In search of power, Cubs claim Reyes off waivers from Cleveland
The Cubs claimed outfielder Franmil Reyes on waivers from Cleveland on Monday. He's expected to join the team on Tuesday.
Reyes, 27, hit 37 home runs in 2019, when he split the season between San Diego and Cleveland. Last year, he collected 30 home runs and 85 RBI.
This summer has been a different story. He's hitting .213 with 9 home runs and just 28 RBI, with a 37.1% strikeout rate. In 2019, his whiff rate was 28.5%.
"I think it makes a lot of sense," manager David Ross said. "He can put the ball in the seats. We don't have a lot of those guys and no true DH.
"Looking at some of the video and some of the history of seeing him play, he can be a real all-fields type of hitter in a power body. He's got the ability to hit home runs, but I think him getting back to using all fields, driving the ball gap-to-gap is where he's at his best, then the homers show up. Hopefully we can get him back into that."
Ross also used himself as an example of giving someone a second chance can pay off.
"I got a chance to sign a two-year deal here (in 2015) after batting a buck-80 in Boston," he said. "I stunk and things turned out pretty good and I was OK. I don't think you should stop trying to find those pieces or hidden gems or second chances."
The Cubs optioned Frank Schwindel to Triple A Iowa to make room for Reyes on the roster.
Heading into Monday's action, the Cubs had just two players with double-digit home runs: Patrick Wisdom with 20 and Willson Contreras with 16.
Christopher Morel added to the list by hitting his 10th home run in the third inning, just after Nelson Velazquez hit No. 6. But the power shortage is a reason to take a look at Franmil Reyes.
"Obviously, (GM) Carter (Hawkins) knows him from Cleveland and he knows the struggles he's had this year," president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said. "We have control for a couple years and it feels like we were lacking in the power department right now.
"It's rare to see a team that has the on-base percentage we have and not be able to score runs. Part of that is too many double plays and hitting the ball on the ground and part of that is not being able to strike quickly. I think you need that. I love the on-base skills and some of the grinding at-bats, but we lack power and we can certainly bring that."
Hendricks checked out:
Kyle Hendricks had an MRI on Monday to check the progress on his injured right shoulder. Jed Hoyer wouldn't mind seeing the veteran pitcher take the mound again this season. He last pitched on July 5.
"The most important thing for us it that he gets healthy for next year," Hoyer said. "I think he feels the same way. I'd love it if he pitches again this year, but I wouldn't want to push anything to do so."
Hoyer said Adbert Alzolay, who's been out all season with an elbow injury, was supposed to throw a one-inning live bullpen in Arizona on Monday. Hoyer said he'd like to see Alzolay pitch for the Cubs in September, but isn't sure of the timetable.