Reds vs. Twins: Pitching preview, prediction, and more

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 27: Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins talks with Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 27: Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins talks with Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds blows a bubble while standing at third base.
CINCINNATI, OH – JUNE 10: Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds blows a bubble while standing at third base. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

It’s been a difficult 365 days for Eugenio Suarez.

Over the last calendar year, infielder Eugenio Suarez is slashing an anemic .186/.277/.414 in 124 games. Covering 452 at-bats, Geno has whiffed an astounding 151 at-bats. It’s not fair to call it a slump; this is who Suarez is at this point. He’s a below-average hitter who will occasionally hit a home run.

To make matters worse, Eugenio Suarez is a below-average defender when playing third base, his best position.  Needless to say, we’ve seen how incredibly unsuited Geno is when asked to play shortstop this season.

I don’t envy manager David Bell. It’s easy to root for Geno. He’s always a source of positive energy, and his smile lights up a room. However, at some point, the results have to warrant the confidence. The Reds have reached the point where Suarez’s name in the lineup is negatively impacting the team.

Granted, with Mike Moustakas on the 60-day IL, Bell really doesn’t have a choice but to run Eugenio Suarez out there every day, but what happens when Moose returns? The numbers indicate Suarez is not a platoon player.

This year he’s slashing an embarrassing .130/.190/.241 versus left-handers. He’s been moved down to seventh in the lineup, and as long as Kyle Farmer continues to see playing time at short, there’s no reason Geno should hit any higher.

What has led Geno to this point? Is it the shoulder injury he suffered before the 2020 season in a swimming accident? Is it the 49-homer season in 2019 that has changed his approach at the plate? I don’t have the answer, but what I do know is the Reds have no chance of reaching their potential with an everyday infielder hitting .170 who fails to reach base and struggles defensively.

Prediction

It was a wild week, to say the least, in Reds Country. The euphoria of sweeping the Brewers in Milwaukee quickly gave way to the exasperation of being swept by the Padres in San Diego.

Next. 3 trade ideas to repair the Reds broken bullpen

However, all is not lost. Look for the Redlegs to bounce back and take both games from the Twins and conclude their nine-game road trip with a 5-4 record. Let’s be honest, nine days ago, Reds Country would have gladly signed up for this outcome.