Sunday, May 20, 2001

Boone plans to try Reese at SS

Manager says move not permanent switch for Larkin

By Chris Haft
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HOUSTON — Pokey Reese returned to the lineup Saturday night at second base, though he might not be there long.

        Manager Bob Boone said he plans to try Reese at shortstop, his natural position, while Barry Larkin is on the disabled list. Larkin, who's recovering from a strained right groin, is eligible to be activated June 1.

        “I want to see how good he is (at shortstop),” said Boone. It's generally accepted that Reese, winner of the last two National League Gold Glove awards at second base, would sustain that excellence at shortstop.

        Boone stressed that his thoughts about Reese shouldn't be interpreted as the first step toward a permanent move, with Larkin switching to second.

        “As far as looking into the future with a conversion, I'm really not looking that deeply,” Boone said.

        Though Reese sounded enthusiastic about making a few appearances at short during spring training, he was subdued this time: “It's cool with me. Whatever. That's the way I look at it.”

        Earlier this season, Boone expressed reluctance to move Reese from second. Two factors changed his mind: his increasing confidence in utilitymen Juan Castro and Donnie Sadler (“I love them from a glove standpoint”) and third baseman Aaron Boone's broken right hand, which has put him on the disabled list. (“My left side's not the same,” Bob Boone said.)

        “More than that, it's like, where do you put your best player?” he said. “Who's going to get the most ground balls? I think it's that basic right now.”


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