One move was overdue. The other was more about the thrill of finally getting Willy Taveras out of the
Bypassed when Ryan Garko, Ben Francisco, Victor Martinez all were shipped off, Matt LaPorta finally received his promotion when fellow youngster Trevor Crowe landed on the disabled list. The 24-year-old was up briefly earlier this year, batting .190/.286/.286 in 42 at-bats. He was hitting .299/.388/.530 in his first season in Triple-A, but the Indians held off on promoting him because of some indecisiveness over where to play him. A first baseman in college, LaPorta was moved to the outfield when drafted by
While it’s LaPorta’s bat that will carry him, Stubbs was chosen to replace the injured Taveras because of his defense in center. It was still a surprise to see him picked over Chris Heisey, who played center in Double-A before joining Stubbs at
Stubbs stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 205 pounds, so the strength should be there. He also strikes out like a power hitter, with 104 Ks in 107 games this season. Unfortunately, he’s totaled just three homers in 411 at-bats. Last year, he had seven in 470 at-bats. That his defense in center is truly exceptional should make him a long-term regular, but there wouldn’t seem to be any star potential here, unless we’re talking fantasy baseball. He’s not quite the burner that Taveras is, but he is an excellent basestealer, something that could land him a spot at the top of the order for the Reds next year. The audition comes now, and if he’s impressive enough, then the team could eat the second year of Taveras’ deal.
As an aside, this isn’t the first time LaPorta and Stubbs have been connected. LaPorta starred for the Gators and Stubbs for the Longhorns when