CINCINNATI -- Eugenio Suarez played shortstop for the last three innings of Tuesday's 8-1 loss to the Indians, marking the second time he has played there for the Reds this season.The move got a heavily used Jose Peraza off of his feet for the final couple of frames and also
CINCINNATI -- Eugenio Suarez played shortstop for the last three innings of Tuesday's 8-1 loss to the Indians, marking the second time he has played there for the Reds this season.
The move got a heavily used Jose Peraza off of his feet for the final couple of frames and also prepared Suarez, Cincinnati's third baseman, to start at shortstop in the near future. Peraza made his 114th start on Wednesday vs. Cleveland at Great American Ball Park, and has played in 117 of the Reds' 120 games. Cincinnati interim manager Jim Riggleman said he will likely give Peraza a day off during the team's upcoming road trip.
"I think the biggest difference [between playing third base and shortstop] is the angle to first base and the angle you see to home plate," Suarez said. "It feels a little bit weird, because at third base, it is straight to the hitter. When I was at shortstop last night, I saw everything big, the whole diamond like a big 'V.' That is the biggest difference."
Suarez has plenty of experience at shortstop, though none recently. He came up through the Minor Leagues in the Tigers' organization as a shortstop, and played 96 games there in his first season with Cincinnati before moving to third in 2016. Suarez has 182 appearances at shortstop in the Major Leagues (410 at third base), but only five appearances there in the past three seasons.
"I felt pretty comfortable last night," Suarez said. "It felt normal, because I have played there a lot before."
Riggleman lost some flexibility with the infield when Alex Blandino tore his ACL in a game against the Pirates on July 20, making it harder to rest Peraza without shifting someone from their natural position. Suarez said he is comfortable at shortstop and is looking forward to the opportunity.
Herrera showing versatility
When Suarez slid over to shortstop on Tuesday, Dilson Herrera manned third base for for the second time this season. Herrera has now played four positions with Cincinnati this year, including second base, first base and left field, where he made his first career start during Saturday's win over the D-backs.
"He looked OK in the outfield," Riggleman said. "We would certainly be comfortable putting him at second and third. Left field is still a work in progress, but if we needed to do it, we would do it. [Herrera could play] third base depending on who is pitching, and how he has been swinging the bat."
Herrera played second and third base in the Minors, and made 46 appearances at second base for the Mets during the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Brian Scott Rippee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati.