Hoping to stir up a struggling offense, the slumping Cincinnati Reds called up another top prospect Monday and inserted Christian Encarnación-Strand into the starting lineup against San Francisco for his Major League debut. Suspenders.
The 23-year-old infielder flied out to right in his first at-bat, batting seventh as the designated hitter. According to Major League Baseball, at 27 characters, his name is the longest in Major League history, five more than Minnesota pitcher Simeon Woods Richardson. MLB included the script in its count.
Encarnacion-Strand was among four rookies in the Reds’ starting lineup, joining third baseman Elly De La Cruz, shortstop Matt McLain and pitcher Brandon Williamson.
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«It means a lot,» Encarnacion-Strand said. «Now I get to play with a really, really good group of guys. The guys have always been welcoming. Same thing in spring training, they were super, super nice to me. I don’t feel any pressure or anxiety to go in.» there with them.»
A native of Walnut Creek, Calif., Encarnacion-Strand hit .331 with 21 doubles, 20 home runs and 62 RBIs with a 1.042 OPS in 67 games this year for Triple-A Louisville. He led the International League with 177 total bases.
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«He’s played well,» Reds general manager Nick Krall said. «He deserved a shot with Kevin on the disabled list.» “It was the perfect time to bring him in.” He’s made adjustments in recent months. He is doing better at bat. With that he’s still shown power…he’s been able to hit outside the zone, but reducing his chase rate brought him the zone more.» It allowed him to improve to the Triple-A level.»
Infielder Kevin Newman was placed on the 10-day disabled list with gastritis, a move retroactive to Friday.
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Cincinnati entered Monday riding a four-game losing streak after being swept in a three-game series at Milwaukee. The Reds were shutouts in three straight games before Sunday’s 4-3 loss.
Encarnacion-Strand was Minnesota’s fourth-round pick in the 2021 amateur draft. He was acquired last August with infielder-outfielder Spencer Steer and left-hander Steve Hajjar for right-hander Tyler Mahle.