Knock on wood, throw salt over your shoulder, avoid any open ladders.
Because Cleveland Guardians DH Franmil Reyes might have finally found his groove.
The DH has been missing for most of the season.
Some Clevelanders claim they saw him posing with AC/DC at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Others swear he was at the Christmas Story House, enjoying the last few moments of winter.
But they were all rumors…no sightings were confirmed.
Franmil Reyes during his six-game hit streak: 11-for-21 (.524), 1.279 OPS
— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) May 8, 2022
All jokes aside, Reyes was off to a terrible start.
Earlier this season, against the anemic Cincinnati Reds, Reyes was hitless in nine ABs.
A few weeks later, against the Angels, he posted a similar line: hitless through 14 at-bats.
Against San Francisco, Reyes managed just a single hit across 12 at-bats, good enough for a .083 average.
In that Angels series, not only did Reyes fail to record a hit, but he missed contact with the ball altogether.
Through those 14 at-bats, he struck out an incredible 10 times.
But (again, speaking softly so as to not jinx anything), Reyes looks to be his old self again.
In the Guardians’ most recent series against the San Diego Padres, he exploded for two hits in four at-bats.
While he still struck out one of the other two at-bats, the contact is a promising sign.
Against the Blue Jays this past weekend, Reyes batted .643 through 14 at-bats.
He recorded nine hits, three RBIs, and a home run against the Toronto side.
It’s a great sign from a batter the Guardians had their eye on.
Fortunately, thanks to hot starts from Steven Kwan, José Ramirez, and Owen Miller, Reyes’ punch hasn’t been a lethal blow.
But getting to add another bat to the top of the lineup has to make Manager Terry Francona salivate.
A good sign for Reyes is that his hits are, for the most part, coming with runners in scoring position.
He’ll need to keep that number up.
If he continues batting at this rate, Reyes will find himself back in the top of the lineup in no time.
Can you imagine a starting lineup of Kwan, Miller, Ramirez, and Reyes?
When all four are clicking, it’s a dangerous opening.
Stay or Go?
But perhaps Francona keeps Reyes in the fifth or sixth spot.
After all, the pressure is off, especially because Miller and Ramirez are raking.
And, it forces pitchers to stay sharp down the lineup, an excellent strategic advantage.
Plus, when one of the guys down the lineup makes base or has a strong game, following them up with Reyes to bat them in keeps the offense running consistently.
Franmil Reyes finally looks like himself again.. great sign for this lineup
— MoreForYouCleveland (@MoreForYou_CLE) May 8, 2022
That further alleviates pressure from guys like Kwan and Miller.
Regardless, Reyes settling in is only a good thing for the team.
I’m sure Francona would rather decide where to put Reyes in the lineup over choosing whether to bench the DH.
While Cleveland has had the luxury of Kwan, Miller, and Ramiréz, they’ll likely need Reyes to stay strong as the season progresses.
That might be especially true as the Guardians turn to back-to-back stints against AL Central opponents.
First, they take on the second-place White Sox in Chicago.
Then, Cleveland heads north to Minnesota to face off against a strong Twins team.
Let’s hope Reyes can keep the bat hot in the Windy City and Land of One Thousand Lakes.
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