Keppinger at SS
Jeff Keppinger is starting at shortstop and hitting second tonight against the Braves. Pete Mackanin was asked what keeps a guy like Keppinger, 27, from breaking through. He's a career .320 hitter in the minors. He's hit .280 over 186 big league at-bats.
“Unless you you've got plus tools in a certain area – you're either a plus runner or have plus power or you’re a solid .300 hitter – you've got to prove yourself on a daily basis. You get a short period of time to prove yourself. If you’re not spectacular, you take a second seat to somebody else.”
"A guy like Keppinger needs to get a chance to play on semi-steady basis to show he's an every-day player.”
That's the baseball Catch 22: He'll probably not get enough playing time on a regular basis to prove that. He's very similar to Brandan Harris, the player the Reds got in the Washinton deal. Harris finally got a chance to play when the Reds traded him to Tampa Bay and he's thrived at the plate.
Alex Gonzalez probably will not join the Reds until the opener of the Florida series on Thursday. He remains on the bereavement list.