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?

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:


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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Tags: Cesar Izturis

  • sezwhom

    That is where Izturis stands alone in this comparison, and which is probably a leg up on the competition in Dusty Baker‘s eyes.
    You can take that to the bank. Guaranteed. Not that we haven’t seen that before…doh!

    • Cliff@RedsToTheBone

      Dusty does like his veterans, just ask Heisey.

  • beeker

    As an insurance policy in a year where the team is “all in” to win, his experience has value. I don’t want to see Dusty use him like Corey Patterson, but he could be valuable if Cozart should miss some time (knock on wood).

    • Cliff@RedsToTheBone

      Good point. If he makes the cut, he will no doubt start a couple of games, probably pinch hit and be a part of Dusty’s infamous “double switches.”
      Thanks for your comment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tylerduma Tyler Duma

    Hey Cliff. Izturis is a nice insurance policy in the event that a player gets injured. He’ll probably serve as some nice competition for Zack Cozart and some of the possible backups as well.

    I agree with you that it’s highly unlikely he doesn’t make this team.

    • Cliff@RedsToTheBone

      Yeah, he is not a bad pickup, I think he will provide some depth and again, the switch hitting doesn’t hurt him either.

      Thanks for your comments my friend.

  • Josh Bresser

    I think Jason Donald should be given a backup role. He’s only one year removed from a year where he hit .318. Even if it was in limited plate appearances, it’s a better track record than Burris (ugh) or Izturis has.

    A bench of Heisey, Donald, Rolen (edit- Hannahan instead of Rolen), Paul, and Izturis (w/ Mesoraco as backup C) is a lot better than the Reds had in 2012.

    • Cliff@RedsToTheBone

      Hey Josh,

      Donald will probably make the squad, I just don’t see him playing as much as Cesar, you know how Dusty is. Don’t look for Rolen to come back, I can’t see it happening. Thanks for your comments my friend.

      • Josh Bresser

        Switch Rolen with Hannahan, then. I forgot the Reds got him.

        • Cliff@RedsToTheBone

          Yeah he was the prize in a 5-team bidding war. Can you believe it?

          Thanks Friend

  • disqus_G8xi77DYlj

    Bench will be Heisey, Mesoraco, X Paul, Hannahan and Donald.. Izturis and Burriss down in AAA Lou..

    • Cliff@RedsToTheBone

      I will be totally shocked if Izturis doesn’t make the team when it breaks camp. Thanks for your comment.

  • metalhead65

    while a upgrade over aged and useless duo dusty trotted out there last year, if this guy had anything left he would not be playing with his 9th team in 12 years.of course this means he will get the most playing time over the younger bench players under the veterans must play rule according to the book of dusty.how do the reds expect to develop any of the young talent they have so they can become veterans if they never play?

    • Cliff@RedsToTheBone

      The duo you are referring to of course is Miguel Cairo and Wilson Valdez. Cairo had been playing pretty well since coming to the Reds until his major collapse in 2012. Valdez was good on ‘D’ but must have left his bat in Philadelphia. It is not certain that Izturis will beat out the other two, or Hannahan for that matter. I am looking forward to an interesting spring. Thanks my friend.