There’s been a lot of talk about Yonder Alonso lately. Can he play LF? How good is his bat? Will he be able to play LF for the Reds anytime soon? I thought, what better way to find out than to ask him? So, I did.
Blog Red Machine: Yonder, your thoughts on how your season is going so far?
Yonder Alonso: Overall, I’d say it’s been OK for me. I’ve been up and down a little bit. As far as the team goes, kind of the same. We got off to a good start and have had a tough time lately.
BRM: You had a 15 game hitting streak earlier this month in which your average was over .400. What was going so well for you?
YA: Everything was falling for me, you know. I was seeing the ball well, hitting the ball well. I mean, I was hitting balls hard and they were finding places to land. It was a good stretch for me.
BRM: You go from a hitting streak and now you’re in a bit of a slump here lately. When in you’re in a slump, everybody says try not to think about it, but it’s gotta weigh on your mind some, right?
YA: Yeah, I think it’s really impossible to NOT think about it a little bit. But I’m not too worried. It’s like the hitting streak. I’m still hitting the ball pretty well, it’s just going right at people. Sometimes you have good luck, sometimes to have bad luck.
BRM: You’ve played LF primarily this season; you seem to be progressing well. Are you getting more comfortable out there?
YA: Yeah, I’m definitely getting comfortable out there, especially compared to last year. During spring training I was picking the brains of the veteran guys like Jeremy Hermida and Jay Bruce that have been doing it for a while to get pointers from them. I work on it every day during batting practice. I’m getting to more balls that I wasn’t getting to last year. I’m getting better at it.
BRM: One thing you need to improve on the most defensively in LF?
YA: Everything, man! Tracking balls, making more accurate throws, a quicker first step. I don’t feel like I’m really good at any one aspect of left field right now, so I’m just looking to get better at something each day.
BRM: You had your first big league call-up last year. What do you feel you need to do to not only get back up there, but stay with the big league club?
YA: Aw, who really knows? Nobody really knows when they’re getting called up. All you can do is keep playing to the best of your ability. I feel like if I do that, then the call ups and stuff like that will take care of itself.
BRM: Let’s talk about this Bats team right now. You guys have had injuries, the Reds have had injuries. The Reds call up players, sent down players. How hard is it to mesh as a team with so much movement going on within organization?
YA: You know, it really is tough. That’s probably part of the reason we’re in this funk right now. But, you know, it’s part of baseball, injuries are gonna happen, you’re gonna face adversity, you just gotta keep playing. We’re just thankful we’re going through this in May instead of August and September when we’re nearing the end of the season and starting the playoffs.
BRM: Who would you say is the best pitcher, teammate or opponent, you’ve seen or faced this year?
YA: It’s tough to say. If I had to pick a bullpen guy, I’d say Jerry Gil (0-3 5.64 ERA). He’s a guy who throws hard, can get it up in the high 90s and has a great changeup to go with it. If I had to pick a starter, I’d probably go with Dontrelle Willis (3-1 2.72 ERA).
BRM: Finally, our last question comes from BRM reader Justin Damron (@The_JDam). He wants to know the most important thing you do to prepare for the everyday grind of the regular season.
YA: It’s all mental, man. You always prepare yourself physically. Everybody’s ready physically every year for the whole season, but if you don’t mentally prepare yourself to be ready for that grind, it can really take a toll on you.
Alonso is currently hitting .295/.357/.477 with 5 HR, 25 RBI and 15 doubles.
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