The Utility Player: Pujols, Youk, Frazier and More

Well, it took Miguel Cairo hitting the disabled list, but many a Reds fan saw their wish come true this past week when Todd Fraizer received the call-up from Louisville to join the Reds. Yesterday, Frazier was inserted in the starting lineup playing third. It wasn’t a successful return to the Reds roster, but it sure was good seeing Todd in a Reds uni once more.

If you’re wondering if Frazier will see more than just this one game as a starter, I have a feeling we may see him at least one more time before another decision will need to be made.

One thing that I felt would stand in his way of maintaining his sport on the 25-man was the fact that Willie Harris is a lefty hitter. While the move that sent Frazier to Louisville was the claiming of Alfredo Simon off waivers, I honestly believe it will be the success or failure of Harris that could define Frazier’s “longevity”.

Frazier’s not a switch-hitter, is he? Didn’t think so, and that’s too bad because if any position player deserved a spot on the 25-man roster coming out of spring training, it was Frazier.

Youk and Bobby V.

By now, most of the smoke should be settled over Fenway between Cincinnati’s own Kevin Youkilis and Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. There was something about being physically and emotionally invested…

Well, I know that when it comes to being emotionally invested, it’s harder to find a player more invested on that front than Youk. Physically, who’s to say. Only Youkilis honestly knows the answer to that. And I would never doubt his opinion of that.

Almost as soon as this news of this verbal sparring infiltrated the sports scene, as most things do when the Red Sox are involved, there were comments from some fans about Youk coming back home. (Note: After reading this, check out Scott Rolen Worthy of Hall of Fame Consideration?” href=”http://blogredmachine.com/2012/04/20/is-scott-rolen-worthy-of-hall-of-fame-consideration/” target=”_blank”>John Heitz’s take on the potential for Rolen to be a Hall of Famer.)

My question would be in one word…why?

Money? Youk is in the final year of his current deal which will see him make $12 million. There is also a team option for $13 million ($1 million buyout) for 2013. Scott Rolen is due $6.5 million for 2012 and is in the final year of his deal. The money issue alone points to keeping Rolen.

Age? Youkilis is four years the junior of Rolen. Youk is 33. Rolen is 37.

What you may gain in offense with Youkilis, you will lose in defense. You may say “Hey! Youk has a Gold Glove!” That was in 2007 when Youkilis played first. We all know he won’t be moving there. Plus, we all know how much defense is valued by the front office…whether we agree with that or not.

Leadership? Ah. This is one that could be construed as a toss-up. No question Youkilis carries a bit of clout in the Red Sox clubhouse. Roeln holds a his fair share among the Reds players as well.

It’s not a simple matter of “take your pick”. What we also have to scan is the list of third basemen that are potential free agents after 2012…

Geoff Blum, Miguel Cairo, Brandon Inge *, Maicer Izturis, Chipper Jones *, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Placido Polanco *, Mark Reynolds *, Mark Teahen, Ty Wigginton *, David Wright *, Kevin Youkilis *

Chipper’s going to retire. David Wright? The Mets hold a $16 million option for 2013 ($1 million buyout), but with their salary purging, it’s possible.  It may not be plausible as Wright may seek a long-term deal in a neighborhood the Reds may not be able to afford especially in light of the recent signings.

And look to what the Reds hold within the organization…including Todd Frazier. I suppose it depends on your comfort level.

Pujols and the Reds

Surely by now you’ve heard this one.

Steve Berthiaume of ESPN recently told Grantland’s Jonah Keri that the Reds were looking to sign Albert Pujols. When Albert elected for the west coast, the Reds decided to give the money to Joey Votto.

(link to podcast)

I find this a little curious. I also find GM Walt Jocketty’s reaction a little telling. Well, very telling. (via John Fay)

“It would be different if came from a credible source,” Jocketty said. “Someone played it for me. Even the guy with him, tried to blow it off.”

It’s times like this I love WJ…


Jamie Moyer: The guy’s not that much older than me (did I just admit to that?) and he picks up the “W” to become the oldest player to record a win in a major league game, 49 years and 150 days. Moyer missed all of 2011 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He appeared on the MLB map again this spring and won a spot on the Colorado Rockies rotation. Do you think Bobby V. would question his emotional and physical investment?

Pat Summitt: After 38 years as the head coach of the Lady Vols, Summitt hands over her whistle to assistant Holly Warlick to look over the women hoops program. After 1,098 wins and dealing with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type, Summitt decided to step down…but she won’t be too far away. She will hold the title of “head coach emeritus”. Summitt was also notified last week that she would be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor a civilian can hold. Her list of accomplishments are exceptionally long and she changed the way colleges and universities view money and women’s athletics.

Curtis Granderson: Three home runs in his first three AB? 5-for-5?

FWIW: NFL Schedules

Earlier this week, the NFL revealed their 2012 schedules. It’s April. Do we honestly need a three-hour “program” so that all the dissecting of such is worth, in a word, nothing? I know there are probably some hardcore NFL fans that enjoyed it.

I would rather (by far) watch a baseball game.


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Tags: Albert Pujols Baseball Cincinnati Reds Jamie Moyer Kevin Youkilis MLB Pat Summitt Todd Frazier

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