July 7, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Cesar Izturis (3) turns a double play against the Houston Astros in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park. The Astros defeated the Brewers 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Cesar Izturis: What Does He Bring to the Cincinnati Reds Table?

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According to Mark Sheldon the Reds have signed journeyman infielder Cesar Izturis to a minor league deal and have given him an invitation to Spring Training. The Queen City is the ninth stop during the 12-year career of the 32-year old Venezuelan.

His career line is .255/.294/.323 which will strike fear in the hearts of absolutely nobody. He is signed as a form of “…competition, mainly defensively and he provides insurance,” Reds GM Walt Jocketty said of Izturis. “With [Didi] Gregorius gone, we’re trying to add more depth there.” He will be competing for a backup role against Emmanuel Burriss and Jason Donald in the middle of the infield.

Izturis is a Gold Glove shortstop, having won the award in 2004 as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The next year he was an All-Star with the Dodgers ending the season with basically the same numbers as his career resume shows.

In 2004 he actually had a very good offensive year. He collected 194 hits enroute to a .288/.330/.381 line. He also scored 90 runs that season.

Being a switch hitter is the other attractive thing about him, especially coming off the bench. He, like Donald can play second, third and shortstop.

There is not much difference between Burriss, Donald and Izturis. In fact you could shake them up, pour them out and take your pick, experience notwithstanding. That is where Izturis stands alone in this comparison, and which is probably a leg up on the competition in Dusty Baker‘s eyes.

Here is a comparison taken from The Baseball Cube with OPS+ added from Baseball-Reference:

 

Player Years G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG OPS+
E Burriss 08-12 282 720 87 175 14 1 1 42 40 .243 .304 .269 57
J Donald 10-12 170 552 70 142 27 5 7 43 12 .257 .309 .362 89
C Izturis 01-12 1247 4221 435 1076 169 34 17 301 110 .255 .294 .323 64

Just a humble opinion but I say unless he breaks a leg at camp, he makes the trip back to Cincinnati.

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