John Erardi has a pretty good article this morning on Wily Mo Pena:

Peña knows if he were to markedly improve his outfield play, it would make him more marketable to another team eager to put him in the lineup every day.

He’s getting a chance in center field because Ken Griffey Jr. is hurt (strained right foot). Although Reds right fielder Austin Kearns hasn’t slam-dunked an offensive claim to the third outfield position, his all-around play makes him the more likely everyday player.

“It’s impossible to (duplicate) in practice what you see out there in the game because of the way the ball comes off the bat,” Peña said. “In a game, you have to be so quick on those balls that are so hard hit.”

Peña is making no demands for a trade, mainly because he is a big-leaguer still learning his craft. He’s trying to make the most of this opportunity provided by Griffey’s absence.

I don’t understand why Kearns isn’t playing center field right now. He’s a more natural CF, and he’s certainly athletic enough to handle the position.

Meanwhile, speaking of Kearns, Marc Lancaster has an article about Kearns and how he is trying to finish strong this season:

Injury was not to blame this time. At age 25, Kearns has navigated the year without a trip to the disabled list, avoiding the freak injuries that haunted him the last few seasons. But still, he never was able to settle in and live up to expectations, internal or external.

“It’s been, I guess, an eventful year,” Kearns said with a short laugh that almost sounded sad.

A more appropriate label is one that slips more than once into any conversation with Kearns: frustrating.

“It seems like that’s been the last couple years for me,” he said. “There definitely was a lot of that this year.”

I’m ready for an Austin Kearns season filled with good baseball, instead of the drama of the last couple of years. Next year is the year for Kearns to fulfill his promise as a baseball player.

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. Thing is, this was supposed to be the year for Kearns to fulfill his promise as a baseball player. Everyone thought so before the season started – analysts, columnists, announcers, fans, players…except it just didn’t happen. He’s been better of late, but still not exactly the world-beater we saw a few years ago before Ray King sat on his shoulder.

    John Sickels ran a little prognosticator for Kearns before the season at his site, and a later analysis of those projections which may be instructive to review.

    Incidentally, to pimp his site a little more, just today he also did a “Crystal Ball” for Wily Mo Peña – this looks at a possible career path for a player as a way to begin discussion what the future holds.

  2. May I ask a site admin, are there default rules for adding links within a comment? It seems like whenever I write a long-ish post with more than one link in it, the post doesn’t count in the # of comments (though the comment does appear in the entry-link version of the post). I’m mostly just curious.

    Does this have something to do with all those casinos ‘n’ diamonds spam we saw in the first half of the year?

  3. Even when Pena comes out, they move Freel out there to CF. Speed is nice but it doesn’t make up for great instincts.

  4. If I were a betting man, I’d say the odds are that Pena gets traded, probably to the American League, for a decent pitcher or pitching prospect during the off season. Freel’s ability to play the outfield, covers the brittle Griffey factor, and Denorfia’s rise makes him a better candidate for that extra outfielder.

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About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Category

2005 Reds, Reds - General