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Paul Janish: Defensive Shortstop Provides Perfect Stopgap for Atlanta Braves

PEORIA, AZ - MARCH 06:  Infielder Paul Janish #7 (R) of the Cincinnati Reds gets the force out on Chone Figgins #9 of the Seattle Mariners during the spring training game at Peoria Stadium on March 6, 2012 in Peoria, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2012

Paul Janish isn't ever going to be an All-Star, but he does what every shortstop must do. He defends.

The Atlanta Braves desperately needed someone to fill the void caused by Andrelton Simmons' broken finger. Janish provided an easy and affordable solution. ESPN broke the news on Saturday:

The Atlanta Braves acquired shortstop Paul Janish in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, and manager Fredi Gonzalez said Janish will be in the lineup when veteran pitcher Ben Sheets makes his first start of the season Sunday against the New York Mets.

Atlanta sent minor league right-hander Todd Redmond to Cincinnati for Janish, who has a .981 fielding percentage in 283 career games at shortstop.

ESPN later mentions Tyler Pastornicky as another possible solution to their shortstop issues, but his flawed defense is mentioned as a concern.

That's exactly what makes Janish a perfect fit. He's a four-year veteran who makes the necessary plays. He doesn't swing a big bat, but defense is the No. 1 priority when you're searching for shortstops.

Janish is a career .221 hitter. He has hit only seven home runs in 872 career at bats, and he only has 70 career RBI, but that's not why Atlanta needs him. Simmons provided solid defense, and they can't let that disappear.

The Braves didn't need to add a long-term solution. Simmons and Pastornicky are both still developing, but Janish will provide stability at a cost-efficient price. For a team with few flaws, that's what matters most.

Janish isn't a sexy pickup. People probably won't remember that the Braves made this move by the time September rolls around, but they will notice that Simmons' absence wasn't incredibly damaging.

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