WASHINGTON -- The Reds have decided not to give up on Yonder Alonso in left field after all. Against the Nationals on Tuesday, Alonso got his first start in left field since Aug. 6 vs. the Cubs, during what was a disastrous weekend of defense for the rookie. "We have to try him again sometime," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We're trying to find out, was that just a bad day or if he can do it."
Among the multiple tough moments in Chicago -- Alonso misplayed a Tony Campana line drive near the foul line before it became a two-run inside-the-park home run. The following day, he committed an error. Although a diligent worker, he is not known for speed and has trouble getting to some balls. Alonso was converted to left field late last season at Triple-A Louisville after playing first base most of his pro and collegiate career. He played 62 games in left for Louisville this season before his promotion to the Reds on July 26. "There's more people. There's a third deck. There's more scrutiny and those things," Baker said, comparing Triple-A to the bigs. "But the game is the same. Some of it is mental. Some of it is physical. Down there, nobody really pays attention, except the scouts that are at the game." The Reds very much would like to get Alonso's bat into the lineup, somehow. However, Baker did not know how much of a second chance he would give. "That's a good question, a real good question," he said. "We're hoping he does it but we've also got to win ballgames too. A lot of it depends on how confident he feels out there. It was an experiment from the beginning." Alonso, who came into Tuesday batting .421 with one home run and four RBIs, welcomed the latest opportunity to play left field. "I've been working really hard at it," Alonso said. They're going to put me out there again to do my thing. I'm not going to think about the negative stuff. ... Sometimes you get into wanting to do too much and that's when you get into trouble." Since the Cubs series, Alonso has been taking groundballs at third base. Baker is not ready to give him a game at the hot corner, however. "It's not an easy thing to learn a position in the big leagues," Baker said.