Reynolds signing gives Cardinals right-handed bat with pop off bench

BY foxsports • December 11, 2014

SAN DIEGO -- Just as the Winter Meetings were concluding, the Cardinals found their right-handed bat off the bench in free agent Mark Reynolds.

Reynolds, 31, for the most part fits the profile of what general manager John Mozeliak has said the club is seeking. Reynolds possesses plenty of power and can play first base and third base. He also has seen his playing time drop in recent years, so he apparently is OK with accepting a backup and pinch-hitter role in St. Louis. Mozeliak has made it clear that at-bats will be limited.

"When you look at how many at-bats we can offer and where we can get them from, excluding any injury, it's not a lot," he said earlier in the meetings. "It's not like one perfect player fits that mold."

Reynolds hit 22 home runs -- his average over the past three seasons -- but batted only .196/.287/.394 in 404 plate appearances for the Brewers last season. He also strikes out a ton, having set the major-league record with 223 strikeouts in 2009. He averaged a strikeout every 3.55 plate appearances in 2014, slightly better than his career average of a strikeout every 3.13 PAs. From 2009-11, he hit 44, 32 and 37 homers.

While he is expected to face more lefty than righty pitchers, Reynolds actually has fared a little better against right-handers over the past two seasons with a .211 batting average, compared with .205 against left-handers.

In the 19 games he has played at Busch Stadium, Reynolds is hitting .311/.380/.557 with four homers and 10 RBI.

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