|Choo doesn't sound overly confident in his move to center. (US Presswire)|
When the Reds acquired outfielder Shin-Soo Choo from the Indians in a three-team trade -- that sent Drew Stubbs to Cleveland -- the Reds' offense became even more stacked than before. Of course, it also meant the Reds were left with three starting corner outfielders. And Choo is the man who will move to center.
Choo has played 5,067 1/3 innings in right field in his career. He's played 83 innings in center, but none since 2009, when he only spent eight innings out there.
It's only the opening of spring training, so there's plenty of time for the transition, but for now it doesn't sound like Choo is overly confident.
“I’m not comfortable there yet,” he said (via cincinnati.com). “At the major league level, I played 99 percent of my games in right field. I’ll try. I’ll work on it this spring training. We’ll see how they’re thinking. If they’re not (happy), somebody else will be playing in center field. I'll try the best I can."
That doesn't sound promising, but let's not overreact. Choo is simply being honest with reporters, and himself, and the season doesn't start for about seven weeks. That's plenty of time to work into a comfort zone.
Still, the likely scenario is that the Reds are going to have a lackluster defensive outfield. Ryan Ludwick in left field has limited range and Choo is miscast in center. Jay Bruce is a fine defender in right field, but he isn't elite. The good news is the Reds are excellent in the infield defensively, have a great lineup and very solid pitching staff.
So even if the outfield defense is lacking, it would appear that's the only major weakness for the defending NL Central champs.
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