Fatal flaw: Every MLB contender has a weak spot

Jun 13, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) reacts as he talks to New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) on the mound during the seventh inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 13, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) reacts as he talks to New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) on the mound during the seventh inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
6 of 14
Next
Eugenio Suarez.
Eugenio Suarez. /

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds’ thus-far futile effort to haul in the Brewers in the NL Central has been hampered by under-production at three important everyday positions. Any or all could become a fatal flaw.

The most acute concern is third base, which shapes up as Cincinnati’s fatal flaw. Eugenio Suarez entered the season viewed as an emerging star. But he’s followed up a sub-par 2020 with an even worse 2021, his average now hanging around .172. He’s carrying .613 OPS.

Things aren’t much better at shortstop, where Kyle Farmer is stuck in the low .240s. And out in center field, manager David Bell really doesn’t have a regular. Nick Senzel, Tyler Naquin and Shogo Akiyama have divided time, none of them effectively. Senzel is the only one of the three above .250, and he’s on the injured list.

Statistically, Reds’ third basemen have produced -2.7 WAA, a total that ranks ahead of only one MLB team. At -2.1, they’re 30th at both the shortstop and center field positions. That’s one-third of the everyday lineup generating -6.9 WAA and ranking at or near the bottom inoffensive productivity.

It’s theoretically possible for Reds GM Nick Krall to fix one, or possibly even two, of those problems at the trade deadline. Fixing all three is a stiffer challenge, especially since the Reds – who have gone 3-7 since the All Star break – appear to receding from the pennant race.