John Fay writes this morning in the Enquirer what we have all noticed: Edwin Encarnacion’s defense is markedly improved.

The play that third baseman Edwin Encarnacion made in the eighth inning Wednesday night very well could have been a game-saver.

He made a diving stop on a smash by Lance Berkman, got up and threw Berkman out for the second out. It was the difference between no one on and two outs and a runner at first and one out – a very big difference in a game the Reds won 4-3.

But the play Encarnacion made in the ninth might have been a bigger sign of his progress as a fielder.

Houston’s Luke Scott hit a slow-rolling grounder that Encarnacion charged, cut in front of shortstop Alex Gonzalez to get and threw out Scott easily.

Check out these quotes from Narron:

“It’s great to see any time anyone works as hard as he has,” Narron said. “He’s put in his time.”

Encarnacion went into Thursday’s game hitting .228 with three home runs and 21 RBI. Last year, he hit .263 with six homers and 32 RBI through the first two months.

He was hitting .257 since his return from Louisville.

“He’s going to hit,” Narron said.

I’m not even going to comment on that, except to say that it’s equally likely that Narron will say something completely different about Encarnacion tomorrow.

Edwin Encarnacion is a big-time Redleg Nation favorite. We’ve been saying all along that he should be left alone. He’s young enough that he is almost guaranteed to improve in every facet, including defense. Just let the kid play, and he’s going to produce.

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! 11 Comments

  1. Chad,

    I’ve made the comment that at some point – sooner rather than later – EdE will have to move to first. The last few games has forced me to rethink that position. i think you and those who share your view are right. Just let him play and leave him alone.

    This is completely OT, but I’ve not found a better place to ask tis. last year while I was lurking someone posted pics of a Lookouts game vs the Smokies in Sevierville. I live in Knoxville and I’ve wondered if whoever posted those pics might be a neighboring Reds fan.

  2. have forced me…sheesh. And this, not “tis”. I hate typos. 🙁

  3. Phil —

    Two of our editors (me and Chris W) have posted pics of games in Sevierville (here and here).

    Chris and I both live within a couple of hours of Knoxville, over here in Southwest Virginia. We’re a little less than four hours from Cincinnati, so it’s a unique location.

    My top assistant in my last job is a UT grad, and this area is crawling with UT fans, so I know more than a little about Knoxville. Glad to hear you’re so close.

  4. Chris,

    Good to know. I’m one of those rare beasts in Big Orange Country – a UT alum who doesn’t like football. 😯

    Anytime you guys are in the neighborhood, drop a line. The hospitality lamp is always lit.

  5. May take you up on that.

    Although I’ve never met a UT alum who doesn’t like football. I must confess that I’m suspicious of you now.

  6. Although I’ve never met a UT alum who doesn’t like football.

    Football is a boring game. You’ve got 22 oversized head of cattle running into each other and falling down. Then they separate into two anti-social groups, scratch their butts and spend an minute and a half talking about how they’re going use up another six seconds running into each other and falling down again. And this is punctuated by stupid cheerleader routines and marching bands. Then there’s the whole egregious comparison to a military exercise and the disturbing crown psychology (only thing worse that a stadium full of drunk football fans is the pro wrestling crowd). George Carlin pretty much nailed it .

  7. I think it was George Will who said football incorporates the two worst elements of American society: violence punctuated by committee meetings.

  8. Never hear of any 3rd. base prospects in the Reds system. I like EE’s aggresiveness in going after the ball instead of letting it play him. Somebody must have reached him at Louisville regarding his defense.

  9. I think it was George Will who said football incorporates the two worst elements of American society: violence punctuated by committee meetings.

    Yes, but I can’t tell you how much in pains me to agree with George Will on anything.

    Tom,

    I’d like to think Jerry sat EdE down and told him, “Son, the 3B job is yours. Don’t worry about hearing footsteps. Just go out and play.” But I can’t for the life of me imagine those words coming out of Narron’s mouth.

  10. I like EE’s aggresiveness in going after the ball instead of letting it play him.

    Absolutely. The contrast was very evident when Freel was in there at 3b . . . I was surprised, because when you think of aggressive defense, you think of Ryan Freel. Maybe he would have gotten a better feel for the infield again if he’d been asked to stay there longer. But with the glove, Edwin’s been great. His arm looks like it’s coming under control.

  11. I’ve heard a lot of comment about his footwork improvement. Makes sense that would help his throws immeasurably.

    Defense may not be perfect, but with the way EE is playing, and with Gonzo, Phillips, Hatteberg, Ross and a little Castro thrown in, I like the infield ‘D’. With Ross holding on to throws it will make it difficult for anyone to come home once we get Hobb’s arm back in center.

    Hey, gotta love those silver (sliver?) linings….

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

2007 Reds, Reds - General