When Eugenio Suarez injured his shoulder and had to have surgery last month, the Cincinnati Reds were hopeful that it wasn’t serious and that he could be ready “around Opening Day”. Earlier today saw Reds manager David Bell provided an update to Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer, noting that the latest updates are encouraging, and it’s realistic that he could be ready to play on Opening Day.

As was reported when the injury and surgery were originally announced, at the start of the spring, Eugenio Suarez is going to be limited when activities begin in Goodyear for position players on Tuesday the 18th (position players report on Sunday the 16th, but the first workout is Tuesday).

The surgery on his shoulder was just another one for the Reds in the last year. But for Suarez it seems that his injury wasn’t as serious as the surgery performed on Nick Senzel, and was more along the lines of the one performed on Derek Dietrich, which was more of just a “clean up” than something a little bit more serious.

Tucker Barnhart to give up switch hitting

Last season in the second half of the year, Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart decided to make a change and only hit from his natural left-handed side. At the time he noted that he wasn’t sure if it was permanent or not. Already in Goodyear, Barnhart told C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic that it’s official – he’s done hitting right-handed.

As was reported at the end of last season, Barnhart had struggled from the right side of the plate for his entire career. In the minor leagues his OPS as a right-handed hitter was just .444, and he topped the .500 OPS mark just once in a season from that side of the plate in a given minor league season. In the Major Leagues he had hit just .220/.297/.296 from the right side of the plate – better than he had been in the minors, but still a continuation of plenty of struggles.

With Curt Casali being a right-handed hitter, and Barnhart now being a full-time lefty, it will be interesting to see just how much (or little) time that Barnhart gets against left-handed pitchers this season. It likely won’t be much, but catcher is the one spot where you don’t often see platoons based on hitting, so there’s a chance it could be more than one initially thinks, too.

17 Responses

  1. Hotto4Votto

    Great news on Geno. It would be beneficial to get off to a good start this season instead of digging too deep a hole like last season. Geno being healthy would go a long way in helping the Reds get off on the right foot. Glad to see Tucker give up switch hitting. Hopefully he can be more consistent just concentrating on swinging from his natural side. Always thought Hamilton should have done the same.

  2. RedNat

    Suarez heals much quicker than the average mortal. i know he will be ready for opening day

  3. Scott C

    Just hope they don’t rush it. I would rather Suarez missed a few games the end of March and first of April than to go out and reinsures it and be out a month or better.

  4. B-town fan

    Votto reassured Jim Day in his podcast on Tuesday, not to worry about Suarez’s shoulder to start the season, he’ll be fine.

  5. RedNat

    I see where Puig is unsigned. I would take him back in a heartbeat.
    an outfield of Castellanos, Shogo and Puig will get the job done

    • RojoBenjy

      I’ll pass. I saw enough pouting in the outfield. You had to go to games to see it. They kept the cameras off of him for that.

      • RedNat

        Usually I agree with you Rojo but not in this case. I felt Puig was a real leader of the team. He played hard everyday.

        2019 was a strange year. I felt the 2 best all around players on the team were Jose Iglesias and Puig. I am positive if we still had those 2 we wouldbe going away favorites for the division this year. I know a lot of people would disagree with me. It is just funny that different fans had polar opposite perceptions of these 2 guys

  6. Charles Lackey

    Hey Reds why not take a chance with Puig? Obtaining Puig might create trades..go for it.

  7. Indy Red Man

    Welcome to modern baseball! That approach makes Suarez about like 80% of the league. Very few guys today can master a different approach with 2 strikes. Suarez would’ve picked up a ton of additional rbi if guys like Votto, Senzel, and Wink were getting on their expected rate!

  8. Hal

    Doofus I think your stance is clear; probably not a reason to make the statement a 3rd time.

  9. Rich H.

    You did pick a very appropriate name, doofus.

    • mudpuppie

      Risking the wrath here, but I can see where Doofus is coming from to some degree. I am not saying he is useless or should be traded, but I too noticed times when contact would have scored a run only to see that run stranded by Suarez by swing for the fences with two strikes. But it is not just Suarez. It ran rampant in the Reds lineup and throughout all of baseball. I am nearly 70 years old and I remember baseball as more of a team game where individual stats were secondary. Sadly those days are gone….

  10. Lockersocks79

    Doofus go get your bat and show us how it’s done!

    As for me, I’m happy with a 272/364/522 line with 109 hrs over the past three years.

    • Broseph

      Doofus does make a point. Although Suarez’s stats are impressive, just how good would they be if he took off 40 strikeouts last season and put those balls in play. Say maybe 8-10 of those land on the field.

      If he had 10 more hits, that moves his average up to near .290. Everyone talks about Suarez’ power but no one mentions that he led all of MLB in strikeouts last season at 189. His career norm has been 150ish.

      He’s definitely a leader on the team, but to say Suarez doesn’t have holes in his game is turning a blind eye.

  11. Steve Schoenbaechler

    How did he hurt his shoulder again? And, which shoulder? As much detail as possible please.