Janish off to a strong start with the bat

Janish off to a strong start with the bat

Janish off to a strong start with the bat
CINCINNATI -- There were almost too many strong offensive performances to pick from during the Reds' dynamic first week of the season.

But shortstop Paul Janish really stood out, partially because he's the eighth hitter and more known for his defense.

"Most everybody else on the field has a little more of a track record," Janish said on Thursday. "For me, it's more important to get off to a good start -- for myself, and just as much for the [coaching] staff and everybody else to relax a little bit and show them they made the right decision."

Janish entered the day batting .444 (8-for-18) with three RBIs and had hit safely in all of his games played. He had only one strikeout.

"He's been working hard and comes out early," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We knew he could pick it. That wasn't a secret. We thought he would hit, especially if he got a lot of reps. He's keeping the ball out of the air. He's in a very tough position to hit in, the eighth spot. He's a smart young man. He has a pretty good idea what he's doing out there on the field, period."

Janish did not start on Thursday vs. the Astros with Edgar Renteria getting into the lineup. Renteria came in batting .425 (17-for-40) lifetime vs. Astros starter Brett Myers, and he delivered an RBI double in the second inning.

"I still have to monitor him a little bit, make sure he stays strong through the course of the year," Baker said. "That's why we love having Renteria."

Renteria was signed as a free agent over the winter, in part to offer insurance behind Janish. That obviously hasn't been a worry since the season started.

Janish earned the everyday job after he batted .260 and played great in the field while backing up Orlando Cabrera last season. He played well during Spring Training, batting .286 in 20 games.

"I felt good towards the end of camp coming into the season," Janish said. "I wasn't all that concerned with the way I felt. I felt as good as I could feel."