When the Cincinnati Reds let Freddy Galvis reach free agency and eventually head to the Baltimore Orioles over the winter, it became painfully obvious that they were going to need to find a new shortstop somehow, some way. The winter trudged on, the numerous options found cozy homes elsewhere, and when the club began Cactus League play in Goodyear, the issue had not truly been addressed.
With just about two weeks until Opening Day remaining, the Reds were still experimenting with the likes of Max Schrock and Alex Blandino there on a daily basis, not Francisco Lindor, not Marcus Semien, not Andrelton Simmons. Finally, the Reds made the decision to slide former shortstop Eugenio Suarez a bit to his left, returning their 3B to his original position after a handful of years down the defensive spectrum, hoping his skills would just magically reappear for their mutual benefit. They’d use a combination of Geno and Kyle Farmer, who’d caught as many games in his Reds career as he’d spent at short, and we’d all shortly forget they bypassed a handful of All Star caliber options on the open market to find their perfect shortstop concoction.
The Reds are almost 40 games into their 2021 season, almost a full quarter of their work in the books, and wouldn’t ya know, it’s working out like a 1983 dream!
To date, only two teams in all of baseball have had more dingers socked from their shortstops. Cincinnati’s 10 dingers have only been topped by the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres, both of whom have received 11 from theirs. Almost as impressive has been their RBI work, as the 30 ribbies Reds shortstops have bonked across the plate have only been topped by two teams, too - the Giants (32) and the Chicago Cubs (37).
Defensively, their 8 errors have been a bit of a disappointment, as that, too, ranks as the 3rd most among any shortstop group in the game. That said, their 53 putouts has them tied for 10th, and every single team ahead of them on that leaderboard has played more games than the Reds have - with the Rangers (58 putouts) having played 43 games!
Dingers are good. Arby-eyes are good. Makin’ plays with the glove are good.
Anybody who had this guy as their coach can tell you the Cincinnati Reds shortstops have, therefore, been good.
Just don’t worry about those fancy new stats.