I’m still amazed that Reds fans don’t complain more about the fact that the team COMPLETELY GAVE UP ON Jorge Cantu and let him walk after the 2007 season. Somebody clearly made a great call taking a flyer on this guy after the (then-Devil) Rays gave up hope following a disappointing 2006 season and after he hit .207 in 58 at-bats for them in 2007. But the Reds knew he wasn’t that far removed from .286-28-117, which is what he did at 23 years old in 2005. So they gave up basically nothing for him in July 2007 and he proceeded to hit .298 in 57 at-bats for the Reds. I don’t understand how you just give up on a guy who has shown huge potential previously and hits .298 for you now that he’s healthy again.
In all honesty (I’m not blowing smoke here) I called P-Doc during Extra Innings right around the end of the 2007 season and said it’d be nice if they gave Cantu a serious look at first base the following year. Nobody was really talking about him much because it was a part-time role he had even after the Reds traded for him. P-Doc pretty much shrugged it off and pointed out that the Reds ought to focus on their rising stars. Now I’m not suggesting that I’d want Cantu as my first baseman over Votto. But this guy plays 3B too, and I don’t think we would’ve just kicked EE to the curb either, but at least we would’ve had a nice competition and a very tough bat off the bench (or trade bait).
Look, all this guy has done since the Reds released him after 2007 is hit .277 with 29 home runs and 95 RBI last season and .333 with 7 homers and 25 RBI so far this year. Does it seem like Votto’s having an unbelievable start this year? Cantu has three more RBI than Votto; in fact, he’s second in the National League (to Albert Pujols). And I watch tonight’s game (and in fairness, maybe Grande/Welsh did say something about him and I had just left the room right before they did) and there’s barely even a mention that he played for the Reds.
And in case you were wondering, don’t blame Walt Jocketty. Cantu was released by the Reds Dec. 5, 2007; Jocketty was hired as a Special Adviser to the Reds on Jan. 11, 2008.