JUPITER, FL (Baseball STL) -- When the Cardinals signed Mark Reynolds to a one year deal this offseason they did so with the intention of having a right-handed batter who could play 1st base if Matt Adams struggled. They wanted someone with a history of hitting for power who wasn’t going to cost an arm and a leg to acquire.
The 31-year old has hit at least 21 home runs for the last seven seasons. The only year he failed to hit that number was his rookie season of 2007 when he hit “only” 17; and that was in just 366 at-bats. The man can hit the ball out of the ballpark.
His batting average? Eh, that’s another story. Reynolds is a career .229 hitter with a whopping 1,398 strikeouts in 3,796 at-bats.
Reynolds knows who and what he is and he also sees a very good Matt Adams ahead of him on the depth chart. But that’s not stopping the eight-year veteran from trying to get on the field a lot.
“My goal is to make it hard for Mike (Matheny) to write the lineup out,” Reynolds said. “I want to have a good spring and make it tough for him to keep me out of there.”?
And is power the way to go about that? You’d assume hitting a lot of home runs would do the trick.
“I think driving in some runs makes it hard for any manager to leave you on the bench. I think if the production is there and you’re playing solid defense it’s tough for them to leave you out of there,” Reynolds said.
Games haven’t even begun yet so it’s hard to get a gauge on where Reynolds is compared to someone like Adams over at 1st base. But, so far, the team likes what it sees out of its new acquisition.
“Mark Reynolds is the kind of guy who knows how to go about his business,” manager Mike Matheny said. “He’s been right on cue as far as getting the work done and buying into what we believe in as an organization. It’s been a good fit so far.”
?Should Reynolds come off the bench mostly this year, which appears to be the case, he can back up Adams at 1st base but also play a little 3rd and corner outfield. He even says he has played 2nd base before.