With opening day quickly approaching, the time is now for many players to make the final push at making the roster. The Cincinnati Reds have essentially established who the starters are going to be for opening day, making it very hard to find a spot on this team.
But the competition between Emmanuel Burriss and Cesar Izturis has been something I have been keeping my eye on for awhile during spring training.
I have already made the case for Izturis to make one of the few spots left open on the roster, but Burriss has really shown that he is deserving of a spot as well.
The Reds signed Burriss back in November of last year as a free agent to a minor league contract with an invitation to their MLB spring training camp when he declined the opportunity to go to the minor leagues with the San Francisco Giants.
While Burriss is not a very strong hitter, he does get on base any way he can. He also did not strike out very often when he got the chance to bat.
Another thing that Burriss brings is the ability to steal a base. Although he only has 40 career stolen bases in his time at the major league level, he does have 152 career stolen bases at the minor league level. So needless to say, he can steal a base and can position himself for the guys behind him to drive him home.
A third thing that Burriss can do is play multiple infield positions. Unlike his counterpart in Izturis who plays strictly at a middle infield position, Burris has spent time at every position in the infield (with the exception of pitcher and catcher) and even has played in the outfield a few times.
So all in all, it’s the versatility that Burriss brings to the Reds’ defense that can make him a strong candidate for a final spot on the Reds’ roster. He’s doing so right now in spring training batting over .300 in the 11 games he’s played in. If I were Dusty Baker and I had to make my cuts, I would strongly look at Burriss as a good candidate over the other guys to make the roster.