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Ken Rosenthal: Reds bound to fall

Rosenthal seems to have a lot of clueless scouts as sources:

Contending teams usually feature strong pitching and defense. The Reds are deficient in both areas, making it doubtful that they'll be a serious threat in the NL Central.


The defense doesn't help matters. The Reds committed 22 errors in their first 22 games, most in the majors, and ranked 25th out of 30 in defensive efficiency, a statistic that measures the percentage of balls in plays that are converted into outs.

The defensive struggles of third baseman Edwin Encarnacion, who leads the majors with eight errors, are curious; Encarnacion, 23, does early work every day with bench coach Bucky Dent, according to G.M. Wayne Krivsky.

"He has enough raw ability that it shouldn't be so difficult -- he's got a good arm, good enough feet, good enough reactions," says a scout who recently saw the Reds. "But it might just be that he's a bat who belongs in the American League."

Left fielder Adam Dunn, who has made four errors, is another issue.

"He's worse now than he has ever been in the outfield," the scout says. "His range is limited. His routes to balls are a little scary. They're going to have to move him to first base."

Anyone who thinks EdE is "a bat who belongs in the American League" is foolish.

Barry Larkin made 19 errors in 119 games as a 23 year old. He committed 29 the next year, this time in 148 games.

I'm not saying EdE is going to be Barry Larkin, but I am saying that he's a plus defender. Errors certainly play into the equation when measuring defensive ability, but they aren't all that matters. Think about it, if someone never gets within ten feet of a batted ball then they're never going to commit an error. But they're sure as hell not a good defender.

Adam Dunn gets beat up in the press because he is a subpar left fielder, but what he really needs is more Ryan Freel (or Chris Denorfia, or Cody Ross) in center field to cover for him. Manny Ramirez plays left field for the Red Sox, and they seem to do all right. I think the Reds can handle Dunn in left.