Christina Kahrl either reads RedsZone or has the ability to psychically channel the posters here. An excerpt from the Transaction Analysis from today's Baseball Prospectus:
Transaction Analysis Article
You can almost understand it. Encarnacion hasn't produced at the plate, and he's been awful in the field, and with Josh Hamilton's arrival on the scene crowding the outfield, the Reds have their everyday center fielder now, right? They've got to play Ryan Freel somewhere, so by banishing Encarnacion to Kentucky, they get the double-edged psychic benefit of a punitive demotion for their young third baseman who's managed to not be the new Pujols while playing their Rhineland-friendly scrapper at third, Freel. It's a lovely narrative, but it's complete malarkey. Freel's been struggling through “flu-like symptoms” for a while now, and the Reds got the feel-good rush of making Encarnacion go away without actually having someone around to play third in his place, which just highlights how dumb the move was. So, instead of Freel doing something he's not very good at (play third), Reds fans have been treated to Juan Castro and Keppinger starting at the hot corner, which ought to please no one, because each is the definition of an emergency starter at third, and after a day or two, it ceases to be an emergency, and becomes instead an example of weird mismanagement. The organization threw a similar tantrum over Encarnacion's fielding problems last year, and nobody was impressed when they punished him and themselves by sitting him down. It's just not very bright to make yourself worse because you're unwilling to accept one of the prices of playing someone who's an offensive asset. You run the risk of giving yourself a complete zero in the lineup (a desultory 'mission accomplished' there when the likes of Keppinger or Castro are penciled into starting roles), and scapegoating Encarnacion because he had the misfortune of being the only everyday player to get off to a slow start seems juvenile. Last I checked, Encarnacion didn't spend the better part of a year obsessed with the intricacies of building the league's worst bullpen, but then I guess a five-week slump on the field is more expensive than a multi-month bad run in the front office. Except in the standings, of course, but that's all Encarnacion's fault too, right?
I especially like the part about the "multi-month bad run in the front office."