Cincinnati Reds: Have the Reds Given Up on SS Paul Janish?

Diamond NotesCorrespondent IIIDecember 17, 2011

Paul Janish, backup SS?
Paul Janish, backup SS?Joe Robbins/Getty Images

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay, Paul Janish is currently the Reds' backup shortstop, for now.

In his article "Zack Cozart healthy, rarin' to go" he wrote, "Right now, Cozart is the only shortstop with a guaranteed spot on the 25-man roster. Paul Janish is a backup for now."

If you've followed Fay at all, you have probably discovered that he appears very high on Cozart and seems to have written Janish off. Thankfully for Janish, it appears as though Reds manager Dusty Baker has not given up on him.

Last winter, when the Reds signed Edgar Renteria, both Baker and Reds general manager Walt Jocketty called Janish and expressed to him that he was their shortstop.

Janishs' struggles last season led to the Reds calling Cozart up and demoting Janish to Triple-A Louisiville.

According to Mike Bauman of MLB.com, Baker spoke highly of Janish in July and said he was one of the best-liked guys on the team.

"Paul Janish was putting a lot of pressure on himself, and his confidence was waning some. He needs to go down there and, more than anything get his confidence together. He's definitely a quality shortstop, definitely a proven shortstop, one of the best there is, I think. It's just a matter of him getting his stroke together and his confidence together," Baker said.

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Cozart performed well in his brief stint, hitting .324 with two home runs and three RBI before an elbow injury led to season-ending surgery.

Janish was called back up after Cozart went down and performed much better, hitting .321 over a 13-game stretch in September.

The shortstop position does appear to be Cozart's to lose, but according to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com Baker has not yet made that declaration.

"There's a good chance he (Cozart) is the guy," Baker said. "You reserve that little bit to see how his health is and how his arm comes out."

Sheldon also noted that Cozart had a minor surgical procedure to clean out his right ankle in September and was cleared last week to resume full baseball activity.

So, it appears as though the Reds have not given up on Janish just yet.

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