Slugger nears dubious record

One whiff at a time, Mark Reynolds is closing in on his own single-season strikeout record.

Arizona Diamondbacks slugger Mark Reynolds is nearing the strikeout record that he set last season (204).

PHOENIX — One whiff at a time, Mark Reynolds is closing in on his own single-season strikeout record.

Please don’t remind him. The normally good-natured Reynolds turns chilly when the subject arises.

“I don’t care,” Reynolds said. “I haven’t talked about it all year. I don’t even know now how many strikeouts I have.”

Reynolds has 200 after striking out four times on Wednesday, leaving him only a few swings and misses shy of the record he set last season (204).

It’s understandable that the 26-year-old Reynolds is touchy about the question. He’d rather be known for his power — his 42 homers are second to Albert Pujols in the majors — than be hailed as King of the Ks.

At a glance, Reynolds’ strikeout and homer numbers paint a comical picture of a batter with his shirt buttons popping and helmet spinning, and the ball either in the catcher’s mitt or the left-field seats.

But while Reynolds rarely gets cheated on a cut, his other statistics tell a different story.

Reynolds’ batting average, walks, on-base percentage and slugging percentage are all up over last year, his first full season in the majors. Reynolds also has 23 stolen bases.

“He’s not an all-or-nothing guy,” Arizona manager A.J. Hinch said. “It looks like that way sometimes; he’ll have nights that it’s like that. But over the course of his complete work, his complete season, he’s been very productive in times where he’s not hitting a home run and he’s not striking out.”

A few hours after Hinch made that comment, Reynolds backed up his manager’s words by drawing a bases-loaded walk to force in the winning run in a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 9.

Facing Ramon Troncoso, Reynolds worked the count to 3-2, fouling off a couple of pitches with two strikes, and then laid off a fastball that was just off the outside corner.

“I think he’s got a plan when he goes up there,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.

Most of the time, the plan is to swing hard.

After hitting 28 homers a year ago, Reynolds has 42 this season, and most aren’t cheap.

On July 28, his shot off Phillies reliever Brad Lidge carried an estimated 481 feet into a restaurant in the left field upper deck, one of the longest homers in Chase Field’s 12-year history.

“He’s unique,” Torre said. “He’s got (42) home runs, so I think whatever you have to pay for that strikeout-wise is something you take because when he gets up there, he’s a threat. I mean, he may have some holes, but you still have to find the holes. If you miss your spot, it’s not going to be a single.”

Reynolds quickly points to his other numbers whenever someone asks about his strikeout total.

“You know, if I was hitting a buck-fifty and driving in 20 runs and striking out 200 times — but I’m being productive,” Reynolds said. “So whatever.”

Just Posted

Red Deer student excels: 11 year old hosts fundraiser to help kids

A Red Deer student is like most students, with a few exceptions:… Continue reading

Survey suggests many Red Deer-area employers ready to hire in early 2019

Red Deer-area employers expect a hopeful hiring climate in the first quarter… Continue reading

Experts offer tips about how to prevent online ad spoilers during the holidays

Looking to prevent your Christmas surprises from being spoiled by online ads… Continue reading

Fast-expanding seafood giant joins Irvings, McCains as N.B. business royalty

FREDERICTON — For the Irvings, it was Bouctouche. For the McCains, Florenceville.… Continue reading

Dumba scores twice, Wild rout Canadiens 7-1

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Reeling and banged up, the Minnesota Wild were… Continue reading

Coach Hunter wants up-tempo Team Canada as world junior squad hits ice

COLWOOD, B.C. — Team Canada coach Tim Hunter says the team that… Continue reading

Study finds female-led films outperform male ones

NEW YORK — A study organized by Time’s Up, the organization formed… Continue reading

Price Is Right contestant wins winter trip to Winnipeg, Churchill

WINNIPEG — Who wants to visit Winnipeg in the dead of winter?… Continue reading

CBC Gem streaming service to launch exclusive content, partners with Wattpad

TORONTO — The CBC has launched a new streaming service featuring live… Continue reading

‘Part of the solution:’ Alberta seeks proposals to build new refinery

EDMONTON — Alberta is looking for someone to build a new oil… Continue reading

Online ads spoil Christmas surprises, raising privacy concerns: experts

Lisa Clyburn knew she had found the perfect gift for her nine-year-old… Continue reading

Sebastian Giovinco, Jonathan Osorio and Adriana Leon up for top CONCACAF awards

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco and Jonathan Osorio are up for CONCACAF male… Continue reading

Most Read