The Guardians activated outfielder Oscar Gonzalez from the 10-day injured listing, as Gonzalez returns to motion after lacking simply over a month with an intercostal pressure. To create roster area, Cleveland made the notable transfer of optioning the struggling Franmil Reyes to Triple-A Columbus.
Reyes additionally frolicked on the IL this season, lacking about 4 weeks attributable to proper hamstring tightness. Sandwiched round that IL stint was 280 plate appearances of subpar batting, as Reyes has hit solely .213/.254/.350 with 9 house runs. Reyes is usually a DH, however between his shaky glovework in his video games within the outfield and along with his efficiency on the plate, he has been a sub-replacement participant, with -0.9 fWAR.
It isn’t in any respect what was anticipated after Reyes’ first 4 seasons of strong manufacturing, together with a 37-homer season in 2019 and 30 extra dingers final 12 months. The Guardians have been definitely considering they’d one of many sport’s burgeoning younger sluggers of their lineup, but Reyes’ numbers have solely fallen off.
He’s nonetheless making a number of onerous contact, however whereas there has all the time been loads of swing-and-miss in Reyes’ recreation, his 37.1% strikeout fee is the worst of his profession and among the many worst in baseball. Reyes’ stroll fee has additionally plummeted to the tenth percentile of all hitters, after sitting above the league common in each 2020 and 2021. In yet one more dropoff, Reyes has struggled to hit sliders and four-seamers after crushing each pitches final 12 months.
The Guards can solely hope that a while within the minors can get Reyes on monitor, because the 2021 model of the 27-year-old could be an enormous enhance to the lineup. Reyes can also be coming into his second 12 months of arbitration eligibility, and whereas he’ll nonetheless get some stage of a elevate (however not an enormous one given his decrease numbers), it could appear unlikely at this level that the Guardians would take into account a non-tender. If Cleveland has doubts about Reyes over the long run, nonetheless, the Guards might take into account dangling him in commerce talks, particularly with the staff dealing with one thing of a 40-man roster crunch over the winter.
With Reyes struggling, Gonzalez is among the gamers who has picked up a few of the offensive slack. Gonzalez was one thing of an off-the-radar prospect throughout his early years in Cleveland’s farm system, however he posted huge numbers at Double-A and Triple-A after getting back from the canceled 2020 minor league. That efficiency led to Gonzalez’s first huge league promotion this 12 months, and he stored it rolling with a .285/.315/.431 over his first 130 PA within the majors.