Reds' defense impressive despite injuries

Reds' defense impressive despite injuries

NEW YORK -- The Reds' defense, among the best in Major League Baseball, has managed to remain consistent despite the shuffling of pieces in and out of the lineup recently.

Without eight-time Gold Glove third baseman Scott Rolen -- on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder -- and regular center fielder Drew Stubbs -- on the DL with an oblique injury -- the Reds remain the second-best defensive club in the National League in terms of errors and fielding percentage entering Sunday's game.

"Defense is something we work on, something we stress here," manager Dusty Baker said. "It's a tough sell sometimes, especially in an offensive-minded world. There's people thinking you have a good year because you can hit. Kids coming up from the Minor Leagues because you can hit. But if you're gonna play winning baseball, you can't drive in two and let in three."

The Reds' fielding percentage (.986) is one point shy of Arizona's top mark in the NL, and Cincinnati also has just one more error (32) than the D-backs. The Reds have not committed an error in the first two games of their series in New York.

Rolen, rehabbing this weekend with Triple-A Louisville, is expected to rejoin the club on Monday in Cleveland.

"Nobody's better than Scott Rolen," Baker said. "Nobody gets to balls like Scott Rolen. Nobody throws the ball as accurate across the diamond. I've only had a couple guys throw as accurately every time."