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turns out that encarnacion's bunt in the 4th inning monday was his own idea -- which, as derrick goold suggests, tells you something about the guy's state of mind. the comparisons to tino martinez, which began immediately upon j'cion's signing, have only been reinforced by his first week on the job; here are the two players' debuts, side by side:

ab h hr rbi avg obp slg
juan 06 26 4 0 0 .154 .214 .154
tino 02 20 3 0 3 .150 .300 .150

martinez struggled all april, batting .200 for the month with 3 doubles, 0 hr, and 9 rbi; it hardly mattered what he produced thereafter, because he'd already established himself as a disappointment. for a look at some other slow-starting cardinals, see this post from my old blog.

if you think encarnacion is scuffling, consider poor colby rasmus: he's off to a 1 for 24 start at quad cities. his lone hit: a single saturday night. he's drawn 4 walks against 7 whiffs, not an apalling ratio; as danup has pointed out, the kid got off to a slow start last year in rookie ball too before figuring it all out.

it's no prettier the next rung up in the farm system, where cody haerther is 3 for 22 through 6 games with 0 runs and 1 rbi. and at triple a, spring-training phenom chris duncan has fanned in 12 of his first 28 at-bats; he's hitting .214 with one extra-base hit. let's total em all up just for fun:

level player ab h hr rbi avg obp slg
mlb j'cion 26 4 0 0 .154 .214 .154
aaa duncan 28 6 0 2 .214 .267 .250
aa haerther 22 3 0 1 .136 .136 .227
a rasmus 24 1 0 0 .042 .179 .042
TOTAL 100 14 0 3 .140 .204 .170

the week the bats stood still . . . . .

since we're checking out the farmhands, here's a little good news: anthony reyes had a damn good start last night -- 6 ip, 3 h, 0 er, 0 w, 7k. that followed an equally strong performance the previous day by VEB favorite brad voyles: 6 ip, 4h, 0 er, 0 w, 4 k. and it somehow escaped all the bloggers' notice that mark mccormick threw 6 innings of 1-hit ball in his debut for quad cities the other day.

i should have time to throw up a quick afternoon post / game thread.