Stop me if you think I'm being overly dramatic, but Mark Reynolds is having a hard time at the plate these days.
Since June 1, the Indians slugger is hitting a paltry .162/.263/.214 with 52 strikeouts and 15 walks. No that's not a typo: that's a .214 slugging percentage, and that's 52 strikeouts in 133 PA. Lest you think that such an unfortunate PA/K ratio is normal for Reynolds, it's not. Over his career, he's struck out once every 3.07 PA, while during this most recent cold stretch, he's down to once every 2.55 PA.
To make matters even worse, those numbers are actually surprisingly acceptable when you take into account how lost he's looked at the plate. I approach most Reynolds at-bats simply looking for him to make solid contact, regardless of whether it drops for a hit or not.
It wasn't always like this. In 2013, Reynolds came out of the gate extremely hot and stayed that way through mid-May. Up until that point, he was hitting .271/.362/.581 with 11 home runs, walking far more, and striking out less often.
I've read a fair amount of theorizing that Reynolds' struggles are due to his switch to 3B after Lonnie Chisenhall went down with an injury, disrupting his routine. It's hard to say for sure, but my guess is that we're seeing the penultimate nadir of someone with Reynolds' skillset.
The bottom line is this: the urgency of the Indians' current situation makes the Mark Reynolds Blackout all the more disconcerting. Let's face it, folks: Detroit is underperforming, and the Indians have a chance to go into the All-Star Break within just a couple games of the regining AL champions. But what Cleveland absolutely cannot afford at this juncture is one of their primary power hitters struggling just to make contact with the ball.
Let's hope he figures it out. And fast.