Eugenio Suarez has done an admirable job filling in at shortstop for the injured Zack Cozart over the last three months. Cozart tore several ligaments and tendons in his knee in a June game against the Phillies in an attempt to beat out a play at first base. Since making his season debut, Suarez has hit .284/.321/.458 with 11 home runs and 44 RBI.
Cozart will resume his role as the Reds’ starting shortstop with full health in 2016. Manager Bryan Price feels that Suarez is a starting-caliber player, but the team would need to use Suarez at another position, perhaps left field. Suarez is willing to move to another position to fit the team’s needs, as MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports.
Suarez said, “If they need me at another position, I would try to play there. For me, the important thing is to play in the big leagues.” He added, “I’m ready for anything. I want to play in the big leagues, any position.”
Braves 21-year-old outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. nabbed his 30th stolen base of the season on Friday, becoming the second-youngest player in Major League history to produce at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a single season. Per MLB Stats, the only other player under 22 years old to pull off the feat is Mike Trout, who did so with 30 home runs and 49 stolen bases during his age-20 season in 2012.
Acuña’s triumphant moment came in the eighth inning of Friday’s game against the Mets. He drew a six-pitch walk against righty reliever Seth Lugo, then waited for an opportune moment as Ozzie Albies stepped to the plate. Lugo fired a 93-m.p.h. fastball to Albies for ball no. 2, which was promptly returned to second base by catcher Wilson Ramos. The throw came in high, however; Amed Rosario had to jump to make the catch, allowing Acuña to slide safely into the bag and hit his career mark.
It’s been an eventful season for the All-Star outfielder, whose 36 home runs and 30 stolen bases helps pad a .294/.377/.536 batting line and 5.1 fWAR over 597 plate appearances. Through the first 11 innings of Friday’s contest, he went 0-for-3 with a pair of walks and a stolen base.