July 31, 2014

WFNY Stats & Info: How bad has Mark Reynolds been?

The Indians have been a pleasant first-half surprise at 51-44. They’re on pace for 87 wins. Despite their streakiness, they’ve remained fairly close to the playoff picture through mid-July, which is far better than the collapses of the last two seasons.

But one player in particular has seen his production fall off the Earth just like Manny Acta’s Cleveland teams: first baseman Mark Reynolds. Over the season’s five weeks, he was off to an MVP-like start. Heck, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman even tweeted that exact thing on May 18th. Little did he know that Reynolds would begin a disastrous two-month stretch.

Here are the stats for the soon-to-be 30-year-old Reynolds’ career leading up to the 2013 season, and then the crazy split that occurred after the game on May 9th:

mark reynolds career stats

As I’ve said before in the comments section, Mark Reynolds’ usual production was somewhere in the middle of his hot April and insanely cold June. That’s true for his batting average, on-base percentage and strikeout numbers. The most glaring change, however, has been in the slugging.

During the offseason, when he signed with Cleveland, Reynolds was expected to come in and compete for the team lead in homers. He has 15 through 89 games, which isn’t bad. But his extra-base hit per plate appearance rate since May 10th is worse than the worst in baseball. It’s worse than Ben Revere’s career rate, and he’s never hit a home run. That’s dreadful for a strikeout-prone mediocre-defense “slugger”.

Next, I did some research on the context of how bad Reynolds has been over this nine-week stretch from May 10th through July 12th. Via Major League Baseball Advanced Media’s database dating back to 2005, here are your 10 worst qualified individual player OPS lines during that exact span of the season:

mlb worst 5-10 to 7-12 stretches

It’s a wee bit crazy to see that 2013 NL MVP favorite Yadier Molina heads this list, while Reynolds’ OPS places seventh overall and second-worst in 2013. Overall, in the last nine years, only 10 qualified players have posted an OPS of .530 or worse from May 10th through July 12th.

Certainly, many fans have been clamoring for the easily-ridiculed Reynolds to receive a little less playing time. Of the players on this chart, only 2005 Freddy Sanchez had more plate appearances (the timing of the 2013 All-Star Game is a slight factor, too). We’ll see soon if that’s the approach for manager Terry Francona or if suddenly the slugger can snap out of this funk.

[Related: Indians All-Star Break Review: The Position Players]

  • TSR3000

    Why can’t we play Carlos at 1B full time and Bring in Yan as our everyday catcher??

  • Kevin Huyghe

    Because it seems like every time we stick Swisher out in right he blows out his shoulder. It does not suck having THREE centerfielders in the outfield. I LOVE the Yanimal and would love to see him every day behind the dish. Maybe Carlos at DH, Swish at 1B, Yan at C, Reynolds vs. Lefties at 3B, Lonnie vs righties at 3B. Cycle in Carlos at C to give Yan a break, on which days Giambi or Reynolds can hit DH.

  • btrick21

    This is what it should be, especially the way Yan handles the pitching staff and given Reynolds’ superslump. This may not work though if ACab gets dealt and Aviles has to step in because it will limit versatility of the tribe’s bench.

  • JacobWFNY

    Well, after his similar hot start, Yan Gomes is being what we all thought he was: A suitable backup catcher. He’s batting just .197/.250/.295 in 18 games since May 31st. Sure, that’s very inconsistent playing time. But it’s also regression to the mean from his hot start whereas he was batting .319/.333/.638 in 21 games through May 30th.

  • Kevin Huyghe

    True, we have nothing in terms of middle-infielder help in Columbus too

  • Hopwin

    .197/.250/.295 is > .177/.272/.242 right?

  • JacobWFNY

    Hahah yes. And factoring in defense, yes.

    But we’re also talking about two different species here.

    Reynolds is a 30-year-old with six seasons of proven MLB slugging. This streak is as bad as he’s ever been. He’ll be better.

    Gomes is a 26-year-old prospect who only now has appeared in 82 MLB games. He also only has played in 89 AAA games.

  • mgbode

    as if we needed more evidence about how bad Kozma is at the plate

  • mgbode

    anyone who didn’t fully expect such swings in performance from Mr. Reynolds just hadn’t paid attention to his career. it’s just who he is.

    take 2012 as an example:
    2012 Jun15-Aug5 .159/.273/.273 3HR
    2012 Aug6-Sep17 .296/.417/.664 13HR

    By early August, O`s fans were fed up with Mark. Then, he starts bashing and became an absolutely HUGE part of their playoff push.

    Especially his 8/23 w/ 7HRs in 7 games against the NYY in late-Aug / early-Sept.

  • Harv 21

    My wonder about Reynolds: knowing he tends to go cold for a full month+, might it not be better just to sit him instead of watch the agonizing confidence death spiral, the closed-eyed guessing with tentative swings? Maybe as soon as he starts cooling send him to a retreat in a redwood forest where he can repeat affirmations. And don not let him shave – that was a clearly desperate act of drowning man. Fake it til you make it, Markie. Look your beardness in the mirror and repeat: pitchers fear me.

  • mgbode

    but, does that end the cold periods? he may have a designated number of ABs in his contract before he’s allowed to slug over .300 again.

  • JacobWFNY

    *claps* GREAT research.

  • mgbode

    thank you. I think we had discussed something similar when we first signed Mark (though maybe not those exact stretches).

  • JacobWFNY

    Ya know me, I’m always fascinated by streak stats. That’s my game. Looking more myself, he clearly did have a handful of notable 5-to-6 week stretches in 2011 and 2010 with OPS numbers of .950+ followed by .600ish.

  • Harv 21

    I have no clue. He’s more likeable than Russell the Muscle. He can’t slide into an almost 0-for-Season like Adam Dunn has done. I’m trying to help. Seems no one’s helping while he’s living this public nightmare.

  • mgbode

    and then there is 2009 where he somehow maintained his hot streak for the whole season (well, more or less compared to the years since).

  • mgbode

    maybe someone needs to steal his rum?

  • JacobWFNY

    Fun stat: Reynolds has a .136/.191/.182 line in 12 games against the Indians. It’s the opponent he has faced second-least in his career behind Baltimore (9 games).

    He also has a .376/.437/.728 line in 33 games against Pittsburgh. Woah.

  • http://www.redright88.com/ Tom_RedRight88

    The Tribe needs to stick it out with Reynolds. While there was no way he was going to continue to hit the way he did in April, there is also no way he will continue on this downward streak.

    The hope here is that he has finally bottomed out and will now resume looking and hitting like a major league player. The Indians have (hopefully) weathered the storm and have survived it, now it is time to start seeing some benefits again.

  • nj0

    I have linked to this before, but feel compelled to do it again. It’s a swing that looks like the swing of a swinger that has never swung before.

    http://cdn.fangraphs.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/2ReynoldsDeduno1.gif.opt_.gif

  • nj0

    We don’t. Get over to those Cardinal fan sites.

  • mgbode

    now that is a great idea. post positive things about most of the players, but anytime Kozma does something bad make sure you rail against it:

    Sleeper Troll

  • mgbode

    Keep that stat in your back pocket for when the Indians meet the Pirates in the WS this year!!!

  • Hopwin

    Exactly so. We KNOW what Mark Reynolds is, Yan however still has a lot of upside.

  • mike

    i wouldn’t mind seeing swisher, reynolds and cabrera shipped out of here in chris perez’s trunk.

  • DownWithReynolds

    Here we are, 2 weeks later and Mark Reynolds still looks terrible. I seriously cant remember the last time he got a hit and I watch every game. I understand he is incredibly streaky but a terrible streak that has been going on this long is terrible to watch and if the Indians continue to play him could seriously put our playoff hopes out the window.