06/21/09 12:36 PM ET
Encarnacion beginning Triple-A stint
Reds third baseman takes first step in wrist rehab since June 9
By Steve Gartner / MLB.com
Reds manager Dusty Baker said Encarnacion's path to returning to game shape could be more difficult than Spring Training."This is like going back to the beginning," Baker said. "In Spring Training, you're hitting live most days. And the pitchers weren't two and a half months into sharpness like they are now." The jump to Louisville may come as a surprise considering the amount of time Encarnacion has missed. But Baker said he wants Encarnacion facing pitchers who have the best control to avoid reinjuring the wrist. "That's a pretty big step right away," Baker said. "He won't have to worry about getting hit." This is the first step for Encarnacion since June 9, when an MRI confirmed he suffered a setback. He has taken batting practice with the Reds over the past few days. Encarnacion was hitting .127 with one home run and six RBIs in 19 games before the injury.
Steve Gartner is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.