Mark Sheldon will be writing an article later today that Yonder Alonso has been practicing at 3rd base and in the outfield corners to see if he can play other positions.
If Alonso’s bat pushes the issue later this season or next year, Jocketty says that Votto is not the one who would move to left field.
Lots of speculation has involved Votto being moved to left field when Alonso is ready for his promotion. Jocketty dispelled that notion.
“It will take some time to figure it out,” he said. “That’s why we want to see him (Alonso) at different positions. He’s got a great bat and Joey is going to be at first base for a long time. I don’t see moving Joey.”
If Alonso rebounds from his wrist injury this season, I expect that he will be moved to another organization between now and opening day 2011.
UPDATE 3/2/10: Sheldon’s full profile on Alonso is up at reds.com. It’s definitely worth a read.
In addition to the profile on Alonso, there are a few paragraphs dedicated to the positive relationship between Alonso and Votto.
Of all the big leaguers Alonso has befriended and learned from, some of the most valuable advice has come from the one guy who would seem to have the most reason to be worried — Votto.
“He’s a great baseball player and probably the best on the team right now. But he’s a good person at heart,” Alonso said. “He cares about people and he cares about you. It’s really tough to find guys like that, especially at the same position. Maybe they might not talk to you as much. But he’s always like, ‘Come on, let’s go.’ He opened his arms the first day I was here.
Why would Votto help the guy seeking his job? For starters, he doesn’t view there to be an awkward situation, or even a situation, that should draw attention. He’s just one teammate helping another.
“He’s trying to do his job and I’m trying to do mine,” Votto said. “There are 30 teams and tons of first basemen. Obviously, I want to play for the Reds and he wants to play for the Reds. We’ve got time. He’s not in the Major Leagues yet. Hopefully he will get there. When he does, that’s when we’ll figure it out. Right now, I treat everybody the exact same way. Nobody gets different treatment.”
I hope there is a solution that keeps both of these young players in the organization for many years.