Unfortunately for Cincinnati Reds fans, the Yonder Alonso left field experiment has been scratched and anyone with eyes can see why.
Alonso can hit with the best of them but his defense – particularly in left field cannot be condoned. He looked like a deer caught in the headlights of a car out there. Thank God he didn’t do any physical damage to himself.
When asked when Alonso would play left field again, manager Dusty Baker said, “not in the near future.”
Reds’ regular third baseman Scott Rolen who is currently on the DL came out to talk to Alonso the other day. Alonso had been taking ground balls, part of his daily routine, when Rolen decided to see if he could help the young man.
About Alonso’s chances at playing third base, Rolen replied, “He’s good. I’d never seen him take a ground ball. He has a good feel for it…”
Speculation then of course turned to his chances of playing in a game this year. Asked if Alonso would be sent to Triple A – Louisville to be schooled at the hot corner, Baker said, “There’s a chance we might send him to Louisville. We’ve discussed that. You’d rather do it there than here.”
I have a couple of thoughts about that philosophy. What about the time already invested with the Bats in a Left-Field Curriculum gone awry?
Then the complicated matter of what to do with Juan Francisco must be faced. Should he just be told to put his aspirations aside while the Muckety Mucks can decide what to do with their blue chip slugger?
Of course it all started when Joey Votto became the everyday first baseman for the Reds, dictating a change of position for the Miami University graduate. Some thought that perhaps Votto should be transposed out to left field, vacating first base for Alonso.
That was not to be, yet I don’t really understand why not. Alonso’s bat is needed in the Reds lineup, not as a pinch-hitter every other game.
It is evident that Alonso is not the answer to the left-field dilemma. If anything he has just muddied the water by joining the melee.
I am not convinced that Dave Sappelt is the man for the job either. I am extremely high on him, but he hasn’t done much at all offensively since being called up August 7.
Currently the Reds are riding a three game winning streak which matches their longest this year, discounting the 5-0 start of the season. They are three games below .500 and are 10 games off the pace set by the Milwaukee Brewers.
There is little reason for Baker or anyone else in the upper echelon of the Reds organization to seriously think they are in the hunt for a playoff position. It would seem to me that they should be playing with an eye on the 2012 Central Division banner.
That being said, what is wrong with letting Alonso try his hand at third base with the parent organization, instead of sending him to sleepover camp in Louisville? Most of a season has been wasted in preparation for him to become the left fielder of the future. Why waste more?