Another Reds rant because it is my blog…deal with it. I don’t really care for Dusty Baker, if you haven’t been reading or you don’t know me. I wasn’t a fan of his shenanigans in Chicago with the young pitching, I’m not a fan of his toothpick, and I am not a fan of his veteran loyalty. With that being said, he was the luckiest S.O.B. on the planet last season, when everything he did went right. It’s unfortunate because it gave hope to Reds fans. This season hasn’t gone his way, though. He forced the Reds to keep Ramon Hernandez at the trade deadline because he didn’t want Devin Mesoraco gaining experience in a playoff run…how has that worked out now that the Reds are 13 1/2 games out? But that isn’t it…Now, Baker has really crossed the line and become dumber than any manager that I have ever witnessed in Cincinnati, even the one who gambled on games didn’t do things this STUPID.
Yonder Alonso is 24-years-old. He is a first baseman long-term because he is not very fast, smooth, or any other desired adjective that goes along with an outfielder. However, there isn’t a DH in the National League and Joey Votto has earned the right to stay at first. Therefore, you HAVE to move Alonso. Left field is the easy choice, especially because you have Bruce in right and Stubbs in center, but even more so because you can afford to have him there. Baker can’t stand that Alonso has made some defensive mistakes in left. Alonso has played 29 innings in left – 6 chances, 5 putouts…1 error. How in the HELL are you going to judge the future of a player on 6 chances when you are nearly 14 games out on August 24th? Alonso didn’t start either game in a double header today, clarifying his doghouse reputation that he has earned by making ONE error in left field in 29 innings and SIX opportunities to get an out.
Alonso can afford to make a mistake here and there defensively when MIGUEL CAIRO is hitting fifth at any point in a season for your team. Alonso can’t afford to be on the bench when he is hitting .448/.529/.759 in 29 at bats. It’s a small sample size but you’re going to waste your time putting Fred Lewis and Dave Sappelt in the lineup instead? Sappelt is a decent 4th outfielder long-term, I don’t want to rip him apart, but Alonso is the real deal with the bat.
Look…if Boston could put Manny Ramirez in left field for 8 seasons with the Green Monster behind him, I think that Yonder Alonso can play left in Cincinnati. Want to know who else played an UGLY left field? Jonny Gomes. He started 253 games for the Reds in the outfield from 2009 until he was given to the Nationals in July. He played below league average defense there, posting 12 errors in those 253 games and a .985 fielding percentage. The future of Cincinnati Reds baseball depends on the bats of young players and the arms of young pitchers that are developed in the system. Walt Jocketty isn’t going to hand out a six-year, $120 million deal to anyone while the G.M. of a small market like Cincinnati. Dusty Baker isn’t going to be here in 2013, but guess who is…Yonder Alonso. Get his ass in the lineup, Baker – you and your career .985 fielding percentage aren’t one to judge someone else’s deficiencies in the outfield.