Franmil Reyes was having quite a spring for the Cleveland Indians. It’s going to be awhile before we see if that carries over to the regular season.
The indefinite suspension of MLB’s season is a sobering baseball development in a much bigger and far-reaching story. Perhaps nobody is more disappointed over the baseball-only ramifications than Cleveland Indians outfielder Franmil Reyes.
Reyes wrapped up a shortened spring with a .444/.483/1.148 slash line, five homers, and four doubles in 27 at-bats. Stats mean next to nothing in spring training, but Reyes was among the Indians players for whom a strong camp would’ve been incredibly encouraging.
Reyes’ performance in Goodyear was encouraging, but the abrupt end to camp could prevent him from rolling that momentum into the regular season (whenever it starts).
After being traded to Cleveland at the 2019 deadline, it’s fair to say Reyes needed a moment to get his feet back under him. Reyes never dipped below an .800 OPS in any full month with San Diego last year, and was well above 100 wRC+ in that time frame as well.
In two months with the Indians, he posted a .772 OPS, 95 wRC+, and 32.5% strikeout rate. He was a young player who had just been traded across the country; that it took him some time to get accustomed to his new situation should not be held against him, nor is it all that surprising.
It’s also not surprising that a player with his talent appeared to be comfortably settling in this spring. Reyes was always going to break out of his shell. It was just a matter of when.
With the season now on hold, Reyes and the Indians will have to find new ways to keep their minds focused and their bodies ready for meaningful baseball games. Perhaps the entire team can just stick to whatever it is Reyes was doing all winter, because it evidently worked.