Tony Womack, Ryan Freel, Rich Aurilia and possibly Ray Olmedo will all be getting frequent opportunities to play second base at Spring Training for Cincinnati manager Jerry Narron.

To Narron, it was another word that came to mind last month when he talked about his glut of middle infielders.

“It’s a luxury,” Narron said.

Nobody out of this group should play in front of Freel. Period.

“Tony Womack is a veteran with postseason and World Series experience,” Reds interim general manager Brad Kullman said last week. “He will get to play second a good amount of the time. Rich Aurilia as well. Ryan Freel will be all over the place and play second as well.”

If this doesn’t cool your enthusiasm for Brad Kullman getting the GM job, I can’t imagine what would. For a “numbers guy” to seem to be pushing Tony Womack for playing time is unbelievable.

Narron plans to use him at multiple positions, including shortstop and the outfield.

Assuming that Denorfia and Cruz make the team as outfielders, why in the world would Womack ever get any time out there? And if Aurilia isn’t starting at 3B (which many of us are worried that he will be, though we don’t believe he should), why would Womack play shortstop in front of Aurilia?

My biggest problem with Womack is the same thing I said about Deion Sanders…yes, he’s fast, but you cannot steal first base.

11 Responses

  1. al

    they just have one too many players, plain and simple. They need to trade someone before the season starts or this is going to be a 2005esque debacle.

    I don’t see why we didn’t work harder to get Kearns traded, hopefully something can happen in ST. Tony womack must be the utility guy a la juan castro when the season starts.

    and has anyone else noticed a diminishing acceptance of reserve roles in the bigs? I feel like lots teams are going through this madness of having to justify not giving bench players more playing time. 25 players, minus 12 pichers, leaves… nope not 8 people, someone is on the bench. we call them bench players, and they should be happy they are in the majors at all and keep quiet about playing time. You will play when you are needed, not when you want to. whoo sorry, guess i needed to get that off my chest.

  2. Cary

    Yes, that is a red flag regarding Kullman’s opinion of Womack. Same spiel used by O’Brien with the “veteran presence” crapola

  3. Blue

    Unless there is a trade, either Olmedo or Cruz will be cut, and two or three deserving relief arms will either be cut or stuck in AAA.

  4. Glenn

    A glut of pitching is a luxury. A glut of middle infielders is stupid.

  5. Brian B.

    My respect for Kullman is tumbling after this comment. Even if he has to be supportive of his players and coaches, can’t he just say “yeah, we have to figure out who is playing where.”

  6. Brian

    Ryan Freel despite all his chances, cannot convince the Reds that his glove or durability is enough for 2nd base.

  7. EricTW

    Couple points.

    1) Ryan Freel should play the most, but he hasn’t shown he can stay healthy, which make me like the Aurilia signing. He’s good Freel and Encarnacion insurance.

    2) As far as Womack goes, that difficulty was created for him by O’Brien. I don’t think it does Kullman any good to alienate a player before Spring Training, so I don’t put any stock in those comments.

  8. rastajenk

    To me, the main issue with Freel is sobriety.

  9. LC Fiore

    Freel is our worst 2B defensively. Paired with Lopez up the middle, that’s scary.

    I’d move Freel to left, start Pena in right, Womack at 2B. Kearns can ride the pine or fill in for the inevitable injury.

  10. Joel

    According to Dave Pinto’s PMR, Ryan Freel was one of the two best 2B in the game on grounders, and in the top 5 overall in 2005. I still have some reservations about PMR, but to be that high up on the list is an eye-opener. Of course, Rich Aurilia is 8th overall and that seems out of whack to me.

    And any plan that encourages playing time for Womack and his .637 OPS over the last 3 seasons is silly. Oh, and he’s not all that good in the field either, so it’s not like he brings that benefit.