Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer is trying to stay fresh

MILWAUKEE –– Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer pointed to all of the places he has been hit by a pitch this season.

He rolled up his sleeve to show the circular bruise on his left tricep. Then he pointed to his elbow, his wrist, his ankle and his rib cage. Entering Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Farmer is tied for the MLB lead in hit by pitches with 13.

“I’m leading the league in something, I guess that’s a good thing,” Farmer said.

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer (17) is hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Sunday, July 4, 2021, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

As Farmer deals with “general soreness,” a result of the most consistent playing time of his career, he has been kept out of the lineup in two games in the last week. Farmer was in the starting lineup for the first two games against the Brewers, but manager David Bell said Farmer might not start every game.

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“It's a big series, I’m just a little sore,” Farmer said. “I’m playing every day for the first time in my entire career in the big leagues, and it’s finally catching up to me. (Reds manager David Bell) is doing a good job of keeping me fresh, which is good.”

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer (17) dodges a pitch during the MLB baseball game between Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves on Saturday, June 26, 2021, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Before this season, Farmer never had more than 200 plate appearances or made more than 35 starts in a year. In 2021, Farmer already has 236 plate appearances, and he has already made 65 starts. 

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Farmer hasn’t been 100% over the last week, and he said the coaching staff has developed a good plan to keep him fresh and in the lineup as much as possible. 

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