No one can deny that third baseman Adam Rosales has impressed with his bat and hustle — going back to Spring Training, in fact. If there’s been a downside to this point, it was on clear display Monday night. His defense needs a lot of work, and Rosales knows it.
Although charged with his one and only error when Chris Snyder’s grounder skipped off his glove and into left field, Rosales was eaten up by several grounders Monday. On some plays, he was able to recover his bobble and use his strong arm to get the out. Last week, it cost the Reds a couple of double plays. As a whole, the team is stressing more and more about not giving away outs.
Bench coach Chris Speier, who also coaches the infielders, took Rosales aside after the game last night. Alex Gonzalez and Joey Votto also talked with him, Rosales said.
“I have to find a way to slow it down,” Rosales said. “One of my strengths has always been defense, coming up through the organization. I think I’m just hyped up a little bit. I’m not seeing the ball too well off the bat. I have to relax and gain my confidence back to its fullest.”
“Right now it seems he’s in a fielding slump where he’s allowing the ball to play him,” Speier said. “His setup is getting a little better. I told him we’re just interested in progress. We don’t expect complete change right away but this is what we want to work for.
“I relayed a story to him. I went to Dodger Stadium my first or second year and had 30 tickets for my family in the area. I went out there and made four errors in the game at shortstop. I was ashamed, embarrassed, you name it. You get the mentality where you don’t want to ball hit to you. And you’re afraid of failure. You have to overcome it.”
- As for Gonzalez, he’s taking more batting practice today but there has been no oblique pain after Monday’s hitting. However because of the nagging nature of the injury, there doesn’t appear to be any rush to get him back.
“He came through really good,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “The trainer said so too. I have to talk to him first and watch him some more in BP today. I’d prefer to give him a couple of more days of BP so he’s sharper. We don’t lose anything as well.”
Gonzalez would prefer to get back, ASAP.
“I feel good. I’m ready to play,” Gonzalez said.
- On Wednesday morning, I plan to take a trip to Goodyear and check out the Spring Training complex. I was out there in September when the Indians facility was nearly done. The main stadium was a few months from completion and the Reds’ portion was just tumbleweeds. I’m sure there’s a lot more to see than that now.
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