Fearless prediction: Rich Aurilia will be the Opening Day third baseman in Cincinnati.

We’re going to see a repeat of the Felipe Lopez fiasco of last season. It is becoming increasingly clear that the Reds have learned nothing. Take a look at this article, about the competition at 3B.

Why is there even a question???

It’s this type of nonsense that frustrates me about following this team. The Reds have a terrible record when it comes to young players, and instead of putting Edwin Encarnacion at third and letting him play, they are going to fool around with Rich Aurilia again. Don’t they remember last year, when they picked Aurilia over an All-Star shortstop?

Sheesh.

Will it be the young guy or the experienced veteran manning the hot corner for the Reds in 2006?

Deciding between Edwin Encarnacion and Rich Aurilia is just one of the decisions manager Jerry Narron will be mulling over during Spring Training….

If not, Encarnacion could begin the season in Triple-A Louisville, which would open the door for Aurilia. The 34-year-old returned to the fold as a free agent Jan. 8 after signing a one-year, $1.3 million contract.

“When we bring guys up from the Minor Leagues, I really want them to earn it,” Narron said. “I don’t want to bring guys out of Spring Training who aren’t ready. Having Richie back gives us a lot of options. Eddie’s going to have to play well to move in front of him.”

Did you read that? Jerry Narron just said that Rich Aurilia is ahead of Encarnacion. That makes Rich Aurilia the starting third baseman for the Cincinnati Reds.

If you are a Reds fan, you are probably sick right now.

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! 15 Comments

  1. The funny thing is, in that very artlicle interim GM Kullman says that the job is Encarnacion’s to take.

  2. What a bunch of nonsense. At least now I have some hope that stupidity will be recognized and addressed.

  3. I think the absence of an experienced 1B is part of the problem. They are cautious in regards to having an erractic throwing 3B throwing to a very inexperienced 1B.

  4. I agree with Chad. I think it’s Felipe Lopez all over again. Hope we’re both wrong.

  5. to having an erractic throwing 3B throwing to a very inexperienced 1B.

    Dunn played first base before he was drafted, he’s played it in MLB, he’s “inexperienced” in a small way.

    But the real crutch is Narron wants a bat on the ball guy (IMO) he’s more afraid of EE being a all or nothing rookie with a scatter arm.

    Me?

    I’m more worried about RA not getting to the balls EE does and the many outs he’ll make in bursts most of teh summer.

  6. i echo brian and chris in that 1. EdE impressed me at the corner last year and he’ll make more outs than rich 2. i have some faith that this won’t happen with the new management structure.

    People seem to trust Narron, and i think the new GM and new owner will talk with him and let him know what the priority is – developing EdE – and maybe this stuff is just talk to “fire him up.”

    All these oldsters seem to put so much weight on competition in ST, i hope this is just hot air.

    Also, when kearns/pena gets traded, which i’m almost sure will happen now, Rich will be needed for a role much closer to a starting 2b. Freel/denorfia will play the OF, and womack will be a standard utility guy.

  7. I agree with Chad. I think it’s Felipe Lopez all over again. Hope we’re both wrong.

    I want to put a positive spin on this because Castellini has given me hope for the future. If this is another Felipe Lopez, then I can’t wait to cheer for EdE at the All Star game in July! 😀

  8. I’m also feeling unusually optimisic right now, so here’s another perspective:

    If you were the Reds, what would you tell EdE right now? Let’s say you decided that he would be starting at 3B in April already. What would you tell him? Would it be better to tell the kid he had the job locked up and that it didn’t matter how he prepared or played between now and spring? Or would it be better to tell him that he’s got to earn it? Which option will make him work harder and try harder to improve?

    Granted, you don’t want him pressing too much either. But I think there’s something to be said for putting some fear into him right now. So I’m going to withhold judgement until the end of spring training.

    Of course, if EdE plays like FeLo played last spring, and doesn’t get the starting job like FeLo didn’t, I’ll start freaking out. But I’d really like to think that we’ve moved out of stupidville. -jinaz

  9. It may well be Felipe Lopez all over again because some in management fear it is Brandon Larson all over again. What management fails to realize is that Larson was usually hurt two days after being inserted into the lineup.

    While EE winter ball stats are a concern, I think the defensive skills are what scare some in management the most. Hopefull Dent can fix the throwing problems.

  10. Nicely spun, gents. As JinAZ says, this type of “motivation” can work, or backfire. I guess we could trust that Narron knows his player, but I’m not especially charitable towards the organization, especially given the Lopez saga. I’ll wait and see. As JinAZ says, the real time to start bitching is after Lil’ Encar murders the ball in spring training. If he’s still sitting then…

  11. It scares me that such an important decision might be made on the basis of a few ABs in spring training.

  12. @Chat: Your right, it shouldn’t. I’d say if he even plays reasonably well (i.e. along the lines of his performance last season), he should be starting for at least half the year. If he is in a major rut by April 1, I wouldn’t mind sending him down for a month to get his swing back, but it should not be longer than that. We need to give him a legitimate chance to claim the job as his own–at least half a season more. He’s already earned that.

    But I still say you can scare him a bit right now. 🙂 -j

  13. I’d rather have Aurilia start the season at third. Actually I’d rather have him at second, but that doesn’t seem to be part of this equation. I’m not sold on Edwin yet, and I’m not even convinced that Lopez can replicate his first half of last year. The whole infield seems a lot weaker than last year’s at this point. It would be desperately so if Aurilia weren’t in the mix.

  14. Nicely spun, gents. As JinAZ says, this type of “motivation” can work, or backfire.

    If you want to motivate Edwin and instill confidence in him at the same time, you say something along the lines of: “We hope Edwin doesn’t take anything for granted and comes into camp in great shape and looking like he’s done the work we asked him to do, cause Rich is great insurance if Edwin doesn’t develop like we expect him to.”

    Later,
    Tom

  15. Aurilia should be nothing more than a backup to Edwin at 3B. Although I’m fine with Aurilia being the opening 2B, given that Freel is either dealt or playing CF due to an OF being traded for pitching.

    Later,
    Tom

Comments are closed.

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

2006 Reds, Reds - General