When third baseman Eugenio Suárez had an incredible season in 2019 (49 home runs and 103 RBI), it was difficult not to look at him as the next superstar of the Cincinnati Reds. And then 2020 happened. In the 60-game season, Suárez didn’t hit terribly–a .781 OPS with 15 home runs in 198 at-bats–but aside from the power, he didn’t seem like the Suárez of 2019. Now, given that the 2020 season was a mess in its own way, let’s forget that season ever happened. 2021 was the chance for a clean slate. Instead, it’s been Suárez’s worst of his career.

He’s hitting .169/.255/.363 with a .623 OPS in 120 games. Strikeouts are what have been hurting Suárez the most. His strikeout rate is at 30.6 percent, the highest of his career. That’s saying something given he has always been prone to strikeouts. The breaking pitches and the off speed pitches he struggles with the most: a 43.4% whiff rate for breaking balls and a 35.7% whiff rate for off speed pitches. If there’s a bright spot to his season, it’s that he has 23 home runs. He’s been able to help the Reds somewhat offensively, even if it is sporadically.

And I know we’ve been saying this all season, but maybe Suárez is turning a corner this time. On Wednesday against the Cardinals, he had back-to-back hits for the first time since July 20 and just the second time since June 22, according to statistician Joel Luckhaupt.

The second option at third base for the Reds in 2021 has been Mike Moustakas, though it didn’t start like that. With Jonathan India playing second and Moustakas dealing with injuries most of the season, Moustakas has found himself back at third in 2021. However, Moustakas hasn’t been much better than Suárez.

Moustakas is currently hitting .214/.307/.414 with an OPS of .707 in just 47 games. If you’re looking for a bright spot, his walk rate sits at 11.0 percent, tied for the highest of his career. When you compare his wRC+ of 91 to Suárez’s 64, it makes it seem like Moustakas is hitting way better. But that’s carryover from April and May before he was injured. Since the All-Star break, Moustakas is hitting .161/.242/.357 with a .599 OPS in 56 at-bats.

What Went Wrong?

Moustakas fell victim to the injury bug, which was not his fault at all. And he hasn’t been able to rebound from that long pause in his season. Two months is a long time, especially when he couldn’t do baseball activities at all. It’s not easy coming back from an injury, and there’s probably also additional pressure on top of that to perform at the highest level in the middle of a playoff race.

I don’t think anyone knows what’s really going on with Suárez this season, except for Suárez, David Bell, and maybe his teammates. (This is where the lack of everyday access to the clubhouse by beat writers hurts. The writers can’t observe everyday situations and clubhouse interactions). I have a theory that his move to shortstop could have thrown off his offensive game in the beginning of the season more than we think it did and it spiraled from there. However, this is pure speculation on my part, so take it lightly.

A Solution?

The Reds don’t have any other real options at third base besides these two for the rest of the season. Neither player hits left-handed pitchers well (nor does almost every other hitter in the Reds lineup, but that’s another post for another day). Moustakas has two hits with 10 strikeouts in 26 at-bats against lefties. Suárez isn’t any better, hitting just .125/.229/.269 with 13 hits in 104 at-bats. The Reds could play newly acquired infielder Asdrúbal Cabrera at third against lefties. Cabrera has been absolutely brutal against right-handed pitchers, but is hitting .284 against left-handers. (Note: this did not happen Wednesday, but it turns out it was not needed).

At this point in the season, either Moustakas or Suárez is going to be in the lineup each night. If the Reds haven’t changed the lineup by now, it’s not going to happen in September. David Bell isn’t one to bench a player for longer than a couple of days. And as long as Kyle Farmer continues to play well, he’s going to be at shortstop. The Reds find themselves with a platoon between two veteran players at third base, and we just have to hope one of the two players gets hot offensively for the playoff chase.

75 Responses

  1. MikeA

    Nick Senzel should be playing 3B exclusively when he starts to rehab. Whether he makes it back this season is yet to be seen. That said, the Reds should be looking at Senzel at 3B next season. The way he plays, hard, is not conducive to him staying healthy. I believe it is best to keep him at his more natural position and then figure out CF in the off season.
    Suarez and Moose? Hopefully the DH comes to the NL. Suarez most likely has the athletic ability to handle the corner outfield spots, 3B and 1B. Moose is more of a DH, 1B and 3B at this stage.

    • beelicker

      Not sure why proritizing a player incapable of ‘playing hard’ is wise? Senzel’s knee went blooey this last time while he was routinely playing third base, you know

      • doofus

        “Routinely playing third base?” In 2021, Senzel has played only 19 innings at 3B with the big squad and zero innings at 3B in L’ville. I do not believe that that constitutes “routinely.”

        I believe that Nick Senzel hurt his knee playing CF.

  2. CFD3000

    Third base should be a strong source of offense for most teams, but it’s brutal that for the Reds this year it’s been a black hole. My view is that Suarez’ home runs have actually hurt the team this year. Without the occasional bomb he would be getting essentially zero playing time, or might even be playing at AAA. Instead he’s at an OPS of .623 and either playing every day or sitting in favor of Moose or someone else equally bad. That the Reds have been good on offense is thanks to India, Winker, Castellanos, Votto and Naquin and, to a lesser extent Stephenson. Without them all in or on the edges of MVP and ROY conversations (excepting Naquin) this team wouldn’t be anywhere close to contention. I’m still rooting for Suarez – he plays for the Reds after all – but there has to be a better answer. Schrock, Lopez, Barrero now? Senzel soon? Some free agent for 2022? This is a hole in the lineup the Reds must fix. It would be amazing if somehow Suarez himself was the answer, but we are waaay past the small sample size problem to think that’s likely. Hope, as they say, is not a plan. It’s long since time to change course at third base. Go Reds!

    • Bubba Woo

      It’s not a hole in that their are others in the organization who could be playing 3b at a much higher level. India,Barrero, Senzel (when healthy), Farmer, and even Schrock are all more productive alternatives to Moose/Suarez.

      The problem is that a small-market (or cheap, imo) team has close to 30 mil in a position currently producing a -2.7 WAR. The top priority of the offseason, imo, is finding a way to get one of, if not both, of these contracts off the books. Suarez is probably unmovable at this point, too many years and money left on his contract (which was a great signing at the time, way under-market, but is now an albatross). I think you could get Moose off the books, if the Reds are willing to take on 30-40% of the remaining money. Freeing up that money would allow the Reds to address other priorities (resigning Castellanos, extending Winker, resigning Lorenzen, or adding a proven LH reliever to the Pen.

      • greenmtred

        We know something about Farmer, who plays shortstop, and India, who plays second. But the other guys you mention are mostly untested at the major-league level: they might prove more productive than Suarez and Moose, but they might not. History abounds with players who tore up AA and AAA and were disappointments in MLB.

  3. SultanofSwaff

    Proposing different players to man 3B is one thing, figuring how to get out from under the contracts of Moose and Geno is the heavy lift. Personally, I’d probably shop Geno in a package deal with young controllable talent outside our top 5 prospects. In essence, teams would be buying draft picks. Geno isn’t going to break the bank for even the Pirates and Orioles, so there will be a market for him as a rebound candidate, we just need a sweetener to seal the deal.

    Moose’s contract on the other hand is problematic. A similar deal could be done, but the Reds would be eating some of that contract……and I have little faith they have the appetite for that. That said, I have more confidence in Moose’s ability to rebound as his hit tools are better……and you have to consider the possibility of the DH in 2022. You could protect his health more in that role to maximize his value.

    • Old Big Ed

      Nobody wants Suarez’s contract. The Reds are going to have to eat a TON of it. There has been some speculation that his shoulder is still bad, and that another winter off will help. I’m not buying that; I think he is Chris Davis redux. To me, there isn’t any point in effectively selling a prospect to raise money to pay for Suarez’s bad contract. Just give Suarez to whoever will pay the most of his contract, which won’t be much, and move on.

      Moose also has an immovable contract. He is beyond hope this year, just because he hasn’t healed yet and is trying to power through a bad heel, which is almost certainly plantar fasciitis. That injury just takes time. No foot, no horse, as they say, and it is equally true with baseball players. I have always thought that Moustakas would age fairly well as a hitter, because he has a very simple swing. I am not so convinced of that now, but he is likely to be the DH against RH next year, because the contract and injury make him untradeable in the off-season.

      I expect that Shogo will be back in Japan next year after he and Reds agree on a buyout of some sort.

      • AllTheHype

        Reasonable take on all those points. I suspect though, the Reds won’t be inclined to trade Suarez or Moose because they won’t be able to stomach what it requires (eating most of a contract). Either they will buy down that contract by attaching young prospects, or they will just keep both of them and hope for the best, which means giving them a ton of playing time again next year.

      • beelicker

        I’ve said all along Moustakas needs an extensive period (likely the entire offseason) of complete full body PT to recover his balance, muscle integrity, coordination, full strength, muscle memory, etc

        Rehab from veeeerrryyy painful Plantar fasciitis (with which he was diagnosed) early requires constant rest and always wearing either a hard and/or soft full boot on the affected foot, which throws off your whole body balance integrity and limits capacity to do pretty much anything wholeheartedly full body and leads to overall muscle atrophy and skills loss and balance issues. Most of the recovery exercises are foot and ankle and lower leg tendon/ligament specific and some full body stuff can bee done in weight-lessening hydrotherapy setting. With a full offseason of dedicated PT he might come back in the best shape of his life and raring to DH and otherwise contribute to the usual suspects of the imbalanced collection of slow LH powerhitters that tend to congregate around the ol’ GABP environs

  4. Klugo

    Well, Moose has been injured and out of shape. Which is the cause and which the effect? Well, I’d say that’s probably up for debate. Maybe a different post all together, but I dont believe all injuries are just bad luck.
    Suarez, now? Sheesh. I really don’t even know what to say. He fell off a cliff. It seems like most of it is mental. There were definitely some signs out there when we got him for Alfredo Simon that something like this may happen. I mean, no one gives up an all star for an Alfredo Simon rental unless they have reason not to really value him in the first place. His good year(s) probably was/were an anomaly and we should be thankful we got it/them out of him. Anytime I talk down on Suarez, though, I always like I need to say that I really like him and he seems like a super good dude because I feel bad for trashing him.

    • Beaufort Red

      I agree. I don’t understand while Moose was out how he got so out of shape. He’s a professional athlete and this is his livelihood. That being said I think picking up DeShields may turn out well. We’ll see.

      • indydoug

        1 night does not negate a fairly long history of being a below average MLB hitter. DeShields can help on this team though if the plan is to play Shogo and/or Aquino out there

    • Matthew Habel

      Suarez was the 8th best hitting 3B in baseball (behind some absolute studs) for 3 full seasons. It’s fair to be glad that we got the best out of him and yeah he probably won’t get back to that production, but I don’t know if you can say that an immediate drop off was inevitable just because the Tigers made a bad trade.

    • Indy Red Man

      I don’t think Detroit’s evaluation of Suarez means anything. Miami gave up Castillo for Dan Straily. Luis underachieves at times, but he was also the best pitcher in mlb in June-July. He’s got that kind of arm talent. Teams just make mistakes.

      I will never forget trading Josh Hamilton for a guy with a 7 era. Yeah Volquez had a couple of really good years, but Hamilton was a HOF talent and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to see that. He might’ve put us over the top if he stayed out of trouble that particular season.

      • Indy Red Man

        The Reds best chance was 2012 and all Josh did that year was 43/128.

  5. Scott C

    Let’s hope that they both get hot. On another note Marcus Seimen hit his 37’th homer last night, I wonder what the Reds season would have looked like, if they had signed him for short and left Suarez at third? Hmmm! That is not a knock on Farmer, he has performed above expectations but Seimen has a OPS+ of 131. Farmer’s is 85.

    • Klugo

      Well, for one, I would be thinking a lot more highly of Nick Krall than I do right now.

  6. Arthur

    “we just have to hope one of the two players gets hot…”

    This sums up the Reds perfectly. We have plenty of stats, analytics, and at-bats we have all seen which lead, inexorably, to the conclusion that both Moose and Suarez are “struggling.” Their performance this season has been nothing short of awful, both offensively and defensively. Despite this, the team is in a tight race for a playoff spot.

    Whatever shall we do to address the problem of poor production from players we put at 3B? Find someone who can do the job?? Heck no! We’re gonna “hope.”

    Optimism is a fine thing. But it is not a plan.

  7. LDS

    Nice article. But more than the move to SS, I think Suarez is a result of his 2019 season and his shoulder surgery. Maybe compensating for shoulder pain/discomfort led to his bad hitting habits. Personally, I think it’s his ego. After 2019, he saw himself as the second coming of Babe Ruth. Remember his promise to hit 50 HRs this year (Feb 2021? A lot of folks here are touting Senzel for 3rd next year and that may be an option though I’m concerned that his health will never let him realize his perceived potential. Maybe the Reds and fans will get lucky.

  8. Mark Moore

    Well written (as usual) Ashley. And we all agree that hope is not a strategy or a plan. But for the next month (and we can hope for #163 and beyond) we have what we have and that’s not going to change. If we get a big enough lead, maybe we’ll see some more rest for Mr. Moose (who I think is still the better of the two options, especially given he’s still coming off a nasty injury that just nags athletes for a long time).

    Here’s to more W’s and stretching our distance between the Friars and the pack of “chasers” for #163. I think I’m also a strong Bernie Brewer fan so they have a shot at the best record and we get to play them after we win #163. It’s at least an enemy we know very well and it isn’t the Trolley Dodgers. Let the NLE guys travel to the West Coast.

  9. Scott

    Suarez’s ceiling is much higher than Moustakas, however in a one month race you have to play the hot hand. If that be Cabrera then let it be. Suarez’s love for the long ball had put him in this predicament, he pulls off pitches so much he has no chance on outside pitches. He need to concentrate on hitting it up the middle more and to the right side. He has to learn to make adjustments and he so far he has not.

  10. Arthur

    Defensively, Reds 3rd basemen rank ahead of only KC and Philly in defensive runs saved. So, in addition to not hitting very well, they are also pretty bad in the field. If you aren’t hitting, and you aren’t fielding, why are you playing???

    On a more optimistic note, Jonathan India is now into positive numbers on defensive runs saved. Young man is getting better in every facet of his game. I still think the team would be better served in the long run with India at 3rd and a middle infielder at 2B, but at this point, I am not willing to say that there is anything that India can’t do on a baseball field – aside from perhaps steal 40 bases in a season. He performance this season is a most pleasant surprise. Ought to just start calling him “Roy.”

  11. Roger Garrett

    Suarez continued this year where he left off last year and Moose went down hurt.Thats pretty much it.Lots of stuff happened that may have contributed to it like India knocking the door down at second which cause Eugenio to suddenly being a short stop and Moose back to third with Farmer at short.Lots of juggling to keep high priced guys on the field to make room for India.I have faith in Moose to bounce back if he get healthy but just don’t have that same kind of faith in Suarez.He hasn’t show anything to say otherwise.What isn’t talked about is that both are slow and unless the ball is hit right at them well its an adventure.You right one or both will play and if Bob says so both will play(don’t blink ROY) and that is why we will never see our best players play nor will we be able to matchup against the big boys.Reds must get younger with more complete ball players and not 4 or 5 guys that are better suited as DH’s.

    • Arthur

      Exactly correct. We have 4 or 5 guys who should only play DH, and only 2 or 3 of them can actually hit the baseball.

      I hope someone has a plan to deal with that problem. But I am afraid we are going to be stuck with too many older non-athletic guys dragging down team performance for years to come.

      It is depressing that we might be considering “packaging” (I.e. “giving away”) prospects just to get out from under bad contracts.

      We have some decent prospects in the system, but none of those who are “on the cusp” seem able to play CF. What are we going to do there moving forward? And what of RF if Castellanos moves on?? Aquino doesn’t seem to be a viable option.

      • TR

        If Castellanos moves on, and the Reds cannot trade Suarez, and Eugenio is fully recovered from his old injury and he moderates his hitting technique, maybe Suarez could move to right field. Speed wise he’s slow but not that much more than Castellanos. Suarez has a strong accurate arm that is needed for right field. Senzel could then take over third base. The Moose would then be one of the designated hitters.

  12. J

    I concur with what LDS and others have said: Suarez’s problem isn’t the move to short, it’s his obsession with hitting home runs. He’s got it in his mind to yank everything to the upper deck, as he did yesterday, and he’s not at all interested in slapping anything to right. As a result, he starts his swing very early and doesn’t have enough time to realize the pitch is a foot low and/or outside, and he either misses it or grounds out to third. This also causes him to take a lot of strikes because he doesn’t have time to realize when a pitch is NOT a foot low or outside. I think it’s a relatively easy fix but he has to be willing to fix it, which unfortunately doesn’t seem to be the case for more than an occasional at-bat where he looks like he MOGHT be trying to go the opposite way.

  13. west larry

    I’m not buying Suarez’s “shoulder” injury. He still has a cannon of a arm on his throws. I’m not buying the nearly forced move to shortstop before Farmer’s emergence. Shortstop was his original defensive position in Detroit’s minor league system, and played there for multiple years. I don’t know what happened to him mentally, but after his awesome year in 2019, he has been awful. I know that he’s a great guy and clubhouse presence, but he CAN’T be the third baseman of the future. Do you move Farmer to third and play Barrious at short? Or do you hope Senzel is healthy in 2022 and play him at third? I don’t know, but Moose is , at best, a dh candidate for 2022. I think Suarez has to go. Do we have to release him a la the angels releasing Pulhols? I hope not. Maybe someone will take him if we will carry all but a million or two of the remaining years on his contract. That’s not normally “thr reds way” but I think they must move Suarez.

    • beelicker

      i’d speculate a different set or maybe combination of fine muscle groups may be involved in these separate actions. It may be that with the act of throwing, there’s a compensation factor from the entire large shoulder overhand throwing musculature that isn’t involved in a specific finite segment of his side swinging action for which his power could be generated. It could even bee that the injury itself or cartilage repair procedure (arthroscopic i presume) may have impinged on or damaged a nerve that further sequences to his wrist or hand to where a finishing swing or flick of bat stroke action, which imparts that last bit of bat speed or power, could be at issue

    • greenmtred

      So the shoulder injury story was part of a conspiracy? He was a shortstop in Detroit, and he wasn’t a good one. I’ve had shoulder injuries, and mine have allowed me to do some things normally and drastically limited others. We can speculate all we want about why Suarez has been bad for 60 games last year and 130+ this year, but we don’t know the answer. We do know that he was good not very long ago. His playing time is now limited, but the team hasn’t given up on him. With his track record, that seems about right.

  14. Brent Graham

    For the future, let’s hope McClain pans out. I could see him at second, India at 3rd, Bererra at SS. For this year, I say give Cabrera every possible chance against LH. And let’s try Schrock more.

  15. tim

    Many on Redleg Nation saw Suarez’ problems coming before spring training was over. He announced he wanted to hit over 50 HRs. That means pull a fastball. Other teams know this and have pitched him accordingly. Bell and the coaches haven’t gotten him to correct his approach yet.

  16. docproc

    Moose is at least 20 lbs overweight, and that’s being generous.
    All of his problems have been with his lower body: hips, legs, feet. There’s a connection.
    He owes it to the team that is paying him generously to get in better shape for next season. This one’s a loss.

    • Jim Walker

      He didn’t do enough push aways (from the table) while on rehab.

  17. Bob Purkey

    Let’s face it. . .The only thing that can solve 3B is if Senzel is healthy. . .and that is a BIG if! The Reds are going to need some bats next year considering that:

    A.) it is highly doubtful that Castellanos is back next year.

    B.) Moose and Geno and really give us nothing and continue that next year.

    Might have to live on pitching and defense: If Senzel not ready, Farmer to 3rd and Berrero at SS and add Lodolo and Greene to Castillo, Gray, Miley, Mahle and Gutierrez. Possible to package one of those for an OF to replace Nick.

    • Tomn

      As much as I like Miley (show me a Red’s fan that doesn’t!), I expect that he will be signed by someone else. So that definitely opens one starting spot. Another pitcher who’d I’d like to see be given a chance for that would be Santillan. Though maybe he is better out of the BP. And what about Lorenzen who’s been saying he wants to start for the past millenium?

      There are a lot of options to choose from. Maybe we need to put together a package (Mahle + Suarez – I like Mahle, so that would be painful) and get ourselves a real 3B. Or sign someone as a FA? I also like the idea of moving Farmer to 3B and making Barrero our full-time SS.

      • Mark Moore

        We have Miley for another year at a pretty cheap option price. I doubt he’s going anywhere unless we get a really nice offer.

      • Jim Walker

        The option on Miley for 2022 is a one way team option. They pay him $1m to go away or $10m to stay. The only way I see him anywhere but with the Reds in 2022 is if they were to exercise the option then trade him.

  18. indydoug

    wouldn’t Moose’s OPS be .721 given his OBP And Slugg%?

  19. Mark

    I don’t know what to do overall due to the $$ situation but somehow it would be nice to have Farmer at 3B and Barrero at SS starting daily.

    • BK

      +1 … likely boost the team defensively and offensively.

  20. MBS

    There is no solution that would make everyone happy. Reality it’s going to just be Bell’s best guess at matchups and riding lukewarm streaks until 22. Next offseason many moves could happen which makes it hard to speculate who will be 3B. My guess is we won’t be happy until McLain comes up. By then Votto will be nearing the end, and we can complain about who should play 1B.

    • MBS

      The amount of switch hitting infielders who are coming up and performing well is fun to think about.

      In 23 or 24 you could have Lopez, De La Cruz, and Johnson.

      2 are capable of back up SS, all 3 back up LF, Cruz maybe even back up CF. Obviously a lot has to go right for those guys to make that happen. But that would be a very versatile bench.

    • Tony Goodman

      Who does Votto like playing 3rd?

  21. catcard202

    I think some armchair analysis are looking at Suarez’s 2021 production & potential remedies going forward in the absolute wrong way….23hr/67rbi over <500AB's w/ 25games to go, is not terrible output.

    Yeah, his SO rate is up a bit…WALK rate down a tick…But there's still a pretty good chance he gets ~100 more AB' & ends w/ 28HR/80RBI over 162gms…Which again, is not terrible offensive production for a middle of the line-up MLB 3B.

    Glaring issues as I see them =
    A) Suarez's 2021 BAbip is a career low @ 0.195…after having a 0.204 mark in 2020.
    B) His Batted Ball PULL-CENTER Rates are way high (a combined 87.3%)…12.7% OPPO….Which plays into the DEF's hands.

    That's is the big eye catchers…Not the 150 SO, not the <0.700 OPS.

    Those 2 items point to a propensity over the last 2 trs to hit into the "shift", in nearly 9 out of every 10 balls he puts in play…Which in turn, make his career low BAbip #'s from 2020/2021 & underwhelming OPS 100% understandable…& correctable/reversible going forward.

    • Arthur

      Understandable – absolutely

      Correctable – the jury is certainly still out on that issue. Guy has to be willing to change his approach to hitting. If he has decided that he is a home run hitter, he isn’t going to change. If he is in the starting lineup regularly despite hitting .170, he isn’t going to change. If there are no consequences for hitting that poorly, and he still runs into a HR every week or so, and that keeps him employed, why change??

      One last point – Suarez has been hitting behind two All-Stars, the probable Rookie of the Year, and the guy who should be Come-back Player of the Year. All of them have excellent on-base percentages. In other words, Suarez comes to the plate in run-producing situations more than most hitters in baseball. If he manages only 80 RBI for the season with those guys in front of him, that’s not good at all.

    • AllTheHype

      breaking down the 67 RBI….24 of those were HRs where he drove in himself. So minus those, he drove in 43 runners that were on base. He has 246 LOB so far this year. So he drove in 43 out of 289 runners on base. I’d say that’s not very good.

  22. catcard202

    Arthur….Votto (28hr-84rbi) / Castellanos (26hr-78rbi) / Winker (24-71rbi) / Naquin (19hr-68rbi) all have BA’s ~0.100 higher or more than Suarez… Making Eugenio’s 24hrs-67rbi season (so far) in line with other run producers, on a very balanced & talented ball club.

    • Arthur

      Well, let’s look at that a minute. I am sure your numbers are correct. But keep in mind that Suarez has batted right behind those guys. They are frequently on base when he comes to bat. As Hype noted, Suarez has knocked in 43 of the 289 runners who were on base when he stepped to the plate. He has left 246 runners on base.

      How does that compare to Votto, Castellanos, and Winker?? What are their batting averages with RISP, and how do theirs compare to Suarez?? I really don’t know the answer to that, but I suspect that Suarez is not a great hitter with runners on base. Considering the chances he has had, and the HR numbers he has posted, 67 RBI seems a little thin.

      Does anyone know those figures?

      • beelicker

        Meaning that if he was (physically capable of?) producing on the goals he set for himself and the previous pre-2o2o production track, he’d be looking at something around a 25 2B/ 45 HR or more 2o21 total and in possible League MVP conversation

      • Tony Goodman

        Who does Votto like playing 3rd?

    • beelicker

      Except given the amount of runners on base he’d see hitting #5 he should reasonably be leading the league with triple digit RBIs now. Fangraphs takes a deep dive analysis on him from time to time. Seems there may be some lingering issue with the injury that might be correctable with an offseason surgery and/or proper PT. Partly the league adjusted to his 2o19 and he’s not adjusting back as well as he could and a slight shoulder weakness affecting his pull power success ratio is what’s wrong: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/eugenio-suarez-needs-more-power/

      • Old-school

        Very thought provoking article.
        Good info.

      • Arthur

        I can’t argue with any of that. It confirms what had though just from watching him this season – it’s HR, or nothing good for the team.

        And I absolutely agree that with the chances he has had to drive in runs, if he was just an average hitter, he would have roughly 95-100 RBI already.

      • beelicker

        Saurez transitioned from a typical more doubles than HRs player to a more 5o/5o ratio through 2o16-7 … then 22/34 and 22/49 in ’18/’19 to 8/15 last season … currently residing at 17/24 in 2B/HR … 7-1o of those former HRs are now doubles, replacing those doubles that are now outs from before that still have him pretty much on the same doubles pace

    • beelicker

      Compare their OBP numbers … the guys at the top of the lineup are also true ‘run creators’ by getting on base .35o+ OBP to be knocked in by who folows them … Saurez (.258 OBP) ain’t getting on base much for anybody, in opposition to your ‘balanced’ parameter … simply creating fewer outs, while not generating more runs, allows more chances for batters following him to drive in runners that were on base when he’s at bat. If he got on base more in those situations they could drive him in more too

    • Jim Walker

      Sounds to me like Win Expectancy (WE), Win Probability Added (WPA), RE24, Leverage Index (LI), and their related derivatives might prove interesting.

      The term heard most often is WPA which is the net of Positive WPA (+WPA) and Negative WPA (-WPA). Leverage Index (LI) measures the importance of plate appearances for a hitter. Thus WPA/LI somewhat speaks to this discussion.

      In order, the top 5 Reds in WPA/LI for 2021 are Winker, Castellanos, Votto, India, Naquin. Suárez is well down the list at #14.

      Here is a link to read more about these measurements:

      I can only put 1 link per comment; so, look below this for a link to a table ranked by WPA/LI of all Reds with at least 70 plate appearances in 2021 (if all the technology works right).

  23. Jimbo44CN

    Plus one. Just read the reports.

  24. Jim Walker

    duh…. .301/.406/.707

    sorry. too much going on here today

  25. TR

    Not good news. Phillies 7, Nationals 6.

    • Jim

      On the 3rd base job. How about getting JAKE BERGER from the White Sox. He is a up and coming really good player with power. He is waiting in the wings at a established Star at 3rd. And could be traded for.

  26. Jim

    But on second thought, Berger would fit at 2nd base fine if keeping Geno.

      • Jim Walker

        I think India would play and at least keep his head above water wherever he was told to play. I *think* I read somewhere he played 3B primarily in college.

  27. AMDG

    The problem isn’t just 3B, but it’s SS as well…

    Since Barrero was called up on Aug 16, the Reds left side of the infield (Farmer, Suarez, Moose, Cabrera) have collectively hit 0.182

    (The “best” is Farmer’s 0.231, while the other 3 are below the Mendoza line)

    The Reds sent down their top defensive infielder, who is also smashing the ball in Louisville, so they could roll out a group who are collectively hitting 0.182

    Barrero had the best OPS and best defense of all of them, and they sent him down. Honestly, we really can’t expect them to fix 3B until they fix their inability to make rational player decisions.

    • JA

      The worst thing you can do to a player is bench him when his playing is good…
      Gosh, Farmer has been playing SS very well for a while, both sides, defense and offense. Farmer has surpassed all the expectations this season, specially when many of Reds hitters were down. The only word as a Reds fan I can say to Farmer is thank you. I don’t disagree Barrero could play better than him at SS, but I think it’s not the right timing if that means Farmer goes to bench. No way, at least not yet.

      On the other hand, any average baseball third viewer can say the issue on Reds team this year is 3B, and for those who are rationale minds, the Data supports that statement.

      It’s also understandable Reds play their most costly players in regular manner for not “loosing” the investment, I can understand that focus. However, in the case of or 3B, they just have not showed up yet for one reason or another. A few weeks ago, Phillies manager, Joe Girardi, said to the press/public something like “the Stars of these team (Phillies) need to play like the Stars”, and somehow their Stars have played better, and guess what, Phillies are now in the chasing group for WC2 and fighting for their division (at the end, Braves will find a way to win the east and the Phillies/Mets to lose it, as usual, but that’s not the point… which is, Stars need to play like Stars, or at least to appear that they try). If they can’t it’s time for the manager to make decisions, and not making any one counts also as a decision.

  28. Roger Garrett

    Rational and logical don’t fit the Reds.Use to be the young guys pretty much had to walk on water to play and now when they have one and a short stop no less and who is 23 no less who has speed and defense and tore up AAA ball well he is where now?Oh that’s right we are concerned he may not be able to hit and that may hurt his development.Now do you think he would be worse then 200?Our left side ages are 30 to 35 if indeed Eugenio is 30 with little range and little foot speed.