March 31: Yankees-Reds

Getting down to it here, folks. Three games left before the Reds leave Sarasota for good. Here’s today’s lineup:

Taveras  CF
Dickerson  LF
Votto  1B
Phillips  2B
Bruce  RF
Hernandez  C
Encarnacion  3B
Janish  SS
Owings  P

That’s right, Encarnacion is back in the lineup today at third base for the first time in a long time. He DHed a couple days back, then played in a Minor League game yesterday (the weather cleared up enough for that to happen) and went 3-for-6. The key, after missing time with a sore wrist and then a sore shoulder, is for him to get into a rhythm so he’s ready to go full bore on April 6. “We want him to get at-bats so he doesn’t get off to a slow start,” Dusty Baker said.

Alex Gonzalez isn’t playing on the Major League side yet, but he is going to play the field in a Minor League game for the second straight day. There’s still hope he’ll be ready to go on Opening Day, but just in case, they’re waiting to see how he does before allowing him to playi in a big-league game. If he’s not ready and hasn’t played on the big-league side, they can back-date any DL move to his last big-league appearance, which was March 23.

That’s it for now.. enjoy the day.  — Jonathan Mayo

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