I’ve been one of the biggest supporters of Reds third baseman Eugenio Suárez. I’ve continually said this season, “He will turn it around. Just wait.” Well, I’m still waiting, and I’m starting to feel a little sad that a player with one of the best attitudes is struggling so hard at his craft.

On Wednesday afternoon, he went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts against the Mets. It’s not just yesterday though. In July, Suárez is hitting .179. On the season, he’s hitting .172/.255/.362 with only a 64 wRC+. He has hit 18 home runs and 52 RBI. When he does make contact, he is barreling the bat to the ball because his Barrel% is in the 86% percentile. Unfortunately, strikeouts are driving his struggles.

Too many Strikeouts

In the first half of 2021, Suárez struck out 107 times. Thus far in the second half, he’s struck out eight times through six games. Suárez has always been a high strikeout hitter. From 2015-2017, his K% was consistently around the 23 percent mark. In the last three years, it has steadily gone up, at 28.5% in 2019, 29% in 2020, and now currently 30.2% in 2021. He was in the bottom 10 percent of the league all three of the previous years. This year, he’s in the bottom 8% of the league.

Suárez has never hit breaking pitches (slider, curve) or off speed pitches (splitter, change up) very well. Even in 2019, when he hit 49 home runs, 34 of those home runs (or 70 percent) came off fastballs. He’s a fastball hitter. In the past, he’s compensated for the lack of offense from the off speed pitches by hitting fastballs better. He hit .314 off fastballs with a .665 slugging percentage in 2019. In 2018, he hit .313 while slugging .530. In 2017, it was .317 with a .514 slugging percentage. However, this season is different. With a .172 batting average and a .370 slugging percentage, Suárez isn’t hitting fastballs very well at all, while hitting the worst he’s ever hit on the off speed pitches (.111 on off speed pitches and .185 on breaking pitches).

Suárez’s whiff rate on breaking pitches this season is 43.6%. While this seems high, it’s only slightly higher than his 2019 season and lower than the shortened 2020 season. The same can be said about his whiff rate for off speed pitches. It is significantly higher this year than 2020 (32.9% vs. 23.9%), but in 2019, his whiff rate for off speed pitches was higher than it is now at 34.4%.

Looking back at the course of his whole career, he has remained pretty steady with a low-to-mid 30s whiff percentage on off speed pitches. What has changed significantly in 2021 is that opposing pitchers have caught on and are throwing him more off speed pitches. He’s seen 188 off speed pitches (or 12.2%, one of the highest of his career) in 2021, compared to 8.7% last year and 10.6% in 2019.

A Reasonable Explanation?

Strikeouts hurt a player because they’re not putting the ball in play to have a chance at a hit. And Suárez isn’t getting on base via walks either. His walk rate is also the lowest since his sophomore season in 2016 at 8.7%. He’s not just swinging and missing at strikes; he’s not seeing baseballs outside of the strike zone very well either.

Add in some bad luck too (Suárez has a .195 BABIP this season, by far the lowest of his career and a batting average of .172 with an xBA of .236) and it makes it even harder to get any kind of momentum going. When he puts the ball in play, it seems like he just hits into a double play, or even when he does get a hit, like Tuesday night, he gets thrown out at third on a good throw from the outfield.

Nothing appears to be working for him this season. We all desperately want to see Suárez improve, because it’s painful to watch him at the plate right now.  I really do hope he can turn it around soon. He’s such a fun player and baseball is better when he’s playing well.

109 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Thanks Ashley. This is repost from me from a little while ago. “What’s wrong with Suarez, in my view, is not complicated at all but very simple. The stat that says he has more HRs than anyone else in the ML since 2018 including Trout is in his head and he can’t/won’t get it out. The only way to do that is to bench him for an extended period of time until he finally realizes he needs to change if he wants to play. The talent is there if he wants to use it”.

    • Tomn

      I don’t know that the talent is there. I think he’s aged and his offensive ability has tailed off quickly. Maybe his vision is worse, maybe not, but I think he’s lost it as an offensive performer.

      • JayTheRed

        I have been wondering about his vision too.. Maybe he should look into this a little farther. He just doesn’t seem to see the ball very well. Nothing against him it’s just that some people lose vision sooner than others.

    • John Willis

      Any other player with those stats should not b playimg

    • Cathy Cain

      Maybe he needs his eyes checked then. He is not performing. Monday’s game against the Mets he was 0-6 and left 9 on base.

    • Pierce Cunningham

      Good talent but he works against hitting by consistentlly being undisiplined regarding the pitch count. I suspect he has a record of being 0 and 2 75% of his at bats. That puts pressure on his ability to produce hits.
      Good trade bait but is too comfortable here especially with this non demanding manager.

  2. CI3J

    Maybe he needs glasses.

    Hey, it worked for “Wild Thing” in Major League!

    • Mike

      I was thinking the same thing… if he makes contact he hits it hard… his strikeouts have gone up each year… obviously he isn’t seeing the pitches or having a hard time recognizing it…

    • centerfield

      I think he wears contacts. I seem to remember him having a contact malfunction is a game earlier in the year.

      • CI3J

        He may need to go get his eyes tested again. Eyesight can get worse so that your current prescription is no longer adequate.

        I can tell you for a fact I don’t wear the same prescription now that I did 10 years ago.

      • James K

        Do the players have an annual vision test? Just looking for a simple explanation…

      • west larry

        I suggested this weeks ago. Something must be wrong with his vision.

      • JayTheRed

        He also could have some form of eye disease too that causes him to not see as well. He really should get it checked.

        Also just wanted to tell people too get your own eyesight checked at least once a year. Things can change especially as you get past 30 and 40 very quickly. Don’t take your eyesight for granted.

      • greenmtred

        I’ve also wondered about his eyesight, but doesn’t it seem unlikely that a team with a good hitter who falls off drastically wouldn’t consider that and get his vision checked? Wouldn’t Suarez himself?

  3. Klugo

    Time should be running out for him. He should be the odd man out if/when Moose and Senzel return. Hope it doesn’t have to come to it, but there is no way anyone should take Jonathan India’s PT.

    • Tim

      It’s simple. He can’t hit breaking balls or off-speed pitches. Other teams have figured this out and he hasn’t. Advantage other team. There’s skill and then there’s strategy. If you can’t adjust, you can’t win.

  4. BZ

    There is no player I want to succeed more than Suarez. He is fun, positive, and just seems like a nice guy. With that said, something needs to be done for the betterment of the team and Geno. Maybe a change of scenery is best for everyone involved.

    • Indy Red Man

      I totally agree with Klugo and BZ! Most of tried to be patient, but its not working. He only had 8Ks thru his first 10 games in July and he still wasn’t hitting. He misses sliders by a foot? If they don’t groove a fb then he has no shot. I’ve never seen anyone strand guys at his pace in my 40+ years of studying this game.

      Moose is signed for 2 more and is making too much to move. Senzel is still young and a #3 overall pick as well. Geno has got to go, even if they have to eat most of his salary.

      • BZ

        Yep, I think it has transitioned into move at all costs even if they have to eat his salary. It’s hard to see him mentally ever being able to succeed in Cincy again. Most of the fan base already despises him and the last few like us are getting to our breaking points. It’s a no-win situation for a seemingly good dude.

      • amdg

        If you are going to eat the salary, and pay him either way, you might as well pay to use him, unless you have a clear better option for a backup infielder.

        Their refusal to bench him is a problem. It not only hurts the team on the field, but sends a clear message that playing time is not a product of how well you play, but how much you make.

      • KG

        Would he even bring anything in return at this point?

      • BZ

        KG, I think the only thing he would bring in return is about 10 less LOB a game and that is priceless.

      • Tomn

        Isn’t he sunk cost at this point? Trying to get your investment back by hoping he will start becoming productive again is a lost cause. Your better bet is Moose or Senzel. Suarez can be a spot-starter, pinch-hitter and maybe late-inning defensive replacement. Expensive, but he’s already expensive. It’s just a matter of what you do with him at this point.

      • Chris W.

        No way do I move Suarez after one bad year at the plate over Short Season Senzel. Kid will never stay healthy. Geno will bounce back.

  5. Mike

    I was thinking the same thing… if he makes contact he hits it hard… his strikeouts have gone up each year… obviously he isn’t seeing the pitches or having a hard time recognizing it…

  6. CFD3000

    I think there are two separate but related questions for Suarez: what’s wrong, and what’s to be done about it? All those stats about whiff rate, batting average against certain pitches, etc. tell you how his numbers add up to so little, but they don’t explain why he’s been so ineffective. I think that comes down to poor pitch recognition, and the dreaded “pressing”. The latter may recede with a little good fortune, but the former is a huge problem. If he can’t tell a pitch is slower than a fastball, or that it’s about to break off the plate, pitchers will continue to throw him just enough fastballs to keep him guessing and guessing wrong. He’ll still run into enough of those fastballs to give us all hope (himself included) but he won’t actually get better.

    He needs to work on pitch recognition. Lots of ways to do that including donning the catcher’s gear and receiving those pitches. Over and over and over. But however he learns, he’s got to get better at pitch recognition. Lay off those outside curves and sliders. Wait on those changeups and splitters. And as a bonus, eventually see more fastballs. But I don’t think the Reds can afford for him to try to learn on the job. He’s a huge hole in the lineup right now, and with Castellanos out for a little while that hole gets even more problematic. I don’t know if he’d accept the demotion, but the FO needs to have an honest conversation with him and ship him to AAA for a while. Because if he doesn’t leave the Reds lineup soon voluntarily, he’s very likely to leave it involuntarily not long after that. The sample size is too big. The league has figured out how to get him out almost all the time. He’s such a good dude – I hope he and the Reds can find a way to help him contribute again. But it can’t go on this way much longer.

    • SultanofSwaff

      In essence, he’s Adam Duvall now. I looked up their splits—both hit righties better….probably due to them primarily hunting the fastball.

      • Indy Red Man

        Adam Duvall is like Manny Ramirez compared to Geno right now

      • Tom Reeves

        Adam Duvall was an On Base, HR, Strikeout machine. Sadly, Geno is only two of those things at this point.

        Also, while low BABIP could suggest bad luck, his xBA is only at league average.

        I hate that for him. He’s such an easy guy to root for. It’s obvious is teammates are pulling for him.

        From a front office perspective, his contract looks like a distressed asset and a sunk cost. With his contract, he’s untradeable without the Reds eating nearly all of his remaining contract. The Reds don’t have great alternatives at the moment but will when Moose and Senzel return. Geno might need some extended downtime to get things figured out.

    • Jim Walker

      This is an eye test versus hard numbers; but, it seems to me Suárez is flat out caught looking at very good pitches much more often now, especially with 2 strikes against him. This seems to suggest he is (and maybe has always been) mostly a guess hitter.

      If it were simply a matter of guessing a change in how teams are pitching him, it seems to me he has been around a block enough times, he would not have such difficulty as he is in figuring things out. I suspect something else could be going on.

    • greenmtred

      Thoughtful analysis, CFD3000. I think the outside slider is a very tough to pitch to recognize, and nearly impossible to hit. I’ve noticed Castellanos flailing helplessly at outside sliders, too. Supposedly, a lot of MLB players are guess hitters, to one degree or another. Is Geno just guessing wrong a lot?

  7. SultanofSwaff

    Good analysis Ashley.

    The moment is fast approaching when high priced veterans like Suarez and Moustakas will have to share a position or take a bench role supporting more talented young players like Barrero and India…..probably some combination of the two. It’s not necessarily a problem from a baseball point of view as depth is important, but from a payroll perspective it’s a disaster…..especially when you factor in Shogo. You’re talking ~$32 million, one quarter of the payroll, tied up in part time players. Of course the only reason it’s a ‘disaster’ is because ownership insists on operating at break even every year even though the value of the franchise has quadrupled during Castellini’s tenure. I believe a competitive window is opening but ownership failed to recognize this development and thus hasn’t reacted with the urgency needed to support this talented group. The economics of baseball aren’t changing anytime soon, this is simply the price of poker. Ante up or fold and give your chair to someone who will.

    • Jim Walker

      Good thoughts. Urgency, flexibility and agility are NOT hallmarks of the Reds organization. Players are assigned a spot in the pecking order early on and only when everyone in front of them is unavailable does anything change.

      • TR

        Right on. Aristides Aquino is a good example.

  8. Indy Red Man

    If you combine 2020-21 then he has a normal seasons total:

    541 at-bats
    185 Ks and 14 double-plays

    He doesn’t even have good home splits over 2020-21? How can a power hitter not be better at gabp? Its because he swings so hard that the ball would go out of the Grand Canyon. You don’t need that in gabp? Castellanos has the perfect approach! Just hit it hard where its pitched and the Gasmallpark will do the rest!

    He’s only been with the Reds and their batting instruction isn’t working. He’s heard it all before. Its time for a new beginning and a new approach somewhere else.

  9. Jim Walker

    Maybe Suárez shoulder injury and follow on surgery in the offseason between 2019-2020 is a factor? Perhaps he has lost that last smidgen of agility and flexibility required to fully extend and adjust his swing as it is in process? Yes, it was his throwing shoulder; and he still seems to throw unimpeded. But throwing is a different range of movement from swinging a bat; and, the back shoulder is severely extended by the swinging action.

    • Michael A Smith

      Great question Jim. Is it a coincidence that he fell off the map after the shoulder injury?

      Combine that with less than great pitch recognition in his prime and he were are???

    • DaveCT

      This leads me to question whether he is currently hitting fastballs as well as earlier in his career. If he is not, I suspect the shoulder injury has influenced this in some way.

    • beelicker

      Track his splits vs LHP through that period. High outlier 2o18, 2o19 was a return to normal then precipitous 2o2o drop and even further erosion this season

  10. Indy Red Man

    Old School said it 2 months ago. The Rockies make the most sense for Geno! They traded Arenado. Story will leave. Blackmon is about done. They need a marquee player and breaking balls don’t break as well in Coors. Geno has a .927 lifetime ops in Coors. Denver also has a huge Hispanic community! If he got it back at all then he’d be a huge hit out there.

    How could they justify playing him over Moose with his salary or Senzel and he’s horrible at SS. Eat what you have to eat and move him along!

    • Reaganspad

      2 months of Story for Geno?

      I am not sure I would want that but that is about where I value both right now.

      • Indy Red Man

        They might do that if the Reds ate half of the $35 mil coming to Geno

    • Old-school

      Denver packs Coors Field. Suarez would give them a veteran marketable player and only 30 with reasonable AAV should he bounceback in the homer happy Coors field
      His shoulder is fine. He still hits massive HR and has made some GG cakiber plays and throws at 3b( as well as some LL plays)

      Time to move on
      Senzel is the only player under contract in 2024. Get younger and position the team for its next core to build around

      • TR

        This is the first time I’ve seen cavernous Coors Field referred to as homer happy. I thought that title belonged to the GABP. I agree that Denver is a good spot for Suarez. Hopefully the Reds could get Story as a backup to Barrero, or a good relief pitcher. At mid-career, Suarez needs a change of scene. Senzel can take over third backed up by the Moose.

      • greenmtred

        I thought Jim’s point about the shoulder and how such an injury would affect different functions was pretty compelling. I’ve had shoulder problems, and–just as Jim said–they affected range of motion for some functions and not for others. And didn’t really affect strength (the massive home runs).

  11. Willdcat

    It’s difficult to watch Geno continue to struggle; he seems like such a likable guy, and appears to be a fav among teammates. He’s been solid at 3b, but the hits, getting on base – still not happening. Expect him to still get chances thru the end of the season, but if he can’t turn it around, and the Reds don’t at least make the playoffs – I would expect the team to make a change. Don’t know if any other teams would want to take his contract based on his production, and I hope it never comes to that. Love Geno, and not forgetting how capable he really is…

  12. Sam

    He made up his mind and publicly stated before the season he was going to hit 50 home runs. That was his goal and that has been his approach every at bat. That’s what is killing his average and his season.

  13. Hotto4Votto

    Lots of good stuff in the article. I think what’s wrong is multi-factored. One, I think hitting so many HRs has led to a bit of a boom or bust approach from Suarez. Two, I think the league has figured out he can’t hit off-speed or breaking pitches and he’s getting a heavy diet of those pitches as a result. This will continue until he proves otherwise or lays off those pitches out of the zone. Thirdly, he’s aging. He just turned 30, and has begun the decline phase from his prime. Often it’s not as drastic as this, but in some ways, some form of decline is to be expected. None of it paints a rosy picture moving forward unless an approach change is in the works.

  14. Robert E Stewart

    Having coached for over 40 years, I found the best solution is bunting. You’re concentratiing on seeing the ball. Whether in batting practice, or in game situations, put the bunt on when appropriate.

  15. beelicker

    WWPD? What would Pete do? Seems like when he was in a slump he used to do extra batting cage work until his hands bled lol

    Or at least that’s what he’d tell the old left-hander

  16. DataDumpster

    1) He signed a big contract and perhaps lost some work incentive. I don’t know if that is true but it happens all too frequently. It is extremely difficult to reach the top in competitive sports and constant adjustments are needed to stay there.
    2) He was asked to lose weight, play a new position, and still had a mighty appetite for hitting 50 home runs. Unachievable, management should have know that in advance.
    3) He needs to accept going to the Bats and/or riding the pine quite a bit. He still needs restorative “therapy” and the team really needs to figure out how much value they have left in Moose and Senzel.
    It’s time to get serious. Stupid confidence building tricks or whatever hitting leadoff was supposed to accomplish were not serious.

  17. Redsfan In TX

    Great thoughts Ashley – it sounds like most of us here are really rooting for the guy. There are lots of opinions to float about but the crux of the matter is he can’t hit a MLB curveball. He also tends to try a pull the ball too often and that does not help, especially the way the opposition is throwing breaking balls away. The Adam Duvall comparison is on here a lot but he reminds me a little of Jay Bruce (who never struck out quite this much) but when Jay was pressing – he looked the same…always trying to pull the ball. Suarez did hit a homerun the opposite way the other night (in Milwaukee before the all-star break), but he was late on a pitch out and away (a mistake pitch).

    I have heard it said that the primary difference in hitting at the MLB level vs AAA is not so much the hitting talent as is the MLB breaking pitches are just a lot better than with minor league pitching. Sending him to AAA might help settle him down and build his confidence at the plate, but not sure he is willing to do that. He just seems totally lost up there.

    He has what is referred to as a “long swing” – great for power!! (Think Ken Griffey Jr) but that style of hitting does not typically allow for many adjustments. He would have to change his whole approach – batting stance, how he holds the bat, ect… He could do it, but he would not hit the homeruns and rarely do we see MLB players today willing to extend their careers by making such major changes.

    I played a little in high school and post high school – and reading a breaking ball is quite the chore. In coaching I threw lots of breaking balls to the kids I coached because I wanted them to grow comfortable with the idea of recognizing and hitting a breaking ball. It is simply not an easy skill to master.

    On a positive note – our ONE hit yesterday was from Aquino. He appeared to be fooled on the pitch and he still hit it hard for a nice single. Why significant? When a batter gets fooled and still hits the ball square on, that is the sign of seeing the ball well and making adjustments. Hopefully he continues to improve. GO REDS!!

  18. AllTheHype

    Hitting 49 HRs in 2019 was the beginning of his downfall. Instead of the line drive hitter who hit HRs when he got ahold of one, he became (in his mind) the HR hitter who occasionally hit line drives.

    Post 19 he began chasing, everything looked like “his” pitch, and every count was a HR count. And now he can’t, or won’t, dial it back again.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      He is not really chasing more now compared to 2019. in 2019 he had a chase rate of 26.6%. Last season it was 26.9%. This season it’s 29.0%.

      He is swinging less often than in 2019 by 4%.

      The problem seems to be that he hurt his shoulder prior to spring training 2020. He hit like .280 in 2018 and 2019 and he is hitting .180 since injuring his shoulder. It’s Austin Kearns all over again. But much worse.

      • Jim Walker

        I agree. Many people don’t want to consider the shoulder situation for whatever reason.
        Maybe just because the pandemic was so much worse at so many more levels that an off the field shoulder injury and surgery seems insignificant. Especially perhaps because the short season meant Suárez direct healing was behind him by the time the 2020 season started.

        Not to mention even now when he does run into a ball he still really runs into it good; and, to many people that makes him blamable for not hitting as well consistently as he used to hit,

      • AllTheHype

        A shoulder injury that affects his hitting but not his ability to make throws from 3B? Unlikely.

      • Jim Walker

        @Hype, Throwing is a different arm slot and range of motion. It generally is also not as nuanced as swinging a bat where literally an inch or two in all three dimensions can be the difference between a HR, pop up and whiff.

      • AllTheHype

        @Jim, without any outward indication whatsoever that Suarez is limited from previous shoulder injury, including no effects fielding, throwing, or any indications from Suarez that he isn’t 100%, it is a stretch to assume such just on the basis of performance deterioration alone. I’m not buying it.

  19. paul j olbert

    it’s not terrible to have him batting seventh –but for the money he makes it;s not worth it in the long run — lots of mental lapses –letting “cock shots” go by for strike 3 –refusal to hit to right center, where he used to hit a few homers –might have to cut bait and pay half his salary when moose returns (next yr) –time to start thinking for next yr –might have to trade naquin and sonny

  20. amdg

    I was curious if Suarez was hitting as poorly as the infamous Rob Deer of the Brewers back in the 80’s, so I took a look.

    If you don’t recall, Deer was a career 0.220 hitter who led the league in K’s 4 times over a 7 year span, and finished in the top-10 in K’s a total of 8 times (despite never playing more than 135 games in a season).

    Comparing their age 29~30 seasons…
    Both averaged 6% HR / AB
    Both averaged 34% K’s / AB

    Suarez had slightly more HR’s per Hit (33% vs 28%), while Deer had a better Walk rate (12% vs 10%), a better slash line, and far better OPS+ (72 vs 106).

    Suarez: 0.183 / 0.276 / 0.401
    Deer: 0.210 / 0 .309 / 0.428

    That Suarez is actually hitting worse than Deer is troubling. Very troubling.

    • DataDumpster

      Nice stats. Remember him well (as kind of a laughing stock that just kind of had 9 lives). Don’t want to see that with Suarez although attitudes have changed.

  21. Mark Moore

    I’m still a bit on the fence, but I appreciate the analysis being laid out so even guys like me can understand it.

    The results this year are pretty clear to see. And they aren’t good. I think the “50 or bust” is a factor as was the switch to SS (though that ship has sailed). To me, this does seem like a classic “needs a change of scenery” scenario. That’s a tough pill to swallow and our FO doesn’t take that medicine well based on past performance.

    I’m doubtful we’ll catch the Bernies this year. I’d like to see his playing time reduced once we get Senzel (and even Moose back). I certainly don’t want to eat into India’s time on the field and I don’t want to see him move either.

    We all shake our heads and agree he’s a great guy but not delivering. It’s kind of hard luck all the way around.

  22. Scott C

    I think of all the theories suggested for his decline the most notable ones are, that he is seeing a lot more breaking balls, he is swinging too much for the fences, and he has begun his aging decline. Another theory that might be in the age thing is that perhaps his eyesight has declined and therefore he is not recognizing the off speed pitches as well. Unfortunately, Suarez has really never been a great hitter he just thrilled us with one year of excellent power hitting. What we have may be what we have. I would just hope that the management would sit him for better options. Although that didn’t happen when Lopez was up.

  23. Rednat

    Suarez had some success leading off. do you put him in the leadoff spot again and move India in the 3 spot while Nick C. is out?

    also Suarez looked like a guy who was going to be out of the league due to weight issues last year. Bell challenged him to lose weight and he has. it has payed off as he has been the most durable red this year. the weight loss has likely had some effect on his hitting as some of the balls that would have been homers previously are not getting out of the ballpark now. the attempted triple tuesday is the perfect example. i think he is trying to overcompensate by swinging harder

    • beelicker

      His #6 exclusive splits are still slightly better than at #1

      Keep India’s OBP at #1

  24. scotly50

    Pitchers have figured out how to pitch him and he is unable to adjust. Real simple.

  25. RedLegg

    Having trouble getting my posts to stick. Any suggestions?

    • Doug Gray

      Yes. Have patience.

      The first time anyone posts a comment it goes to moderation and has to be approved before it goes public. We don’t have someone sitting around reading through the 500 comments we get per day at every minute of the day and some days it takes us more time to get to all of them.

  26. REDBB

    I predict Suarez will platoon vs LHP when Moose gets back. I also think Barrero gets called up soon and Farmer goes to the bench. The Reds will make zero moves at the deadline as well

    • beelicker

      .Saurez hits LHP worse than RHP .12o/.233/.28o

  27. Paul

    He’s clearly pulling off the baseball. His head is moving on every swing

  28. LDS

    Even simpler than scotly50 suggests, 2019 went to his head. All he cares about is hitting homeruns. Everyone says he’s a great guy but you have to wonder if he cares about the team in the least. I’d rather see some serious Joe Morgan or Pete Rose competitiveness rather than a guy striving to set a MLB record for mediocrity, yukking it up on the bench while the Reds are getting shutout. However, he did contribute 4 more strikeouts. Bench him or trade him but for god’s sakes, don’t play him.

  29. Hanawi

    Pretty clear to me that he changed his approach in 2019 and bought into the launch angle technique that Ward brought. It works if the pitchers throw him enough fastballs.

    • Doug Gray

      His launch angle hasn’t changed the last three seasons – but did, as you noted, change from 2018 to 2019. He’s not, however, seeing fewer fastballs than he was in 2019. 53.3% to 52.8% last to to 53.0% this year.

      There was a drop in fastballs seen from prior to 2019, though, when he was seeing 58-60% fastballs.

  30. Arthur

    Suarez’s struggles remind me of an ex-Red Willy Mo Pena. I remember seeing this comment about Pena, but it absolutely applies to Geno:

    He hasn’t seen a slider all season. He’s had plenty thrown to him, but he hasn’t seen a one of them. All he sees is fastballs.

  31. Old Big Ed

    The reality is that no team wants any part of Suarez’s contract. Maybe a rebuilding team like the Rangers would agree to take on more than the MLB minimum on him (i.e., the DFA price), but I don’t know why they would.

    He is the newest edition of the Orioles’ Chris Davis. No team wants Davis or his contract, and Suarez has played himself into the same territory.

    The Reds are hoping against hope that he will get some sort of hot streak to signal an end to “The Slump,” just so they can try to sell his contract for something. It ain’t gonna happen. I personally believe that his aging curve came fast, likely because of declining vision and the shoulder injury, and that he is finished as a player.

    Thus, as soon as either Senzel or Moustakas is ready to come off the DL, I think that the Reds should DFA Suarez and put this behind them. He costs them $11 million/year But having a dreadfully bad hitter in the lineup — one who is slow and who plays subpar defense — adds to the cost of keeping him on the roster.

    • AllTheHype

      1. $38M is too much coin, and they will not DFA him with $38M and 3.5 years remaining.
      2. Trading him would be essentially the same result as DFAing him, in that they will have to eat the salary, so they won’t/can’t do that.
      3. He will play the large majority of innings, because the Reds have to hold out hope of recouping some value from the $38M. He “may” get benched or DL’ed for a short period of time.

      There are no other viable alternatives or paths that the Reds may take. The only thing that Reds FO and fans can hope for is that he figures it out, or that the Reds are good enough in the other 8 position to overcome his ineptitude.

    • JayTheRed

      Isn’t it funny how in 2 years our opinion of this guy has completely changed.
      Everyone before said he was a steal at his price tag and that teams would drool all over to get him at his contract. Now nobody wants him at all.

      Sad very sad. Geno has a lot of pride I wonder if he has had conversations with the team about what he can do to fix things.
      Eyesight test, extra hitting practice against non fastballs, change in stance… At this point if I were him I would pretty much want to do anything to help change things. We don’t need him to be a HR hitter anymore. We have other guys who are more than capable of that.

      If he is not willing to do some different things maybe he does need to be benched or sent to the minors for a wake up call.

    • Chris Holbert

      One thing that comes to mind for me, is he really “only” 30. Birth certificate aside…

  32. Jimbo44CN

    I have thought about this quite a bit, and some of the posters above may have hit on a couple of his problems, as he has more than one. Eyesight deteriorates, and if the Reds have not sent him to an Eye Doctor to get checked out, that’s ridiculous.
    He is clearly frustrated with his batting and it shows, so he is going to press. The more he presses the worse he gets. Also, he at times this year has gone away from the home run swing, used a smaller bat and occasionally did hit a line drive to center or right. Now hes back to the big bat and that long loopy uppercut swing. He looks completely lost. Get him down to Triple A and an Eye Doctor, asap.

  33. JB

    He pulls his head and doesnt keep it down. He swings aggressively and pulls his head out. When he hurt his finger he couldnt swing aggressively and was putting the ball in play. He will run into some but his head is all over the place when swinging. They say keep your head still and eyes on the ball. His head is looking over his shoulder most of the time.

    • Alan Horn

      You hit the nail on the head. India still does it some but not consistently like Suarez. You are not going to do much with a pitch on the outer half if your upper body and head are rotating to pull. Curves, cutters, sliders and fastballs away have to be hit the other way to be successful. Usually you let up on your swing and certainly your upper body doesn’t rotate(especially the head and shoulders). That generally called going with the pitch or hitting it where it is pitched. Your bat angle changes to allow you to hit the ball on the good part of the bat. Players that can’t go the other way are at the mercy of the pitcher from Little League all the way to the Major Leagues (the pitcher has your number if he throws it on the outer half) .

      • greenmtred

        It’s possible that Ted Williams never went the other way. If he ever did, it was a rarity. But, that said, Geno isn’t Ted.

  34. Steven Ross

    You can stare at stats all you want or come up with multiple conjectures but he hasn’t been the same since he lost all that weight.

    • AllTheHype

      Last year he had all that weight.

    • Alan Horn

      I wonder if he has just reached the age where his batting skills have eroded. It happens at different ages for different players. Usually it becomes more evident from either side of age 30.

  35. JR

    I ‘m not sure if at has been mentioned among these comments, but one factor in Suarez’ decline- has always been there. And I’m sure his coaches and fellow players recognize it. Not a flaw , but it is “style” of hitting. He has an “old-school” swing, very “long”, and uppercuts the ball. Not taught anymore. He takes a full, not short, pass at the ball which generates great power. But it is hard to correct mid-swing (for speed and break) . Great “natural” hitter , but has, and will. miss a lot. I’m sure the Coaches talk about it, but are reluctant to try and change him. Don’t think it will improve, but hope I am dead wrong, because, he is a great guy.

  36. JB

    One thing the Reds need to do, is stop playing him. I dont think that is helping him at all. His body language at the plate says it all. Totally defeated. When he tried to stretch the double into a triple he knew he was out when he slid. After the tag he just put his head down and laid there for a second. I know the Reds are hoping he comes out of it by playing but right now he is not in a good place. The belief is a hitter cant break out of a slump while sitting on the bench but I think the young man needs a mental break. He doesnt need to be told he is benched because that wont help his mind. Just tell him to take a step back and time off. Take a couple of weeks to relax, get his mind right and get in the cage. Pinch hit if they need him and let him just relax and clear his mind. I’m sure he has a 1000 people telling him what’s wrong and it’s just making it worse. He is a good guy and I think everybody on here would love to see him do well. As frustrated as I get with him I absolutely love it when he does well. Sometimes I think we all forget that these guys are human beings just like us and they are trying. Nobody gets up in the morning and says “I hope I fail today”. JMO

    • Alan Horn

      I agree that he is a really nice guy and team player and I too want him to do well. The problem is that it isn’t happening over a rather large sample size. It is probably time to do what is best for the team.

  37. DaveCT

    Question for Ashley: Is Geno hitting fastballs at a similar rate as in the past?

    If not, does this coincide at all with his shoulder injury?


  38. DaveCT

    Next question in the cue: What do we know about another elephant in the room, albeit a much smaller elephant — Jesse Winker’s now extended slump.

    • Indy Red Man

      Thats where Barrero could factor in! Call him up and see if he can give them a spark like Adames gave Milw and that allows Farmer to give Wink some rest in LF against tough lefties. Farmer’s been hitting well in July and his splits are better vs lhp.

      Wink isn’t taking the ball the other way. I can’t remember the last time he really drove one that way? Rolling over way too often and then he’s hammered some balls that are getting caught on the infield. His swing usually has enough lift to put some of that 100+ mph contact out of gabp.

      • AllTheHype

        Winker has 2 xBHs against LHP ALL YEAR, slugging .222. He is worse against LHP than Suarez is against all-handed pitching. Yet he always plays against LHP, and always bats 2nd.

        How bad is Bell at his job? Let me count the ways. It will take awhile.

      • Old-school

        So if you are David Bell the next month, what is your starting lineup against lefties? Keep in mind you arent nick Krall and Jose Barrero is in AAA.

        If Winker isnt playing and Castellanos isnt playing you cant possibly say shogo or tucker or votto or suarez or naquin are playing too?

        India stephenson Aquino and who else? Farmer isnt an mlb starter but ok

      • AllTheHype

        If you’re talking the next month, then you either have Castellanos or he is on the 10 day and you have another OF at your disposal. They’re not shorting the roster a position player for a month.

  39. LDS

    I saw Asher Wojciechowski was DFA’d in favor of Sal Romano. Asher seems like the perfect pick up candidate for the Reds , over 30, not a particularly stellar career, etc. Get him cheap and he could be Bell’s new go to guy. He fits the profile. We have to laugh otherwise following the Reds this year would be excruiating.

  40. Max BRAGG

    I think sometimes a relief like going back to minors helps one regain COFIDENCE. Why can’t major league ballplayers like Suarez and Shogo understand this principle?

    • PTBNL

      Going down to the minors is not the player’s choice It is the Front Office that decides those things. Plus, you have to have options in order to go to the minors, in other words, at least Suarez cannot go down and Shogo being an older FA signing, he may be exempt as well (someone can help us on this one). Your solution is just not that simple.

  41. Bill

    I was bothered at the start of the season when he announced his goal for 2021 was to hit 50 HR’s. I think it set him up for a misguided approach to his hitting. So frustrating to see so many strike outs and runners left on base from him.

  42. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    Trade Suarez and Votto for low level draft picks now, and pay 75 percent of their salaries if necessary, then start fresh next year. Build on your starting pitching and go from there. Keep Moose around as insurance next year.

    2022 line up:
    India 2B
    Shrock 3B
    Castellanos RF
    Stephenson 1B
    Winker LF
    Senzel CF
    Barrero SS
    Barnhart C

    starting pitchers Castillo, Gray, Mahle, Green, Lodolo

    relievers Hembree, Antone, Sims…and add..

  43. PTBNL

    Suarez, maybe, but his value is way low right now. Doubt that happens.
    Votto–Reds fans gotta quit beating that dead horse. AIN’T gonna happen. He has a full no-trade clause. He will retire a Red. Book it.

    BTW: Have you seen Votto lately. He actually is above league average in many categories right now.

    SO trading two established MLB’ers (and yes they are, no matter how hard some people have accepting that) for a 20th round pick or two is good business???? Dream on.

  44. Magnum 44

    Yeah I just can’t figure out why on here people can’t figure out Votto has a full no trade clause. Plus he has actually has had a decent year, and he has earned every penny of his contract. Every other day there is a trade Votto scenario on here just give it up already.

  45. Dean Rock

    Suarez tries to lift and pull every single pitch. Recipe for failure. He also misses more fastballs.
    If he was capable of making an adjustment, certainly he would’ve done so by now.
    Bell is a fool for starting him. Call up Lopez and see what he can do at third base, or watch Suarez hit .175 another 2 months.

    • TR

      The Reds are in the second half of the season with the possibility of the playoffs. It’s past time to face reality regarding Suarez.

  46. Barbara Sutton

    I still believe Geno can turn this around. He’ll work harder and he’ll be successful. Geno is a good defensive player who has been dealing with where will he play when Moose comes back, rookie brought in to play 3rd while he sits the bench, shoulder surgery to name a few. Suarez loves baseball and his team. He’s not striking out on purpose. Negative comments get inside a players head too. I love Suarez and will continue to support him.

  47. john woody

    I know Geno seems upbeat, but troubles in Venezuela may be effecting friends and family. The stress from this could create all sorts of negative effects on a person. Something to consider.