CINCINNATI -- Third baseman Eugenio Suarez has provided the Reds with superb defense most of this season and the second half of last year following a rough start. He works largely under the radar, however.Entering Sunday, Suarez was tied for second in the Majors at his position with 1.0 defensive
CINCINNATI -- Third baseman Eugenio Suarez has provided the Reds with superb defense most of this season and the second half of last year following a rough start. He works largely under the radar, however.
Entering Sunday, Suarez was tied for second in the Majors at his position with 1.0 defensive Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball-Reference.com. Colorado's Nolan Arenado is the leader at 1.9.
"I think a lot of times, what makes the defense stand out initially is the offense," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "When you're Arenado and hitting [over .300] and hitting a bunch of homers and driving in 100-plus runs, and then you're throwing in spectacular plays there on top of it, then the defense tends to elevate itself."
Suarez made two great plays in the fifth inning of the Reds' 5-4 loss to the Marlins on Saturday. First, he charged a perfect bunt and made a great barehanded play to throw out speedy leadoff hitter Dee Gordon, who showed his respect to Suarez as he jogged off the field. To end the inning, Suarez made a nifty backhanded stop on Marcell Ozuna's sharply hit grounder and threw him out.
"That's my goal, to be better and better every day," Suarez said on Sunday morning. "I want to be the best third baseman in the league. I'm doing my best, and those plays help me a lot to help the team."
It's not surprising that Suarez pays close attention to the work of Arenado, an All-Star each of the past three seasons.
"I always see how he moves, how he sets up to be ready for the ground balls coming to him," Suarez said. "I think he's the best example that I have. He's one of the best third basemen in the league. I want to be better than him. That's my goal."
Herrera done for 2017?
On Friday, Triple-A Louisville placed second baseman Dilson Herrera on the seven-day disabled list with right labrum inflammation in his shoulder. It's the same shoulder that has been oft injured since the second half of last season, shortly after the Reds acquired Herrera from the Mets in the Jay Bruce trade.
Louisville manager Delino DeShields told a reporter that Herrera was "probably done for the year." But Herrera has yet to be officially given a prognosis by the organization's medical team.
"He had to battle that shoulder at the end of last year and again through Spring Training. We didn't get much of a look at him," Price said. "It would be very disappointing not to see him. I thought he really swung the bat well for us in Spring Training. We just couldn't get him on the field defensively."
Salsa dancin' in the rain
During Reds home rain delays, the video board plays a video of Suarez doing a salsa dance while smiling and looking directly at the camera. It's become a sensation, and it's been seen plenty this weekend.
"They asked me if I can dance a little bit in front of the camera," Suarez said. "I said, 'Yeah, why not?' Then on the first rain delay, I saw it and said, 'What? These are guys are using my video for that?' But it's funny. It's something to do in the rain delay. I like that a lot."
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.