LOS ANGELES - Reds officials hoped Edwin Encarnacion would report for his minor-league assignment Thursday, and the third baseman did.
Optioned to Triple-A Louisville before the Reds played at Great American Ball Park, Encarnacion started at third base for the Bats on Thursday and went 2-for-4 with a run.
"It is very, very rare for a player to be sent out and report and play the very same day," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "That says a great deal about Edwin Encarnacion.
The Reds sent Encarnacion to Louisville after he batted .218 with one home run, 14 RBI and six errors.
The possibility of getting less playing time during the team's current road trip also factored in the decision.
"A guy that drove in (72) runs last year, with the numbers he had, he's going to be a good major-league hitter," Narron said. "There is no doubt in my mind about it. If he is not, he will have no one to blame but himself."
Encarnacion hit .276 with 15 homers and 33 doubles and had 25 errors in the field.
Narron indicated there has been some discussion about trying Encarnacion at first base.
The 24-year-old made one start and one extra-inning appearance at first base last season.
"He even took some fly balls in the outfield last year
," Narron said. "He's played some games at first base. A big part of it is if he hits. If he hits the way he's capable of hitting, that whole thing about finding a place to play will be true."