'Blessed' Reyes running with second chance after DFA originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Cubs slugger Franmil Reyes doesn’t think he's going to turn into a triples machine at this point in his career.
“No,” Reyes said with a laugh Friday. “It’s just taking advantage of what the game gives you.”
Fair, although Reyes seems to be hitting them on a semi-frequent basis since joining the Cubs.
But anyone who’s been paying attention can agree on at least one thing: Reyes is running with his new opportunity with the Cubs, and a change of scenery might have been exactly what he needed.
“This new opportunity, there's many players that don’t have a second chance,” Reyes said after Friday’s 8-7 win over the Brewers. “I’m very blessed for having it.”
It was less than three weeks ago the Guardians optioned Reyes to Triple-A, only to designate him for assignment a few days later.
The Cubs claimed him off waivers, and while he’s only been in town for a week and a half, all he’s done is hit — and hit some more.
In nine games, Reyes has gone 14-for-38 with two home runs, three doubles and those two triples, good for a .368/.368/.711 slash line.
It comes after he struggled to a .213/.254/.350 slash line in 70 games with Cleveland before the DFA.
“The last couple of days in Cleveland I was turning the page around,” Reyes said. “I was doing better but didn’t have the opportunity the last couple of weeks.
“Coming here I just had the same plan.”
When the Cubs claimed Reyes off waivers, it reunited him with assistant hitting coach Johnny Washington — whom he had a tight relationship with during their time together as Padres in 2018-19.
Washington noted that relationship would at least give the Cubs a head start in trying to get Reyes back on track, and it seems to be paying off.
“I have Johnny Washington here that has known me since basically I was a little kid,” Reyes said. “He reminded me of a couple of things working with him and Brownie (hitting coach Greg Brown) and [coach Juan] Cabreja.
“All together we put good work on it, a good routine that I'm not missing, and everything’s showing up right there.”
For Friday’s triple against the Brewers, Reyes crushed a fly ball to right-center field in the first inning.
He knew he hit it well but kicked things into high gear as Milwaukee outfielder Hunter Renfroe neared the ivy-covered wall.
“I never think when I’m hitting [that] I'm getting a triple,” Reyes said. “Every time I try to pull the ball in the gap, I try to be in scoring position — no matter if it's second or third.
“You guys will always see that from me. I will always hustle. I'm not the fastest guy but I'm gonna put pressure on them.”
Although Reyes finished Friday 1-for-4 with three strikeouts, he said this is the best he’s felt at the plate all season.
And even with Friday's three strikeouts, he was pleased with his process in those plate appearances despite the outcome.
“I had those three strikeouts. After that, out of my mind, because there was nothing to be frustrated [about],” Reyes said. “I was seeing every pitch. Just missed my pitch.
“In the second at-bat, I owned those two pitches. I missed them and I was like, ‘I'm not gonna see it again.’ I got a slider, swing and a miss. Forget about it, because I knew I had control of the at-bat every time.
“So, everything's good. Tomorrow, new mentality, same plan: I’m crushing them.”
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