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Alcantara out to prove himself defensively

MLB.com @m_sheldon

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Maybe he was just having a case of the Mondays, or perhaps Reds bench candidate Arismendy Alcantara was still getting comfortable at shortstop. His week started with a pair of errors -- one throwing, one fielding -- against the D-backs, and he even had a warm-up throw zip into his team's dugout between innings.

The week concluded on a better note. Besides not committing another error, Alcantara's three-run homer in an eight-run bottom of the eighth inning completed a 9-7 win over the Royals on Saturday.

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Maybe he was just having a case of the Mondays, or perhaps Reds bench candidate Arismendy Alcantara was still getting comfortable at shortstop. His week started with a pair of errors -- one throwing, one fielding -- against the D-backs, and he even had a warm-up throw zip into his team's dugout between innings.

The week concluded on a better note. Besides not committing another error, Alcantara's three-run homer in an eight-run bottom of the eighth inning completed a 9-7 win over the Royals on Saturday.

"I have to be ready for everything and be positive," the switch-hitting Alcantara said on Sunday.

Video: OAK@LAA: Alcantara lays out to make a nice stop

This spring, the 25-year-old Alcantara has played four games at shortstop, two at second base and three in center field, including off of the bench on Sunday against the Angels. The Reds claimed him off of waivers from the A's in October.

"I'm working on shortstop. Every position is important, but my goal right now is shortstop, second base, center field and some third base. You never know where you'll be in the lineup," Alcantara said. "I want to give the manager confidence that if he gives a day off to the other players, he can have confidence in me."

With Jose Peraza as the new everyday second baseman, the Reds lack a true backup shortstop as multiple players battle for bench spots. Alcantara showing aptitude at short could be important.

If something happened to Zack Cozart, the Reds could also shift Peraza or third baseman Eugenio Suarez to short. Zach Vincej is a strong defensive shortstop, but he lacks big league experience.

Video: HOU@OAK: Alcantara hustles to swipe second base

"With Alcantara, he got off to a slow start defensively. But that's trying to form an opinion on a guy in a week's worth of games after he's come to our organization for the first time," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I'm going to stay away from defining him as a shortstop. It doesn't hurt him at all to be able to play shortstop and do it at a high level defensively.

"However, because he plays all over -- he does a very nice job at second base, he's played all the outfield positions and third, and he's a switch-hitter and he runs well -- that's a lot of things to like there, especially knowing that Peraza and Suarez could go over to short if needed."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds, Arismendy Alcantara