Tribe relies on Reynolds at third after roster move
PHILADELPHIA -- Mark Reynolds has done a little bit of everything for the Indians this season, and his willingness to do so has been of great help to manager Terry Francona. Now, one day after the Indians optioned 24-year old Lonnie Chisenhall to Triple-A Columbus, Reynolds' role has become a little more defined.
"He'll certainly get the majority of the time," said Francona, who had Reynolds penciled in at third base for the second straight day. "It's one thing to put him there sparingly, but you don't want to run him into the ground. That's part of what makes this team so much fun to manage.
"Mark is a perfect example. He has played first, he's played third and he's been our designated hitter. He's done it willingly. It makes it kind of fun."
Reynolds has hit .279 this year with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs. For the most part, he has done well in the 17 games he started at first, in which he has hit .331 with five home runs and 20 RBIs. In a smaller sample size at third, he has hit only .211 in seven games, but Francona sees those numbers improving with consistency.
"I think he likes third," Francona said. "I think in Spring Training, we asked him to play a game or two and he did it without questions because he likes it."
Of course, the Indians had hoped that Reynolds wouldn't have to play third this much if Chisenhall hadn't struggled mightily over 26 games, in which he hit just .213.
"He said he'd been worried since the first week about his run production," Francona said. "It kind of looked like that. It had snowballed on him. Now he goes to Triple-A and can take a deep breath, because he's going to be a huge part of this organization because he's young and he can grow.
"It happens. I went through it myself. You put too much pressure on yourself to do well."