Reds: 3 under-performers who are key to sub-.500 record

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Amir Garrett (50) walks to the dugout after surrendering a three-run home run.
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Amir Garrett (50) walks to the dugout after surrendering a three-run home run. /
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Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on.
WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 26: Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds are sitting five games under .500 and and are 6.5 games back of the division-leading Chicago Cubs. There’s plenty of games remaining for Cincinnati to claw their way back into contention, but the lack of performance from some of the Reds best players is cause for concern.

Coming into the 2021 season, fans knew that the team’s bullpen was shaky at best, and the lack of a true shortstop could come back to haunt the Reds as the year progressed. However, three players have fallen well short of expectations, and while 100% of the blame can’t be heaped on their shoulders, the Cincinnati faithful are left to wonder what if.

1. Eugenio Suarez, Reds shortstop

Things have begun to turn around of late for Cincinnati Reds shortstop Eugenio Suarez. But, there’s no denying that his early-season struggles have contributed to this team’s current position in the standings. With Mike Moustakas, Joey Votto, and Nick Senzel on the injured list, David Bell has been forced to shift Suarez back to third base; that’s worked out very well.

But, one has to wonder what will happen when all three infielders return from injury. Votto is on a rehab assignment in Louisville, and Moustakas is eligible to return any day now. Senzel has at least a month of rehab from knee surgery until the former first-round returns to action.

With a healthy Votto and Moustakas, will David Bell move Suarez back to shortstop? Or, will the Reds skipper shift Moose to second base and Jonathan India to the bench, preferring to roll with Kyle Farmer at shortstop?

No matter the defensive alignment, we know that Eugenio Suarez will see plenty of at-bats. While we can sit back and critique Geno’s defensive abilities at shortstop, it’s been his bat that’s let the 29-year-old down this season.

Suarez is currently hitting .162 and has an OPS of .614. Those are woefully horrendous for the Reds would-be cleanup hitter. However, David Bell recently bumped Eugenio Suarez up in the Cincinnati batting order, and Geno has responded well. The Venezuelan native is slashing .240/.321/.480 in his last seven games. The .801 OPS is trending in the right direction.