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Case in point: the Cincinnati Reds finally have a new (and improved!) center fielder:
Taveras was hurt on a bunt attempt in the seventh inning of Tuesday's 8-5, 10-inning loss to San Francisco. He left the game after grounding out a couple of pitches later and jogging to first base. He was hitting .238 in 98 games.
The Reds called up outfielder Drew Stubbs to replace Taveras, and put him in the starting lineup Wednesday night against San Francisco. Stubbs was leading off and playing center field in his major league debut.
Stubbs, Cincinnati's first-round pick and the eighth overall selection in the 2006 draft, was hitting .268 and leading the International League with 46 stolen bases for Triple-A Louisville.
In fairness to Taveras, he's never played quite this poorly before, and may have some decent baseball -- the sort of marginally useful baseball he once played with the Astros and the Rockies -- left in him. The problem isn't that Taveras isn't a good baseball player (which is true).
The problem is that the Reds, who used the eighth pick in the amateur draft to select Stubbs just three years ago, still owe Taveras $4 million next season. Which means they've got two fast guys who don't hit enough to play anywhere but center field. And if they play the more deserving of the two next year, they'll essentially have to eat four million bucks.