Reds experiment with Alonso at third base

Reds experiment with Alonso at third base

Reds experiment with Alonso at third base
CINCINNATI -- Reds rookie Yonder Alonso is proving the axiom that if you can hit in the Majors, they will keep trying to find a place for you in the lineup.

It took four rocky starts in left field for the Reds to make a determination that Alonso wasn't a fit there. Of course, he is blocked at his natural first-base position by Joey Votto. On Monday against the Phillies, manager Dusty Baker wrote down Alonso's name as the third baseman, batting fifth.

"You've got to try it sometime if you're going to try it," Baker said. "[Cole] Hamels pitches right-handers better than left-handers on the offensive side. If Homer [Bailey] throws like he normally throws, he'll have some action, but not a whole bunch of action."

Of the Phillies' 27 outs in Monday's 3-2 Reds loss, not one play came Alonso's way.

The 24-year-old Alonso started working out pregame at third base on Aug. 1 to get re-acquainted with a position he played in high school and a little bit in college.

"It's pretty cool. It's something I've worked at for a while now -- three or four weeks," Alonso said. "I feel like I'm ready. I feel more at ease as well. I'm back in the infield. Hopefully, it will go well tonight."

No matter what role Alonso has had -- whether as a starter or off of the bench -- he has definitely hit in a small sample size. Entering Monday, he was batting .467 with three home runs, nine RBIs and a 1.456 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.

As for handling himself at a position where a lot of sharp grounders and line drives could come his way, there was no trepidation on Alonso's part.

"I'm not nervous or amped up. I've done a lot of work out there. So I feel fine out there," he said. "You want to be in the lineup. Any time you can get in there and help the team win, that's the main goal. Hopefully, I am in there more often. That would be nice."

Alonso was shifted from first base to left field last season, and he played 62 games there this season for Triple-A Louisville. He has never played third base professionally at any level.

"We're trying to find a position for him other than the one Joey occupies," Baker said. "Normally you're not real comfortable experimenting with a new position at the big league level. You wish you could have done it before he got here but that wasn't the plan at the time."