|Cincinnati Reds (15-16)
|Cleveland Indians (18-14)
|W: Civale (5-0) L: Castillo (1-4)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Last night’s good vibrations did not carry over for the Cincinnati Reds, who were pounded by the Cleveland Indians, 9-2, today. As wonderful as the Friday Wade Miley no-hitter felt from a Reds fan standpoint, today’s steamrolling by the light-hitting Indians brings up some questions that this team will need to consider if they truly hope to contend.
This is a question nobody has asked out loud yet, but …
How much is the presence of Eugenio Suarez in the lineup hurting the Reds?
Before today’s game, his 2021 offensive WAR according to Fangraphs was -7.4. According to Wikipedia, a player’s WAR value is claimed to be the number of additional wins his team has achieved above the number of expected team wins if that player were substituted with a replacement-level player: a player who may be added to the team for minimal cost and effort.
So if that number is to be believed, Cincinnati would have seven more wins with a replacement-level player other than Suarez playing. (And if I am interpreting that incorrectly, please let me know.)
His wRC+, a numeric value signifying a player’s offensive value compared to an average number of 100, is 49. So he’s contributing half as much offensively as the AVERAGE player.
In the third inning, Chris Welsh referred to Suarez’s “little slump.” Unfortunately, it is anything but that.
His combined statistics for 2020 and 2021 before today’s game:
55-for-309, .178, 114 strikeouts
Lance, you're right. Thete's something bad wrong!
— Marty Brennaman (@brennaman_marty) May 8, 2021
Like Lance and Marty, I’m going to reject the small sample size argument. Like the rest of Redleg Nation, I want Suarez to regain his batting eye and become the power and RBI threat he has been in the past. But until that begins to happen, it’s time to move him down in the lineup — and I mean WAY down.
And speaking of key players not producing …
Luis Castillo had another rough outing. He had no help from the defense, but he hurt himself with bad control both in and out of the strike zone. This team will not contend if he doesn’t rediscover his form of the past.
Ryan Hendrix was introduced to major league reality, giving up three runs, two hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning.
Notes Worth Noting
I thought it was pretty cool that for as many baseball games as David Bell has been at during his life, only one other no-hitter came to mind besides Wade Miley’s last night. pic.twitter.com/yK4TikWu6u
— Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) May 8, 2021
This tweet brought back some fun memories from childhood …
May 8, 1976: Batting just .157, Dave Concepción looks to “get hot” by climbing into the clubhouse dryer at Wrigley Field. Pat Zachry turns it on and Concepción takes a few tumbles. He goes 3-for-6 that day and hits .304 over the remaining 129 games. #RedsVault #BigRedMachine pic.twitter.com/6mfsK6Nq7p
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 8, 2021
But I’m not going to suggest that Suarez or Castillo should get into a dryer. Seems dangerous.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Cleveland Indians
Sunday, May 9, 1:10 pm ET
Tyler Mahle (3.23 ERA, 1-1) vs Sam Hentges (5.00 ERA, 1-0)