The reason Reds need to call up Mike Ford is not what fans might expect

The Reds have had major struggles in this one area.
Cincinnati Reds designated hitter Mike Ford
Cincinnati Reds designated hitter Mike Ford / Chris Coduto/GettyImages
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Mike Ford has opted out of his contract with the Cincinnati Reds. But what does that mean? The Reds now have a specific amount of time (reportedly a couple of days) to either select Ford's contract and add him to the active roster, or release him.

Most Reds fans are of the opinion that Ford should be added to the roster. The Reds have been without Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Tyler Stephenson for the past several games, and Nick Martini has not been the same player that he was during opening weekend.

While adding Ford's bat to the Reds roster would certainly bring some thump to the middle of David Bell's lineup, there's one area that the slugger could really help to elevate, and most fans are probably unaware of it.

Reds slugger Mike Ford has crushed left-handed pitching

Ford is a left-handed hitter with reverse splits. Typically, left-handed batters struggle against left-handed pitchers. That's why Reds fans oftentimes see Bell load up with right-handed bats when a left-hander is on the mound. But Ford's numbers are the exact opposite.

Ford, who's spent five seasons in the major leagues with five different organizations, has hit .268/.343/.577 off southpaws during his career. Compare that to his .200/.303/.389 slash line against right-handers. This season at Triple-A Louisville has been no different. Ford is hitting .370/.485/.778 against left-handed pitchers while his numbers against right-handers dips to .266/.333/.438.

Ford would no doubt be a platoon player in the Reds lineup, but with Will Benson, Jake Fraley, Elly De La Cruz, and Jeimer Candelario all hitting from the left-side against right-handed pitching, Cincinnati has enough bats to offset Ford's presence on the roster.

The Reds have struggled against lefties this season, and Martini has no business on the team right now. The Reds could option Martini back to the minors, select Ford's contract, and designate one of the club's marginal players for assignment.

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