Tuesday, January 28, 2014

See ya, Paul!

There comes a time in the life of every member of the Atlanta Braves baseball club where he must say good bye.  Sometimes, it's a forceful good bye.  We all remember the public shunning of John Rocker by sending him to Cleveland.  Other times, a member of Atlanta leaves on his own, often with money bags provided by other poaching ballclubs.  Rarely, there are tears as that member is headed off into retirement, which we all know means death.

And then, there is Paul Janish.  Sometimes, you forget that the player was even a member of the team last season.  Janish signed a minor league contract with the Colorado Rockies yesterday because in the mile-high environment of Denver, maybe he will be able to hit his first major league homerun since 2010.  Probably not, but there is a chance.

Janish joined the Braves in a 2012 trade that sent Todd Redmond to the Reds.  Janish had progressed quickly in the Reds system, reaching the majors during the 2008 season, but he was never a capable hitter in the minors or in the majors.  In 2011, playing in a career high 114 games, he posted a -0.6 fWAR.  That's difficult to do when you post a 7.9 UZR.  Not so difficult when you OPS .521 in over 350 PA, though.  Janish was demoted to AAA to open 2012 and that's where the Braves plucked him from after Andrelton Simmons suffered an injury.  The Braves had already given the Tyler Pastornicky experiment two months and the last thing they wanted to see was a regular occurrence of Rev at short.

Janish hit...well...like Janish during his run with Braves, slashing .186/.269/.234 in just over 175 plate appearances after the trade from the Reds in 2012.  Showing himself to be no fluke, Janish followed up his 2012 campaign with an even worse 2013 season (.171/.222/.220).  Again, injuries got Janish to the bigs as Ramiro Pena's bum shoulder brought Janish to the majors as a caddy for Chris Johnson's woeful defense.  Bad sign when you get to the bigs simply because of injuries and not your talent.

While a good defender, his defense is not Simmons' level.  Combine that with a bat that might as well be made out of that nerf material and you have a player you are not likely to miss.  However, it should be said that since this guy needs injuries to get to the majors, he made a good decision on employment.  I mean, it's not like Troy Tulowitzki has been the epitome of health.

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