Krivsky not worried about Reds' stats

By Hal McCoy

FORT MYERS, Fla. — If marginal players are attempting to impress with flashy spring-training numbers or veterans are concerned about low batting averages or high earned-run averages, they are wasting their time doing it in front of Cincinnati Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky.

If somebody hands Krivsky a statistical sheet, he would use it to wipe mustard off his mouth or turn it into a paper hat. He wouldn’t read it.

“I can honestly say I have not looked at a stat sheet this spring,” he said. “I’ve seen every game, so I know who might be doing well and who might not, but if I tried to give numbers on what each player has done, I would be guessing.”

It is Krivsky’s scouting background — or as Yogi Berra would say, “You can see a lot by observing.” Krivsky would rather watch performances than read numbers about them.

“Numbers in spring training can fool you, both ways — positive numbers and negative numbers,” he said. “I like to see players peak in the last week of spring training. You might not see bat speed or arm speed early in camp, but you can see it coming around.”

So Ryan Freel shouldn’t fret about his .037 batting average (he concluded an 0-for-24 slide with a double Tuesday), nor should Adam Dunn (.182), Austin Kearns (.174), Jason LaRue (.136) or Felipe Lopez (.192).

And Edwin Encarnacion shouldn’t get giddy about his .464 average, nor should Tony Womack (.364), DeWayne Wise (.444), Quinton McCracken (.400) or Brian Buchanan (.500 with a home run Tuesday against the Red Sox).

Krivsky, though, has more than an inkling of what Encarnacion is doing, especially after his sixth home run of the spring whistled out of City of Palms Park, a two-run blast that helped the Reds beat the Boston Red Sox 9-7 Tuesday.

Reds pitcher David Weathers shouldn’t shout at the dog because of his 12.60 ERA, and pitcher Dave Williams needn’t make excuses for his wobbly showings.

“Proven guys, guys with track records, have their own ways to get ready, so I don’t overreact either way about how they’re doing at this part of spring training,” Krivsky said.

“Take a guy like Williams. He isn’t a power pitcher trying to build arm strength. He is a ‘feel’ pitcher, a guy who has to get a feel for his pitches, work on release points and arm action. Those guys take longer.”

In more general terms, Krivsky is pleased with what he sees concerning work ethics and attitudes.

“Everything seems positive,” he said. “So many guys are doing extra work.

“(Coaches) Bucky Dent and Chris Chambliss are working hard teaching Dunn to play first base, extra time. ”

When asked what he thought about the pitching, Krivsky smiled and said, “Why did you have to ask me that? Do you have another question?”

Yes, Krivsky is on top of the pitching problems and realizes some shortcomings, but coming into the job just prior to spring training makes it difficult for him to perform major fixes.

“Give us time, “ he said. “We’ll get it right.”

The Red Sox welcomed and wished happy birthday during Tuesday’s game to a 107-year-old fan. Krivsky did not check his arm speed.