Cleveland Indians: Overthinking baseball in February

(Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /
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CLEVELAND, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 19: Franmil Reyes #32 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a two run homer during the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field on September 19, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 19: Franmil Reyes #32 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a two run homer during the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field on September 19, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

OF/DH – Franmil Reyes

Franmil Reyes has looked good in the games I have seen. He’s gone a combined 2-for-4 with a HR and a stolen base. The MLB regulars should perform well in spring training, especially when they get matched up with the minor leaguers. Reyes did show off his power on Friday against White Sox starter Alex McRae. He belted the home run in the second inning to straight center, where it may still be soaring.

More importantly is that Reyes has gotten his hits off of McRae and former teammate Chris Paddack of San Diego. Paddack is expected to be the Padres ace over the next few seasons, and McRae is battling for the White Sox rotation. I expect Reyes to feast off of lesser pitching this spring, when he plays deeper into games as a defender, but to put up strong at-bats against MLB pitchers this early is a great sign.

Beyond just the offensive power being on display, Reyes is also showing off a slimmer frame. Having worked on his body this offseason in order to be more effective as an outfielder, Reyes has dropped over 15 lbs. We haven’t seen a lot of time in the field for Reyes, who played DH on Wednesday and Friday, but we have seen his increased speed. On Friday he got a good jump, and a stolen base. Full disclosure: There was no throw due to a bobbled transfer from the White Sox catcher, but I did say Reyes had a good jump.

Reyes is a very important player for the Indians in 2020. While we can make complaints and express concerns about the Indians’ inability or lack of desire to add to the lineup, Reyes was acquired at the trade deadline to help this offense for multiple seasons. He’s viewed as a better fit in the American League where he can DH, but regardless he could post north of 30 bombs in any given season.

Terry Francona did say during the telecasts that Reyes will be seen a lot in the OF. This early DH role for him may be nothing more than to get his offensive confidence going before they test his defensive capabilities. Reyes will be on the MLB team, and his power will be critical to the Indians success.