Cleveland Indians: Franmil Reyes red-hot in return from injured list

Franmil Reyes #32 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Franmil Reyes #32 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
Cleveland Indians, Franmil Reyes
Franmil Reyes #32 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

Franmil Reyes red-hot in return from injured list for the Cleveland Indians

At the beginning of the season the Cleveland Indians had potentially two MVP-caliber players in their batting order with Jose Ramirez and Franmil Reyes. Both broke out of the gates with impressive stats and the comparison to the rest of the lineup made the duo seem otherworldly. Unfortunately, that was all derailed.

Ramirez came back down to Earth for a bit and Reyes hit the injured list, bringing the offensive production to a screeching halt from their already slow snail pace. The offense puttered along and made due with what was there, but recently the team has had a resurgence at the plate. That boost has come in large part to the return of Reyes from the injured list.

The resurgence of the lineup and dominance of Reyes was actually set into motion before Reyes returned to Cleveland. The first step was calling up Bobby Bradley. Bradley brought back the power to the lineup and has now served as a protector to Reyes in the lineup.

Having Bradley’s bat behind Reyes forces pitchers to be more aggressive with Reyes than they have in the past. The threat of Bradley looming makes the decisions against Reyes even more difficult to make for opposing pitchers. Thankfully, Reyes has followed suit with an outburst of his own.

It should be noted that since Franmil Reyes returned to the active roster on July 2 he’s played in only seven games. However, those seven games have been impressive and have provided a much needed jolt to the offense of the Cleveland Indians.

In the seven games since he returned from the injured list, Reyes has been able to post a slash line of .345/.387/.690 after going 10-for-29 with two walks. The downside is that he has nine strikeouts already, but the upside is the production he has when he makes contact.

So far, Reyes has been able to blast three home runs, including a walk-off, on top of a double. He’s also been able to score five runs while driving in nine RBI. He’s even been able to steal a base.

The sample size is obviously small, but the quick return has been promising from Reyes. All aspects of his slash line are higher than his overall season stats, which stand at .272/.328/.595. That could be looked at two ways. Either Reyes is going to be improved now at the plate or he jumped the gun and will come back down to Earth as time progresses after the All-Star break.

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Where the best news might be is the power. With Reyes’ injury being an oblique strain it was a concern if his power would be slightly decreased. Luckily, that doesn’t seem to be the case at all.

Before his injury, Reyes had logged 11 home runs for the Tribe over 144 at-bats. That means he had a home run in about 7.5% of his official at-bats. Since coming back, he’s knocked three home runs in 29 at-bats, accounting for over 10% of his at-bats.

That might not seem too significant, but here’s a comparison for reference. Shohei Ohtani, the major league home run leader, has 33 home runs in 301 at-bats. That means that just shy of 11% of his at-bats result in a home run.

Now, we’re not saying that Reyes is all of sudden going to exhibit Ohtani power at the plate. However, having a similar home run pace as the league leader in the statistic is rather promising for what is to come. Can Reyes keep that pace? We’ll see, but him doing this well fresh off the injured list is a great sign.

Franmil Reyes was one of the first players to return from the injured list for the Cleveland Indians and he’s set the bar high for the rest to come. Roberto Perez and Zach Plesac are back with Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale and Jordan Luplow on the road to recovery as well.

If they can post any stats similar to what Reyes has been able to, then the Tribe should get a tremendous boost early in the second half that might be able to propel them back into contention. Hopefully, the stats are sustainable for Reyes and not just a fluke paired with his return.

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