When the St. Louis Cardinals signed free agent Mark Reynolds during this past off-season, the slugger didn’t hide from the fact that along with 224 home runs, he had also struck out nearly 1400 times in his previous eight seasons.
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But Reynolds also was quick to point out that he wouldn’t always be swinging from his heels–especially if a situation called for a runner to be advanced or scored rather than be left standing after a strikeout.
Thus far into 2015 he has more than been true to his word.
“I just think from talking with Mabs in Spring Training about my role, what it was before ‘City got hurt, you’ve got to go up there and do your best to make contact,” said Reynolds. “Especially, you get a pinch-hit there’s normally people on base and you’re trying to move runners or get runners in. So we just kind of tinkered in the cage in the spring and really came up with a plan just to try and have a swing that’s consistent day-in and day-out rather than trying to go deep all the time.”
“Now that I’m playing everyday, it’s kind of just ingrained in my head that’s what I’m trying to do. And I’m having success–singles aren’t all that bad.”
Reynolds enters tonight’s game in Los Angeles against the Dodgers batting .261 for the season with 3 home runs and 15 RBIs. He has struck out 39 times. By comparison, Reynolds had more home runs (8) and the same amount of runs driven in thru 130 plate appearances last year, but was batting only .217 and had struck out 45 times.
“It’s definitely boosts your confidence,” said Reynolds of knowing that he can still hit the ball out of the park or shorten up to get the job done. “Having success average-wise is obviously huge for anybody but especially for me. With these at-bats I’m going to be getting, hopefully I can stay as consistent as possible and put good at-bats together and help this team as best I can.”
photo credit: Jasen Vinlove, Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports