Todd Frazier Has Earned the Job as the Cincinnati Reds' Everyday 3rd Baseman

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IMay 30, 2012

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 25: Todd Frazier #21 of the Cincinnati Reds doubles to drive in two runs to tie the game in the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Great American Ball Park on May 25, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Reds have had a very good start to the 2012 year, one which sees them in first place in the National League Central division.

They've done it behind the likes of Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce, three players that are part of the nucleus of the future of the team.

When Scott Rolen went down with an injury back on May 11, the Reds may have gotten a chance to see if they could add a fourth member to their core of the future.

Todd Frazier has been waiting in the wings to get the everyday third basemen's job behind Rolen; the same guy who has been in the big leagues for 15 years, has won a World Series ring, won multiple Gold Gloves, but in 2012, his career is looking towards the end.

Rolen was only hitting .174 at the time of the strained left shoulder injury he suffered, so a move for Dusty Baker to insert Frazier into the lineup on a more permanent basis was going to happen eventually.

Since Rolen went on the DL, Frazier has been doing the job for the first-place Reds.

Currently, the 26-year-old is hitting .278 with five home runs and 13 RBI while batting mostly from the number seven spot in the order.

With a lot of family and friends that traveled from New Jersey to see him against the Mets on May 16, Frazier made his presence in the lineup felt when he smacked two home runs at Citi Field, one of which was off Mets ace Johan Santana.

His second home run that night off reliever D.J. Carrasco was a lot more impressive as he belted it to straight center field, which put the game away at that point.

A week later against the Atlanta Braves, Frazier hit his first ever walk-off home run of his career when he hit a solo shot off Atlanta reliever Cristhian Martinez.

Four days later while playing against the Colorado Rockies, Frazier breaks and lets go of his bat while facing veteran Jaime Moyer, but instead of the ball going weakly to an infielder, it ends up five rows back into the left-field seats for a home run.

His home runs aren't even the most impressive thing he's done this week.

While on the road in Pittsburgh, Frazier performed the Heimlich Maneuver to a man choking on his meal, which ended up saving his life.

Frazier only went on the same night to have a 2-for-3 performance with a double, a triple and two RBI.

With each game he plays and with every big hit and big home run he cranks out, Frazier is earning the permanent job to start in Cincinnati.

Even if Rolen does come back healthy, at 37-years-old, he'd likely be trade bait for July's trading deadline or simply released by the team if he's not worth a roster spot.

The 26-year-old makes the Reds infield a stronger one with another power-bat addition into the lineup. Sure, Miguel Cairo might get the occasional start at third base to give him a day off or a rest.

But the third basemen's job in Cincinnati should be Frazier's to have now.

Last season, Frazier spent most of the time when he was called up as a bench player and a pinch-hitter for Baker's team that finished 79-83 and out of the playoff race.

But now with the Reds in first place, Frazier might have a chance to help this team contend for October.

He was once a hometown hero, helping the 1998 Toms River, NJ Little League team to the World Series victory over Japan at Williamsport.

As an everyday player, he may get a chance to help the Reds contend for baseball's richest prize.


    Reds Officials Disliked Larkin's 'Public Campaigning'

    Cincinnati Reds logo
    Cincinnati Reds

    Reds Officials Disliked Larkin's 'Public Campaigning'

    Dave Clark

    Reds’ Slump Has Extended to Joey Votto

    Cincinnati Reds logo
    Cincinnati Reds

    Reds’ Slump Has Extended to Joey Votto

    Jay Jaffe
    via Fangraphs

    Mets' Dream Rotation Rebuilding Hype

    MLB logo

    Mets' Dream Rotation Rebuilding Hype

    Danny Knobler
    via Bleacher Report

    The Reds Have a Baseball Unicorn

    Cincinnati Reds logo
    Cincinnati Reds

    The Reds Have a Baseball Unicorn

    Wesley Jenkins
    via Redleg Nation