Will the Cleveland Guardians still have a need for Franmil Reyes upon his return?
When Franmil Reyes returns to The Cleveland Guardians, he may not fit the current structure of the team. After having a rough stretch of games that hindered the Guardians, they’ve dug themselves out of an early-season hole and are sitting one game over .500 as of this write-up and within striking distance of the Minnesota Twins for first place in the AL Central.
The driving force behind the surge has been the offense and their contact-first approach to hitting. They’re working counts, getting on base, and then swinging the bat with the intention of putting the ball in play, not raking home runs.
The Guardians are 10th in the league in batting average for a team, 1st in the league in fewest strikeouts, 17th in RBIs but just 25th in home runs. This is a team that swings to put the bat on the ball, and Reyes just isn’t that guy.
He’s a very streaky hitter, and streaky hitters aren’t reliable in this offense. The goal is to get on base, be it by a hit or a walk, but to get on base. Set up your teammate. That’s not Reyes. He’s got 57 strikeouts and he’s tied for a team-high in double-plays hit into.
Clearly, not having him in the lineup isn’t hurting the Guardians.
Franmil Reyes has got to change his game to succeed with the Cleveland Guardians
Reyes has always been a strikeout machine. In the majors, the minors, and everywhere in between, Reyes strikes out a lot and hits into double plays a lot. He’s either the first or second player on the team in double-plays hitten into every season he’s been here.
Now, I’ve talked about Reyes a lot already, but when you’re the team’s de-facto power hitter, and all you’re really doing is hurting the team, you’re going to be very noteworthy. It’s not like anything being said about him is untrue, either.
He’s a rally stopper and an inning killer offensively. His power makes him valuable but his inconsistency and impatience make him a detriment. He’s hitting under .200 right now and when he comes back, the Guardians are going to have to figure out where to play him.
Think about this, Reyes is the team’s DH, but he can also play first and a corner outfield spot. If you have to put your best lineup forward every day, do you really sit Oscar Gonzalez, Richie Palacios, Owen Miller, or Steven Kwan for Reyes?
Would Reyes accept a position as a bench player? He should, as he’s clearly not someone you can lean on, at least right now. He needs work with the hitting coach and maybe even a personal hitting coach, to increase his patience and his willingness to not swing at everything.