Signing Miggy Olivo is the equivalent to signing Dioner Navarro in 2012. Olivo has some power, but is one of the worse defensive catchers in the game. Hopefully Mesoraco makes this signing a moot point by producing at the level worthy of his draft position.
With Todd Redmond being designated for assignment, he may have to change his travel destination for the spring. The Reds have ten days to decide on whether to trade, release, or waive him. He has to clear waivers to be assigned to Louisville and I’d think he’d get a look or two from teams with little or no depth at starting pitching/ long relief. Louisville would be where the Reds would like to see him, but elsewhere would be in his best interest for career advancement.
Manny Parra is the move that leaves me scratching my head. He really doesn’t even qualify as a loogy, his career numbers have left-handers hitting .267 against him. Every right-handed reliever for the Reds during the 2012 season held left-handed hitters to a .267 or lower batting average according to Baseball Reference. They signed him to a MLB deal for $1M and since he has over 5 years MLB time and falls under the Veteran Consent rule, it’s not likely he’ll be in AAA. If they’d signed him to a minor league deal it’d made more sense.
You have to believe Hannahan was signed to pinch hit, and as a MLB experienced 3b in case something happens to Frazier.
I see Rolen as a distraction that in a worst-case scenario gets Hannahan shipped out, Frazier starts in a funk, and Rolen winds up in the semi-everyday lineup, hits at the Mendoza line for 6 weeks...then goes on the DL after the Reds are 10 games out...
Kind of amazing pessimism for a Rolen fan like me, and one that is a little worried about Todd Frazier playing well as an everyday player....but I'm convinced Rolen can't hit anymore...he can't even get around on an average fastball and what used to be a double in the gap is a jogging flyball out now. Rolen can still dump a breaking ball over the plate in front of an outfielder, but unless the opposing pitchers are really blind, he's not going to get many of those anymore. He can play good defense, but so can 1,000 minor leaguers and Cesar Izturis...
I'll give a hall pass to SS and C, but no one else can hit under .240 and play on my team...and here's the rub- IF Frazier can't BE THE 3b that plays a little D and hits pretty well, niether Rolen OR Hannahan is going to be that guy....so, IMO there isn't much good that can happen by reducing Fraziers PT in favor of a marginal MLB player and a shell of his MLB self.
It’s not hard to understand why Scott Rolen might want to return. His last AB was the 27<sup>th</sup> out of a playoff elimination game in which he struck out with the tying runs on base. Not the way a player with an All-Star caliber career wishes to exit stage door left. I’m sure in his mind he still thinks he can play as he ignores the messages his body is sending him. It reminds me of the story of Babe Ruth’s final games. On May 25, 1935, at the age of forty, the Babe went 4-4 hitting three HR’s and six RBI’s despite having a .206 BA. Three days later while chasing a fly ball he tripped face first into the “Crosley Terrace”. Two days later he retired, but imagine how much better he would have felt if he retired after hitting three HR’s and avoiding the embarrassing “Crosley Terrace” incident.
I tend to think, or at least hope that Jocketty is being merely polite in regards to the possibility of Rolen’s return. It’s not so much a question of which is the better player, it’s how to make a roster and payroll work if they bring Rolen back at this point. The Reds have invested $4M in Hannahan who can play other positions; Rolen has only played 3B during his career. IMO, Hannahan is a lock to make the 25 man roster, they have to keep at least one middle infielder (Donald, Izturis, or Burriss), so it would come down to Xavier Paul, or Rolen making the roster. I think Paul helps the team more than Rolen would.
Last season the “Opening Day Roster” had 7 infielders and 4 outfielders, so I’d assume it’s not out of the question that they could sign Rolen, or keep two of the middle infielders on the roster and leave Paul off. I do have a hard time seeing Rolen accepting a big pay cut and a backup role. Then there’s always the problem of Dusty being Dusty and playing the veteran.
It would be nice if the 2013 reserves were more productive than the 2012 version. The “2012 Opening Day Reserves” which included Mesoraco, Cairo, Valdez, Harris, and Heisey combined to hit for a .222 BA. (It’s actually only .195 if you take away Heisey’s AB’s) The bench was more potent once they recalled Frazier in mid-April and added Paul and Navarro later.
Rolen, Izturis, Burriss, or any additional signings the Reds would want to add to the “Opening Day Roster” would necessitate trading, releasing, or waiving someone on the 40 man roster. Often DFA’s, player options, and injuries are the deciding factors on who makes the 25 man roster out of Spring Training. It’s fun to speculate, but it’s really useless to predict the “Opening Day Roster” at this point, a lot can happen over the next two months.