New Braves shortstop Paul Janish sees his first trade as an exciting opportunity.
"You get a fresh start, so that's a good thing," said the 29-year-old Janish, who was acquired Saturday afternoon from the Reds in exchange for Minor League pitcher Todd Redmond. "In this game, you have a tendency to get labeled one way or the other, whether it's good or bad. So it's good to have a fresh start. I'm excited to be here in Atlanta."
Janish, who had spent his entire career in the Cincinnati organization since being drafted in the fifth round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, found out about his fresh start while in the clubhouse at Louisville Slugger Field on Saturday afternoon, doing a crossword puzzle prior to the Bats' game against the Gwinnett Braves. Manager David Bell called him into his office and told him the news.
"It's the craziest thing. I had just found out and like 30 minutes later, I had like 20, 25 texts," he said with a laugh. "I don't know how it works so fast nowadays, but it was pretty funny. Everybody from back home even was sending me stuff. News travels fast."
Janish, who is wearing No. 4 with the Braves, packed a suitcase and a couple of bags, then drove the approximately five hours to Atlanta, with his father, Tom. They arrived in Atlanta around 1:30 a.m. ET.
The whirlwind of good news continued Sunday morning when he met Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.
"I said, 'How was the trip?'" said Gonzalez. "He goes, 'Good. Got in about 1, 1:30.' I said, 'You're in the lineup.'"
Janish hit eighth in his Braves debut with his dad looking on.
Janish said he already felt at home in his new clubhouse, and felt especially comfortable being reunited with fellow Houston native Michael Bourn and David Ross, whom he played with in Cincinnati.
A career .221 hitter in 324 Major League games, Janish admits he's struggled with his consistency at the plate, something he's looking to improve. But right now, offense is not an issue for the Braves.
"We didn't bring him in to win the batting title," said Gonzalez. "We brought him in to shore up our defense and catch the ball. He's a guy that's going to catch the ball and make the routine play. We made the deal for him to play shortstop and hopefully bridge the gap until [Andrelton] Simmons gets healthy."
Defense has never been an issue with Janish, who has a career .981 fielding percentage at short.
"I'm going to be a catch-and-throw guy for the majority of my career and I'm fine with that," he said. "I take a lot of pride in defense. Being here, obviously wins are big right now and from here on out, so it's whatever I can do to help."