I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t understand the Reds management. And IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not even sure how much of the problem is on the field and how much of it is in the front office.
I realize that Yonder Alonso presents a problem. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s blocked at his best position, first base, by the reigning MVP of the league. So, in the short term at least, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not going to play there and if he’s as good offensively as the Reds seem to believe he is, they need to find somewhere to play him.
So, someone in the organization, I would assume Walt Jocketty and his staff, made the decision before the season to play him in LF in AAA this year. He played 62 games in LF (21 at 1B and 10 at DH). One could only presume that this was done to give him a place to play when they felt he was ready offensively (and, to a lesser extent, defensively) for the big leagues.
On July 26th, the club made the decision that he was ready for the big leagues.
On a team in a tailspin that has erased any reasonable chance of a return to the playoffs, in 12 games since his call up, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s started 3.
In his time with the big club, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 8 for 16, with 2 walks, 0 strikeouts and an OPS of 1.368. (Yes, I know, small sample size, but my point is that heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s performed when given the opportunity.)
How has he been in LF? Pretty brutal. In his 3 games, he’s misplayed balls in each game.
When asked if Alonso would play LF again, Baker said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Not in the near future.Ã¢â‚¬Â This comes from a guy that ran Jonny Gomes out to LF for the better part of a year and half.
So the Reds answer? Work him out at 3B, where he played in high school and very early in his college career. John Fay says that the Ã¢â‚¬Å“experiment at third is about to beginÃ¢â‚¬Â. He was working there Monday, though, according to Fay quoting Baker, he wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t play there anytime soon.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“You donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to do it in the big leagues, but thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the position he started at. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a mirror image of first base really.Ã¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll see. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re trying to find the best place to get his bat in the lineup.Ã¢â‚¬Â, said the Reds manager.
(This is in addition to the fact that the Reds have another #1 draft pick who is playing 3B (part time) for the Reds right now (Frazier) and a player just back from rehab that’s playing 3B in Louisville that the club has been touting for 2 years, singing his praises about his offensive abilities (Francisco) to the consternation of many of us.)
The article even talks about moving Votto to LF, which he sounds resistant to.
Does this make any sense to anyone? Is this yet another example of Jocketty and Baker being, not just on different pages, but in different volumes?
If the Reds want to have him doing extra defensive work, wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t it make more sense to do it in LF where heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been playing all season?
WouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t it make more sense to have him out there with Billy Hatcher and Eric Davis running until his legs fall off?
What is the point in working him at 3B if heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not going to Ã¢â‚¬Å“want to do it in the big leaguesÃ¢â‚¬Â? If you want him to learn to play 3B, send him to instructional ball in the winter.
Why call him up if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not going to play him?
Maybe I need another Redleg Nation Podcast Rant….day by day I become more convinced that at least one of Jocketty and/or Baker needs to go.