria made a terrible error on a throw, allowing the Brewers to tie the game. It’s just insanity.

If Renteria can’t play third, he has no value to this team. Because he clearly can’t play shortstop any longer.

32 thoughts on “If Edgar Renteria refuses to play third base…

  1. It quite an unprecedented thing. A team signs a back up infielder that can only play the most premium of defensive positions.

    Its almost like signing a reliever that can only pitch to start an inning.

    Moves like Renteria make me really really question Walt Jocketty, and also Dusty Baker. They have made really strange moves over the years like Josh Fogg, Corey Patterson, Willy for 2 years, Cairo (although has played decent) for 3 years now, Mike Lincoln 2 year deal after 1 year of mediocre success, and I’m probably missing something somewhere.

    Most of these deals seemed like a bad idea the moment they were made in my mind, and that is just a weird thing to see for a smaller market team. Most of those contracts were small in the grand scheme of things, but that money adds up. Just trying to remember, but thats around 17 million the last 4 seasons. Ouch.

  2. Agreed 100%. Chris Valaika is ready as an IF backup, and Frazier and Cozart are getting there. We have enough minor leaguers who will be fighting for playing time soon, we don’t need an aging, walking ultimatum. It’s beginning to sound like Renteria is not going to add much as far as value; he seems to be intent on playing full-time shortstop, despite being warned that he would not start. And Baker is going with it, unfortunately. Even though clubhouse chemistry is overvalued, he is very harmful on that front…

  3. I actually kinda like ER, but his refusal to play 3B is mind-boggling.

  4. Instead of framing it as “if Renteria refuses to play third” I’d say, “if Renteria can’t play third” then I would DFA him. He’s a wasted roster space on the team.

    Renteria just isn’t the player he used to be, either as a hitter or in the field. There was ample evidence of this before the Reds signed him. The Giants, for whom he was a post-season hero, refused to make him an offer to return.

    The double-switch yesterday was double-stupid because the relief pitcher, Bill Bray, who was brought in did not stay to pitch a second inning. The Reds should have just pinch hit for him and left Janish at SS.

    The Reds will never admit their mistake and release him mid-season. See Willy Taveras.

    If they release him, it will be an admission that their off-season efforts were basically worthless. Not that there is any doubt about that.

  5. It’s almost like it isnt an offseason if the Reds cant find a way to spend 3 million dollars on a bad player.

  6. Baker is lucky the Reds’ beat writers are such pushovers they would never ask him to explain the double switch or about Renteria’s obvious defensive deficiencies. I guess it is *remotely* possible that Cairo had looked so bad on his previous whiff in the field that Baker thought he was strengthening the defense. That would be a sad situation, if true.

    You really have to hold your breath every time a ball is hit to Renteria at short.

  7. @Steve: Yeah. I don’t get it with the Cincy press. They question nothing. Even when it obviously begs the question – “Why (in the hell) did you do THAT?”….Are they all just happy to be there?…Willing to write fluff pieces and tow the party line as long as they keep getting the access to hang around Dusty like they are one of the guys?
    …I’m not a Dusty hater; Although he does leave me scratching my head pretty often…But some of the things he does in game management situations…If you are a ‘Reporter’ – You have GOT to ask him why.

  8. I totally understand the Renteria signing, but it has blown up in their faces. They were gambling he could still be proficient at SS, and he can’t. They hoped he would be a good bat off the bench, and MAYBE he still can. But the third base thing is a dealbreaker. It would be one thing if we weren’t down to our 3rd string right now, but this is an extreme situation and the guy won’t even TRY. In my mind I can’t fathom why he wouldn’t TRY. The only explanation is ego. if he really does think he would be worse at third base, which makes no sense at all, then he’s afraid of being exposed and tarnishing his reputation. But he’s already DOING that with his play at SS. And if that’s just a cheap excuse, then he is just bristling at not being the everyday starter at SS and pouting like a spoiled child by refusing to be used in any other role.

    His championship credentials could have been a really great asset to this young clubhouse. I’m of the mind that the post-season meltdown last year was pretty much completely a case of a young team being there for the first time, and that’s to be expected. Jocketty made a move to bring in a veteran backup with a TON of post season experience to help bolster them. If he would just show the SLIGHTEST amount of modesty and poise by helping the team in a tough spot right now, he could have been a good signing. As it is, I don’t want him around the young guys. He’s a bad influence.

  9. @Furniture City Red: Part of it is that Baker has such thin skin about any question that challenges one of his decisions. The reporters know that even a basic strategy question will likely lead to an uncomfortable exchange, so they avoid it.

  10. I think the majority forget that ER brings to this team something more then just a aging fielder…he is a WS MVP, he is a playoff vet who brings leadership and such and you can’t put a price or real “value” on that.

  11. I totally agree. It was less conspicuous with Francisco/Rolen active, but to be forced to move Janish over there screams ER’s selfishness, which isn’t exactly the type of leadership I want to see on this team again. Since it didn’t cost the Reds the game, I can say I’m happy that the decision yesterday immediately “proved” stupid by Edgar’s error that tied the game. Don’t get me wrong, I was ok with his signing as a backup plan should Janish get hurt/falter but this is the problem with MLB’s guaranteed contracts. If his paycheck may be affected, I wonder if he would be more willing to fill in at 3b during this stretch where our 1st two 3b-men are out. As it stands, he gets paid either way and it sure seems he values himself over the team in this instance.

  12. @dn4192: The veteran leadership thing again? Come on! We’ve got Rolen, Cairo, Hernandez, Cordero…Baker, Hatcher, Jacoby, Speier…Not to mention young guys on the team like Votto who lead by example by showing up everyday and doing their job.

    I think we would have been just fine – Probably better – without the ‘real value’ ER brings.

  13. Random thought.

    Willis doesn’t have an out clause, but he’s pitching well. 2 questions:

    1. Can the Reds trick anyone into trading for him? What could they reasonably get for him?
    2. Will he be on the major league roster soon? It seems to me that he has more value as a starter than a releiver. There shouldn’t be undue pressure to bring him up because of lack of clause right?

  14. Let’s not exaggerate Renteria’s post-season value. The 2010 Giants, the team that got to see him play all last year, judged him to be so ‘valuable’ that he didn’t start a single game in the NL Divisional Series vs. the Braves.

    If it wasn’t for the total collapse of 3B Pablo Sandoval, which forced SS Juan Uribe to play 3B (imagine, a veteran SS moving to 3B), Renteria would have stayed on the bench throughout the Giants playoff run.

    The same bench where he sat most of last year.

  15. I found a quote from Renteria from spring training where he indicated a willingness to play 3B if Baker asked him to.

    “I took a lot of ground balls last year at second base, just in case,” Renteria said. “You guys know my position is shortstop, but I will play whatever the skipper wants me to play.”

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/print.jsp?ymd=20110218&content_id=16677956&notebook_id=16677962&c_id=cin

    I do think Baker played a significant role in Renteria not even trying 3B in the spring. Baker’s design was for Renteria to eventually replace Paul Janish at SS, so he wanted Renteria to focus on SS.

  16. I think what bothers me most is the fact that Dusty showed that he doesn’t know what a double switch is for. It should be used so that you don’t have to hit for the pitcher in the bottom of the inning, with the assumption that you plan on using him more than just that inning. If you don’t use him for more than just that inning, then you should just pitch hit for him in the next half inning. The fact that brey threw 5 pitches to get two outs and still was pulled the next inning is beyond baffling.

  17. Also, I think the “refusal to play 3B” is unfounded. Did he actually refuse, or does Baker refuse to use him there?

  18. @theybege: @theybege:

    They batted around to Brays spot in the order after the double switch.

    Dusty then used his last infielder to PH. Which also brought up a case where he chose to go RH/RH and use his last Infielder while having Hermida, and Heisey still as an option.

    Weird managing the last few nights from Baker.

  19. If the 3B prospects aren’t really that good, how about moving Phillips to 3rd and bringing up a 2B prospect? Is Hamilton ready for a try at the big league level yet?

    This way, SoftJ’s glove stays in the game. I’ll bet Phillips OPS is better than the average NL 3B, so it’s not a hit to the line-up, and I imagine he could field pretty well at 3rd.

    • If the 3B prospects aren’t really that good, how about moving Phillips to 3rd and bringing up a 2B prospect? Is Hamilton ready for a try at the big league level yet?

      I’d be reluctant to move a gold glover out of a middle infield position. While he could probably play 3rd, it’d be hurting the defense to move him away from 2B or SS.

      Hamilton plays short, but he’s only in Low A right now. He’s got plenty of learning to do just yet.

    • If the 3B prospects aren’t really that good, how about moving Phillips to 3rd and bringing up a 2B prospect? Is Hamilton ready for a try at the big league level yet?

      With all due respect, it’s comments like these that rival the “Bruce to AAA” one as proof that the average fan has no business running baseball decisions. Thankfully – what a wreck that would be.

  20. I’m down in Florida and watch all the Reds games and read the enquirer. I must have missed RR saying he wouldn’t play 3rd, I didn’t think he had that kind of leverage. I love Cairo as the utility man. I dont think anybody could have done a better job last year when Joey went out than he did. I like him better at third than the “big free first pitch swinging Francisco” Janish is one of if not the best def ss in the national league right now. He’s also hitting ok. Why is he not like B-Phillips and just pencied in everyday. I like the fact that Dusty gets his new batting order in his sleep….really Dusty? I’m thinking some of us on here can dream a lineup or two. That being said the team is grinding and as soon as the pitching comes around (and it will) we’ll tear off a nice win streak!

  21. @Steve: didnt the reds swallow a few million dollars on mike stanton a few years ago? i know it was a washed up middle reliever.

  22. @Redgoggles:
    Speak for yourself. Your comment doesn’t sound all that respectful to me. Fact is, the Reds are moving a top notch fielder from SS when Janish plays 3rd and replacing him with a guy that can’t cover much ground or contribute with his bat.

    By the way, the Reds moved Pete Rose from 2nd to 3rd when Tommy Helms came up. They had the same problem back then – no good prospects to play 3rd base.

    • By the way, the Reds moved Pete Rose from 2nd to 3rd when Tommy Helms came up. They had the same problem back then – no good prospects to play 3rd base

      Rose moved to left field when the Reds moved Helms to 2B. Helms was switched from 3B to allow Tony Perez (who probably should be considered a good prospect) to play 3B.

  23. @MikeC:

    Sorry for the offense, but moving a Gold Glove All Star 2nd baseman to cover a few weeks (hopefully) of a vacancy at 3rd base and bringing up a FIRST YEAR SINGLE A player is as knee-jerk as sending Bruce to AAA one month into the season. (Probably worse, honestly.) The whole point of this thread is the disagreement with moving Janish to 3rd over Renteria because it weakens 2 positions defensively. BP to 3rd does that even worse.

  24. @Steve:
    The Reds initially moved Rose to 3rd when Helms came up. Rose, who was an All-Star 2b the year before, objected to the move. The Reds soon swapped Helms and Rose between 3rd and 2nd. The next year, Perez was put at 3rd, Helms moved back to 2nd and Rose to LF.

    Several years later, when Rose moved from LF to 3B so George Foster could play LF, Rose was asked why it made sense then when it had not earlier in his career. I don’t remember Rose’s exact quote, but his answer was basically that he was not mature enough to accept the change when he was younger.

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