Each Monday morning, we’ll ask a few of our authors and friends of the site to answer an important question concerning the Reds. Do you agree with any of our writers? Give us your opinion in the comments section.
Question: What do you make of Jose Peraza’s start and does it justify his reduced playing time?
Doug Gray: Jose Peraza is clearly pressing. When the team brought in Jose Iglesias they stated Peraza was the starting shortstop to take pressure off of him of thinking he was playing for his job. Then Scooter Gennett gets injured and immediately Peraza is removed from the shortstop position. Rightly or wrongly, he probably felt like there was something he had to prove – and it’s easier to prove it with the bat. I think he’s trying to “win” the job at the plate and he’s pressing and trying to hit everything. And, well, we’ve seen the result of that approach. It’s not good. At this point, I would certainly be trying to get Derek Dietrich more time in the lineup. If that’s at the expense of Peraza, so be it. I would not bench him outright. He still needs to be in the lineup 5 times a week – whether that’s at second or shortstop.
Wes Jenkins: Jose Peraza, for some reason, has been trying to hit dingers. Looking at his batted ball stats, the pull percentages are roughly the same, the hard-to-soft contact percentages are roughly the same, and the ground ball rate is about where it was last year. The difference: Where Peraza used to hit line drives, he’s now hitting fly balls. Coupled with his extreme strikeout rate, I think Peraza started thinking too much about his power surge from last year and has been pressing to repeat it as a result. Once the other bats come around and Peraza doesn’t feel the need to swing like Joey Gallo, I think the continued breakout many of us anticipated will come. It’s just, with such a bad offensive start by the whole team, people start to press. Jose just hasn’t stopped pressing quite yet.
Jason LInden: No. And it’s an absurd question. First of all, 2/3 of the lineup is registering negative WAR right now. None of the outfield has been hitting and it’s not like those guys bring defensive value either. So I don’t know why we’re looking specifically at Peraza here. Peraza’s BABIP as of the moment I’m typing this, is under .200 which is literally impossible to sustain. I hate how early season numbers influence our views. We’re talking about 54 PAs. That’s a meaningless sample.
Tom Mitsoff: Peraza’s slow start is a big surprise. He had the fourth-most hits in the National League last season, and was a very difficult out in the second half. He looked like he had matured as a hitter, and would be a key cog in a formidable offensive attack. Instead, he has joined the majority of his teammates in a season-opening slump, ending an 0-for-24 streak with a leadoff single Saturday night. Despite what appeared to be a breakout season offensively in 2018, Peraza’s major hitting slump resulted in body language that has reflected some self-doubt. To date, Bell has sat every position player from time to time, so Peraza sitting on occasion has not been out of the ordinary.