CLEVELAND (AP) — The Indians swung and missed with Mark Reynolds.
The team designated the slumping slugger for assignment on Thursday, ending his first season in Cleveland, one which began with power and production but fizzled out quickly.
Lacking a power-hitting right-handed bat for their lineup, the Indians signed Reynolds to a one-year, $6 million contract in December. Reynolds, who hit 60 homers in the previous two seasons in Baltimore, started well and hit 13 homers in April and May. His teammates even nicknamed him “Mega Mark” for a few of his monstrous, tape-measure shots.
Then he began to miss.
Reynolds is batting just .215 with 15 homers and 48 RBIs, and the free-swinger struck out 123 times and he’s only hit two homers since May. Since the All-Star break, he’s hitting just .185 (5 of 27) with 10 strikeouts in 27 at-bats. Manager Terry Francona has reduced his role, giving some of his at-bats to Ryan Raburn, who signed a two-year contract extension with the club on Wednesday.
The Indians had held out hope Reynolds would get hot again, and maybe carry their offense the way he did with the Orioles last season, when he helped Baltimore win one of the AL’s two wild-card spots.
But Cleveland, which enters Thursday’s series finale against Detroit a season-high six games behind the Tigers in the AL Central, ran out of patience and decided to designate the 29-year-old Reynolds, who maintained a positive attitude and always handled himself professionally during his months-long skid.
The Indians have 10 days to trade, release or place Reynolds on waivers.
To take his roster spot, the club recalled reliever Preston Guilmet (gil-met) from Triple-A Columbus. He’ll give manager Terry Francona another arm after the Indians wore out their bullpen in a 14-inning loss to the Tigers on Wednesday.
This is Guilmet’s second stint with Cleveland. He made his major league debut with the club on July 10. In 42 appearances with the Clippers, Guilmet is 4-4 with a 1.95 ERA and 18 saves. He has 64 strikeouts in 55 1-3 innings.