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OnBaseMachine
04-11-2006, 05:09 PM
Notes: Phillips might get outfield time
Crowded infield forces move; LaRue, Wilson continue rehab
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

CHICAGO -- New infielder Brandon Phillips grew up idolizing former Reds shortstop Barry Larkin. But Phillips could soon be doing something for Cincinnati that Larkin never did.

Playing the outfield.

Overloaded with middle infielders, manager Jerry Narron appeared willing to get creative in order to find Phillips playing time. Narron planned to have Phillips get some instruction from first base/outfield coach Billy Hatcher.

Only Ryan Freel and Andy Abad play the outfield now, but Freel often starts in the infield, like he did Tuesday at second base.

"Just watching [Phillips] take fly balls in BP, he looked like he could do that," Narron said Tuesday. "He won't get a start out there, but I could see him finishing a game out there for us."

The only issue for Phillips is that he's never roamed the outfield in a game before, at any level.

"Not even in Little League," said Phillips, who had a pinch-hit double Sunday in his Reds debut. "I've been out there shagging balls and it's cool. Whenever everyone else is hitting, I'm out there trying to catch the popups. That's the closest thing to outfield I've ever been."

As for getting him starts from his natural positions at second base or shortstop, Narron was still trying to figure something out, but it would probably be at shortstop when Felipe Lopez needs a day off.

"I don't like the idea of anybody just sitting there," Narron said. "With Freel, [Tony] Womack and [Rich] Aurilia, it'd be tough to start him at second. ... I hate to say it, but right now he's like a Rule 5 Draft pick. We'll try to work him in."

Phillips, 24, was open to anything he might be asked to do.

"Any way I can get in the lineup," he said. "I'd go out there and play in the outfield. It doesn't matter, as long as I'm getting playing time. It's cool with me."

Injury report: In the latest test of his injured right knee, Jason LaRue caught four innings Tuesday during an extended Spring Training game at the Reds' complex in Sarasota, Fla. LaRue went 0-for-3 against a Fort Myers Red Sox squad but reported no problems with the knee, which needed arthroscopic surgery March 27 to repair torn meniscus cartilage.

Pitching four scoreless innings to LaRue was rehabilitating right-hander Paul Wilson, who allowed two hits and no walks while striking out three. Wilson, working his way back from shoulder surgery, threw 31 pitches.

Both LaRue and Wilson will be re-evaluated Wednesday.

Cleanup man: For the fourth time in the young season, Aurilia was playing first base and batting cleanup between Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn against the Cubs.

It might seem like an odd spot, considering Aurilia is not known as a power threat like Griffey and Dunn. But Narron liked splitting the two lefty hitters with a right-hander and having someone that can drive in runs.

"He's a guy that will give you a good at-bat, whether it's against a left-handed pitcher or right-handed pitcher," Narron said. "Especially if guys are on base."

Narron has also been pleased with how well Aurilia has manned first base, a position he had little experience at before this season.

"If he played there every day as his sole position, he'd be one of the better first basemen in baseball," Narron said.

Seen and heard: Right fielder Austin Kearns couldn't resist pointing out Tuesday morning to Dunn that he was tied for the National League lead with two sacrifice flies.

"Was there ever a doubt?" joked Dunn, who once went 1,085 plate appearances without notching a sac fly from 2003-05.

Coming up: Left-hander Brandon Claussen is scheduled to start for the Reds on Wednesday against the Cubs at 2:20 p.m. ET. Greg Maddux is Chicago's probable starter.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060411&content_id=1394938&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

KronoRed
04-11-2006, 05:23 PM
Does anyone know what a "good at bat" is?

westofyou
04-11-2006, 05:40 PM
Does anyone know what a "good at bat" is?
I do.

WebScorpion
04-11-2006, 11:00 PM
Does anyone know what a "good at bat" is?
Apparently it's a synonym for an out. That's what Aurilia does mostly...either Encarnacion or Kearns belongs in that #4 slot. Aurilia shouldn't even be on the field unless Freel, Lopez, or Encarnacion is missing a limb. ;) I really despise Narron's propensity to play veterans in place of young, developing players like those 3. Hatteburg? Well, that's the one place I don't mind seeing Aurilia, but he should be batting seventh or eighth.

KronoRed
04-11-2006, 11:07 PM
Ahh..so "good at bats" = veteran outs :D

captainmorgan07
04-11-2006, 11:08 PM
maybe work on his outfield skills for a few weeks before narron sticks him out there

Reds1
04-12-2006, 12:13 AM
Actually, didn't Larkin play CF a game or two and they realized it wasn't his thing. Maybe the same can happen. Why not just play Freel in the OF and keep Phillips at 2B and SS.

westofyou
04-12-2006, 12:58 AM
Actually, didn't Larkin play CF a game or two and they realized it wasn't his thing.

Nope.


SECOND BASE
YEAR TEAM AGE G PO A E DP PCT RANGE
1986 Reds 22 3 4 6 0 1 1.000 3.33
TOTALS 3 4 6 0 1 1.000 3.33

SHORTSTOP
YEAR TEAM AGE G PO A E DP PCT RANGE
1986 Reds 22 36 47 119 4 21 .976 4.61
1987 Reds 23 119 168 358 19 72 .965 4.42
1988 Reds 24 148 231 470 29 67 .960 4.74
1989 Reds 25 82 142 267 10 31 .976 4.99
1990 Reds 26 156 254 469 17 86 .977 4.63
1991 Reds 27 119 226 372 15 65 .976 5.03
1992 Reds 28 140 233 408 11 67 .983 4.58
1993 Reds 29 99 159 281 16 56 .965 4.44
1994 Reds 30 110 178 312 10 62 .980 4.45
1995 Reds 31 130 192 341 11 72 .980 4.10
1996 Reds 32 151 230 426 17 80 .975 4.34
1997 Reds 33 63 77 171 5 33 .980 3.94
1998 Reds 34 145 207 358 12 79 .979 3.90
1999 Reds 35 161 220 401 14 77 .978 3.86
2000 Reds 36 102 153 249 11 43 .973 3.94
2001 Reds 37 44 65 108 9 23 .951 3.93
2002 Reds 38 135 190 370 12 89 .979 4.15
2003 Reds 39 60 71 159 9 36 .962 3.83
2004 Reds 40 85 105 216 4 33 .988 3.78
TOTALS 2085 3148 5855 235 1092 .975 4.32

KronoRed
04-12-2006, 02:59 AM
Larkin to the OF was discussed in articles his last few years as well.

GAC
04-12-2006, 04:32 AM
Efficient use of the 40 man roster is a foreign concept right now.

And "having to get guys playing time" is a silly philosophy.

bigredmachine1976
04-12-2006, 07:52 AM
Aurilia is batting .417 with runners on with a 1.346 ops
Aurilia is batting .375 with runners in scoring position with a 1.525 ops

Like him or not at the present time he is deserving of hitting in that spot.

Hopefully if he keeps it up he'll get a little love around here.

Mr Red
04-12-2006, 08:18 AM
He also led the Reds in BA with runners in scoring position last year. At least thats what the scoreboard said on Opening Day.....and we all know the scoreboard doesn't lie:devil:
I would be willing to give Kearnsy a shot hitting between Griff and Dunn. That would still keep the heart of the lineup broken up L/R/L.

bigredmachine1976
04-12-2006, 08:43 AM
I have no problem with Kearns in that spot. My point was that at this time saying that Aurilia should not be there does not make any sense.

Hoosier Red
04-12-2006, 09:41 AM
Apparently it's a synonym for an out. That's what Aurilia does mostly...either Encarnacion or Kearns belongs in that #4 slot. Aurilia shouldn't even be on the field unless Freel, Lopez, or Encarnacion is missing a limb. ;) I really despise Narron's propensity to play veterans in place of young, developing players like those 3. Hatteburg? Well, that's the one place I don't mind seeing Aurilia, but he should be batting seventh or eighth.
Felipe Lopez has started every game, Edwin Encarnacion has started all but one, Aurillia playing first has nothing to do with Ryan Freel.

Really get off this please. He's produced when put in the lineup.
Can we stop complaining about an offense which averages 6 + runs per game.

redsfan30
04-12-2006, 09:44 AM
They tried Larkin out in centerfield in Spring Training for a few games. If I remember correctly it was 2003.

deltachi8
04-12-2006, 09:47 AM
Aurilia is batting .417 with runners on with a 1.346 ops
Aurilia is batting .375 with runners in scoring position with a 1.525 ops

Like him or not at the present time he is deserving of hitting in that spot.

Hopefully if he keeps it up he'll get a little love around here.

those numbers are also a product of richie at GABP. Look at his road splits last year.

GAC
04-12-2006, 10:07 AM
Dump Womack and call Denorfia back up if you're worried about having that OFer on the bench (he IS an OFer!).

Ya got Freel, and as needed, Phillips at 2B.

I'm just shaking my head at this management when to comes to "playing time" and getting guys to learn other positions, just so they can give it to them.

savafan
04-12-2006, 12:49 PM
They tried Larkin out in centerfield in Spring Training for a few games. If I remember correctly it was 2003.

Yep, and it wasn't pretty.

KronoRed
04-12-2006, 02:28 PM
I'm just shaking my head at this management when to comes to "playing time" and getting guys to learn other positions, just so they can give it to them.
It's like little league and everyone has to play or the parents get upset.