Cheap Seats

All Cardinals wanted for Christmas was... Mark Reynolds?

I'm not sure that I understand the St. Louis Cardinals' decision to sign Mark Reynolds as a back-up corner infielder and a bench bat.

Sure, he has consistently provided a power threat during his major league career. But Reynolds has such a crummy batting average and he strikes out so much that I don't see him as a better option that the lefty batters he is expected to replace against southpaws, Matt Adams and Matt Carpenter.

Over his career, Reynolds is only a .172 hitter as a substitute compared to a .230 average as a starter. Against lefty pitchers, he's only a .231 batter. Matt Adams hits .197 against lefty pitchers overall, but .231 against left-handed starting pitchers while Matt Carpenter is a .276 hitter against southpaws.

I guess the Redbirds are hopeful that Reynolds can suddenly improve in the friendly conditions at Busch Stadium. But changes of scenery from Arizona to Baltimore to Cleveland to New York to Milwaukee haven't made much if any difference.

While it be nice to have a guy come off the bench and crack a key home run, Reynolds has struck out 196 times or more FOUR times in his career. So it seems much more likely that he's going to strand runners in place.

The Cardinals' supposed other target for the role, former Milwaukee Brewers infielder Rickie Weeks, doesn't have the dramatic home run totals. But he hits much more consistently and offers a lot more versatility in the field.

Weeks was a .274 hitter with a .357 on base percentage last year. And he cracked a very respectable eight home runs in 252 at bats. Weeks has been a second baseman. But I have little doubt that he could play first base. And it's likely he could play third and maybe the outfield corner as a quicker and more limber guy than Reynolds.

  Comments