Another Cincinnati Reds Crisis: Paul Janish Pipping Orlando Cabrera?

Illya Harrell@illya_1971Analyst IIAugust 19, 2010

HOUSTON - JULY 24:  Third baseman Paul Janish #7 of the Cincinnati Reds comes up short on ball hit down the line against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on July 24, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

What does a team do with so many talented starting pitchers? Uber-rookie Mike Leake has already been relegated to bullpen duty.

The Reds just plain have too many talented starting pitchers. And now this?

Paul Janish trying to Wall Pipp the shortstop position?

When Orlando Cabrera (The O.C.) landed on the DL on August 3rd with a strained oblique, Janish took his spot in the lineup as the everyday shortstop.

The O.C. has been a great clubhouse addition. He's always loose and joking around at opportune moments—teams need veteran guys like The O.C.

It's not The O.C.'s fault, but in baseball years, he is approaching elderly status. Worse, his production at the dish is finally starting to show at an ugly tune of a .302 on-base-percentage.

The O.C.'s defensive skills (even though he has lost a step) are still top-notch.  Especially turning a 4-6-3, not sure there is a guy who gets rid of the ball quicker in the league.

If there is a true baseball fan out there who does not appreciate the way Brandon Phillips picks it, shoots it over to The O.C., who then guns it to Joey Votto, well, it's a safe bet that they are a Cardinals' fan.

Along comes Paul Janish.

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All winter long Janish thought the shortstop job was his to lose. Even entering Spring Training he thought the same.

Out of nowhere, The O.C. was signed at the beginning of Spring Training. Rendering Janish as annoying background noise. The O.C. is a solidified veteran. A former two-time Gold Glover with a better stick than Janish—or so popular theory had it.


On August 2nd, The O.C. strained his oblique swinging into a double play.

On August 3rd, Janish began the Wally Pipping process.

One may look at Janish's 43 at-bats as a small sample size—which it is—but those 43 ABs constitute just over 40 percent of his season total.

Entering the August 3rd contest versus the Pirates, Janish had a grand total of 63 ABs. Or around 12 a month.

In his 43 ABs from August 3rd to August 17th, Janish has been hitting at a .302 clip. His on-base-percentage is .362. Slugging? .488, that's an .850 OPS. 

In the 12 games Janish has played since The O.C. went down, he nailed two home runs in 43 at-bats.

The O.C. has gone deep three times in the whole of 2010, or 416 ABs.

Another standout stat is their comparative strikeout rates: Janish one per every 15.77 ABs, The O.C. one per every 9.6 ABs.

You're probably sitting there saying to yourself, "Well, Illya, screw mainstream media, YOU are the new voice of the Reds!"

But pertaining to this article, you're probably questioning Janish's defensive skills at short against the former Gold Glover.

Janish is as slick as they come at short. A very strong case could be made that his D is better than The O.C.'s—not knocking The O.C. at all. Janish is simply that good.

He has better range and a slightly stronger arm with the same pinpoint accuracy.

Still on the D.L., The O.C. is starting to swing the bat again. Likely meaning his return is imminent.

Reds' skipper Dusty Baker has long been known as a guy that will not allow a player to beat out another while he is on the DL.

By playing so well in the heat of a pennant race, Janish is making Dusty's normal stance quite difficult.

What if Miller Huggins had never replaced Pipp with some guy named Lou Gehrig back in 1925?


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