Friday, September 28, 2007

Jeff Keppinger: Not to be confused with Don Kessinger

Currently on the Cincinnati Redlegs roster is a player named Jeff Keppinger. He plays shortstop.

With the emerging Brandon Phillips at second sack for the Redlegs, Keppinger is steadily putting up offensive numbers that has to have Cincinnati Red fans taking notice.

Sure, this blog is called the Cha Cha Bowl. Aptly named for the first homegrown (no pun intended) superstar who wore the orange and black,for the San Francisco Giants, Orlando Cepeda. Baseball is the kind of game that it's good to keep an eye on the statistics of all players. Because we are in a day and age of free agency there is always the possibility of that player playing for your favorite team. When a star is rising,it's good to get a newsflash, especially when the Giants' front office will be out and about in search of talent to help turn this organization around and play at .500 or better for the 2008 season.

Don Kessinger was a career .252 hitter with 14 homers. But back then all shortstops were glove-men, very few hit for average. Another example of that would be Dal Maxvill. He was a career .217 hitter, with just 6 career homers. But when the Cardinals got their use out of the slick fielding shortstop, the Pirates and Oakland Athletics had him fill a roster spot.

There used to always be a spot on the roster for slick fielders who could play more than one position well. Not any more. You have to be able to hit for average, have power and oh yeh, be able to field your position. If you make too many errors you will eventually be demoted or change rosters. But teams nowadays will hold onto your services if you HIT first and field second.

This guy Keppinger is looking like a player that will hit 10-20 homers, drive in 70-90 runs and bat at least in the neighborhood of .275.

Sorry, Donny boy, but only the name will dredge up memories of number 11 fielding the shortstop position at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field from 1964-1975. Because the similarities end at the name.

Kevin Marquez