I find it extremely hard to believe Yonder Alonso is signifigantly worse than Gomes defensively. And, even if he is signifigantly worse, I have to believe what he can contribute as a left field platoon partner for Johnny in 2011 is worth the difference. Do not forget, this team happily suffered Adam Dunn's left field carnival act for 6.5 years. More than a leadoff hitter, the Reds desperately need a left handed hitter to share that position with Gomes in 2011. Forgive me, but I HAVE to see with my own two eyes how bad Yonder Alonso is as a left fielder before trusting the opinion of our scouts. His bat hitting behind Votto could be the difference between a second consecutive division title and an alcohol-soaked sob story by our front office.
Walt has already forwarded the concept that this team is not going to address left field, or a power hitter to protect the 2010 MVP externally. Ok, that's fine, but just know that this offense is not going to function well with every pitcher in the league issuing a free pass to Joey Votto three times a night next year. Rolen can probably contribute good defense and solid ab's moving forward, when he plays. But, he is no longer a viable cleanup hitter. Bruce may or may not be taking the next step based on his last 150 ab's of the season, but what if he levels off next year? The Reds cannot consider his development as anything more than a luxury and expect to win. It has been popular to suggest that the Cincinnati Reds have been MORE than 1 or 2 players away from winning a World Championship for the last 20 years. Well, that is no longer the case. This team is THAT close.
If the club cannot acquire "that player" externally because of budget restraints, as it would have you believe, it is up to the organization to create the formula from within. I believe Alonso is the guy, as improbable as some would have us believe, that could make that leap possible. I have absolutely no problem with this guy learning to play left field in a straight platoon with Johnny Gomes in 2011, protecting Votto 2/3rds of the time in a lineup that is particularly vulnerable despite its' gaudy 2010 numbers.
That is, if we can't just sign Jason Werth and fuggetaboutit!