This California road trip has been brutal for my Reds.
But, here's a question from the peanut gallery: Mighn't it be time to bench Royce Clayton, the shortstop, and give the starting job to Juan Castro, at least for the three games left on this road trip?
Who knows whether the Reds would have gone ahead last night when, at a critical juncture, Clayton made a seemingly half-hearted attempt to lay down a bunt and ended up out?
I don't know. But I do know that Castro, a favorite of mine since his first stint with the Reds, is among the best defensive shortstops I've ever seen and he always plays with heart. I think that Castro would be a better number eight hitter than Clayton, at least right now. Castro knows how to lay down a bunt, something the eight guy in the line-up must do.
Royce Clayton may be hurt or he may simply need a breather. I don't know. But he's hurting the Reds at the plate these days with his seemingly through-the-motion at bats. While Castro will never be a great hitting shortstop on the order of the incomparable Davey Concepcion, he won't embarrass himself either. And there isn't a better defensive shortstop in the majors.
Having said that, I love the job that manager Jerry Narron, GM Wayne Krivsky, and new primary owner Bob Castellini have done with the Reds this year.
[By the way, why isn't Dave Concepcion, the best shortstop of his generation, not in the Baseball Hall of Fame?]