With the Cincinnati Reds essentially having their starting lineups known before the season even began, it leaves not a lot of room for those who were signed in the off season with an invitation to the MLB spring training camp.
A perfect example of this has to be MLB journeyman, Cesar Izturis. With the Reds’ knowing that Zack Cozart will more than likely be their guy to play everyday at the shortstop position, it leaves very little room for guys like Izturis to make a spot on the roster.
But there are many reasons why Izturis could very well make the Reds’ opening day roster as compared to other guys battling for a spot like Emmanuel Burriss and Jason Donald.
One reason would easily have to be his experience. Izturis has been in the league now 11 years now. He knows how to play the game and what to expect and has most likely has seen it all. He is the type of guy that Cozart can learn from given the fact his experience in the MLB and the fact Izturis has essentially played middle infield his entire life. When compared to Burriss, Izturis (it rhymes…I know) has played seven more years than Burriss–something that Dusty Baker likes, experience. The same holds true when being compared to Donald. Izturis has played nine more years in the MLB than Donald–another plus for Baker.
While this is all fine and dandy on the defensive side for Izturis, the only thing the Reds would have to worry about is his age. Izturis is 33-years old now and he’s not getting any younger. But putting him in a backup role behind Cozart and Brandon Phillips would be the ideal situation for Baker. Baker likes guys with the wear and tear on them and it’s something that Izturis can bring to the Reds.
Izturis isn’t necessarily going to beat you with the bat considering he’s a career hitter of .255. But, turning a negative into a positive, he can give you a great at bat because the most he’s ever struck out in a season is 70 in 2003-04. Izturis also possesses a little bit speed and can give you a pinch run and stolen base if the time calls for it.
So with that all being said, Izturis is a prime candidate for a backup role on the Reds’ opening day roster.
Follow Brad Stiene on Twitter, @bs_rant1