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Reds Place Willy Taveras on DL, Call Up Drew Stubbs

The Reds have placed outfielder Willy Taveras on the DL with a strained quad, and they'll call up 2006 first-rounder Drew Stubbs to take his place. If he weren't a human being with real feelings, the Reds would probably be relieved to have Taveras on the shelf for a while; no amount of solid defense can redeem the .238/.273/.284 season he's had so far. Despite playing half their games in a hitters' park, the Reds are last in the majors in runs, and Taveras has been a big part of the reason why, scoring just 54 runs despite 79 games started from the leadoff spot, and driving in just fifteen runs in 428 plate appearances. (No, runs scored and RBIs aren't the best indicators of a player's ability, but when a guy with no power and no plate discipline leads off game after game because he fits the prototype of a leadoff hitter, they're the next logical place you turn. And when you do, you usually find that the fast guy who can't score runs by getting on base can't use his legs to score runs, either.)

Anyway, Stubbs had a relatively slow climb through the minors for a top college draftee and, after an uninspiring season so far at Class AAA Louisville, the best one can say is that he'll be better than Taveras. The strikeout issues that nagged Stubbs in college and the low minors haven't overwhelmed him as he's moved up the chain, but he's lost nearly all his home run power. What's left is defense, steals and on-base ability--which makes him a little like Taveras, actually, but with more upside and an OPS that will likely top .600. Which isn't necessarily saying much, but for the Reds, it's an improvement.