Bad Juan?

Juan Francisco has absolutely no concept of what a good at-bat is. He rarely makes the pitcher work and goes up there flailing at the first thing he sees. I had very high hopes for him, but you have to wonder if he’s ever going to be a starting caliber player in MLB.

Francisco finished 0-for-4 with a strikeout on Thursday. Three times he was retired on the first pitch and he never hit the ball hard. He makes it so easy on opposing pitchers it’s disgusting (unless you happen to be said pitchers).

What is very likely to happen in the near future is Edgar Renteria will get spot starts at third base when Scott Rolen needs a day off. The team can’t keep putting Francisco out there if he’s going to look like a disaster at the plate. Offense is supposed to be his strength. We already know he’s bad defensively.

So, the smart move would be to start Renteria at 3B when Rolen needs a rest. And Renteria will of course continue to get a lot of starts at shortstop in what is a pseudo-platoon with Paul Janish.

I expect to see Francisco optioned to Triple-A Louisville before long, just like last year when he made the Reds’ Opening Day roster.

The good news? Renteria was clearly one of the bargains across MLB in the offseason. Not only could he still hold his own as an everyday shortstop, he is going to be excellent for the Reds as a guy that can spell Janish at SS (a lot) and Rolen at 3B (a little). And even if Brandon Phillips needs a day off at second, Renteria can play there.

The really good news? Even with the disappointing 3-2 loss to the Astros on Thursday, the Reds are still 5-1 going into their road trip (which includes three games at Arizona and then three in San Diego).