Posted August 16, 2013

Yankees hoping to wake up moribund right-side of lineup with Mark Reynolds pick-up

New York Yankees
New York will try to get Mark Reynolds back to crushing home runs like he was at the beginning of the season. (Ted S. Warren/AP)

New York will try to get Mark Reynolds back to crushing home runs like he was at the beginning of the season. (Ted S. Warren/AP)

It seems like an eternity ago, but it was just this past May that Mark Reynolds was one of the hottest hitters on the planet. Yes, hotter than Chris Davis. On the night of May 9, Reynolds hit his AL-leading 11th home run of the season. The notoriously streaky 29-year-old was off to one of his great hot streaks and leading the Indians to a fast start in the AL Central. His signing with Cleveland over the winter, a one-year, $6 million deal, was starting to look like one of the better acquisitions of the offseason.

And then everything fell apart. Reynolds not only stopped hitting for home runs, he stopped hitting altogether. He’s always been an all-or-nothing kind of slugger — in 2008 he became the first big leaguer to strike out more than 200 times in a season, then did so again the following two seasons — but what came after his smashing start was still unexpected. Reynolds connected on just two home runs after May, none after June 28. After hitting .301 (25-for-83) in April, he hit only .187 (47-for-252) after the month, and just .098 (5-for-51) with one RBI in the entire month of July. When Cleveland finally designated Reynolds for assignment last week, no one was shocked.

Now Reynolds is joining the Yankees. The 29-year-old agreed to a deal with New York on Thursday, according to CBSSports.com, and with the Yankees it seems he’ll platoon with Lyle Overbay at first and see time at third base and DH. The Yankees’ need for right-handed power is well-documented — the club’s right-handed hitters have hit only 36 home runs with a .326 slugging percentage — and they’re hoping Reynolds, who has a career .264/.349/.639 batting line at Yankee Stadium, can rediscover his swing and give the putrid lineup another jolt following the trade deadline addition of Alfonso Soriano.

Reynolds is certainly capable of giving the Yankees two or three hot weeks at the plate during this final stretch of the season, but that alone won’t be enough to get New York to the postseason. The climb is too steep. The Yankees enter the weekend 8.5 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East, and 6 games behind the Rays, who hold the top spot in the wild card standings. After winning four straight, the Yankees lost 8-4 to the Angels on Thursday. Soriano, following his 13 RBI-performance over the previous two games, had another four hits, but the rest of the lineup continued to struggle to get big hits, and now the Yankees start a critical three-game series against the Red Sox in Boston, where it’s possible Reynolds will make his Yankees debut Friday night against Felix Doubront.

13 comments
effeweall
effeweall

We need Pete Rose!!!  Charlie Hustle will add some zazz and pep to this team!!!

DanaBunner
DanaBunner

Oh woe for the Yankees.  Picking up players jettisoned by the Cleveland Indians!   Perhaps there is hope yet for Johnny Damon to come back!

gmag39
gmag39

This 'new Yankee' way of doing business must have George rolling over in his grave... if the old man was still running the club, Justin Morneau would be in Yankee pinstripes;  with the cheap kids running things, you get Mark Reynolds. 

jjazznola
jjazznola

6 games? No problem. Yanks are on a roll!

NoQNoSuperBowl
NoQNoSuperBowl

The Yankees have two starting pitchers: Kuroda, who deserves major Cy Young consideration and Nova. That's where the biggest need is.  

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

Sure, need a power hitter by signing this guy. There IS a reason he was OUT of the bigs guys.  But think he will magically get great by being in Yankee Stadium, good luck with that.

FDowney
FDowney

@gmag39 You kidding me? George spent most of the eighties and early nineties importing every washed-up slugger he could find.

PAZSKY
PAZSKY

@gmag39 It's only for two seasons to get under the luxury tax, then it will be business as usual..this is common knowledge.

jjazznola
jjazznola

Actually yes. He can't hurt.

josephnicklo
josephnicklo

@WHO*IS*ESPN We've seen a lot of players come to the Yankees and be "revived" — but on the other hand, we've seen more of the opposite. Let's hope it's for the best. 6 games out of wild card position...