Francisco to get shot at LF

The Reds have already posted their lineup for Tuesday’s road trip to Tucson. I will not relay all of it now but one thing that stood out is Juan Francisco is starting in left field.

Francisco is 4-for-12 with two home runs and three RBIs and also had a homer in Sunday’s ‘B’ game. Obviously, he’s blocked by Scott Rolen at third base.

“I feel really comfortable with it,” Francisco said of left field, with teammate Yonder Alonso translating the Spanish. “Thank God that in the Dominican, I was able to play it a lot. I’m excited to play over there.”

In 397 Minor League games, Francisco logged five of them in left field. In the winter ball regular season, with the Cibao Gigantes, the 22-year-old played 36 games at third base and 18 in left field.

If Francisco keeps hitting like this, a semi-strong defensive showing in left field could improve his chances against Jonny Gomes, Chris Dickerson and the rest of the competition.

“I don’t care. I know I can play both positions – left field or third base,” Francisco said. “It’s not a problem as long as I can play and contribute every day.”

In 131 games combined at Double-A Carolina and Triple-A Louisville in 2009, he batted .295 with 27 homers and 93 RBIs. He had a nice September call-up to the Reds as well. His one issue — strikeouts. There were only 24 walks last season compared to 115 strikeouts in the Minors.

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