Reds right fielder Jay Bruce has struggled all season, and he called 2014 "the most embarrassing year of my life," according to the Cincinnati Enquirer's C. Trent Rosecrans on Saturday.
The 27-year-old finished 10th in NL MVP voting each of the last two seasons, but is hitting only .218 with 14 home runs and 55 RBIs in 113 games this season. He's hit at least 21 homers in each of his first six MLB seasons.
"It's been miserable. It's honestly been the most embarrassing year of my life," Bruce said. "But I know this isn't me. It's definitely humbling, not that I needed to be more humbled by anything. I feel like I'm pretty self-aware and have some humility. It's just one of those things. You have to find a way to take some positive out of it to get better. I think this is going to make me better."
A two-time All-Star, Bruce had five strikeouts in Thursday's game against the Cubs.
"The other day when I struck out five times, my hands were six, seven or eight inches lower than they have been. I made the change myself," Bruce said. "It was a test and it failed miserably. I'll tell you what, I almost had a panic attack when I struck out the fifth time. It was the most embarrassing moment I've ever had on the field. It happens. It better not happen often, I'll tell you that."
Reds manager Bryan Price said Bruce, who has 178 career home runs, hasn't fully recovered from May 5 surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
"Truth be told, he's working on making some adjustments and he's not going to say it, he still has to deal with trying to get 100 percent on his knee, which won't happen until next year," Price said. "He's not going to complain about it. He's not going to complain about anything, he's just going to show up and play and play hard."
The Reds are 65-70 entering Saturday's game in Pittsburgh.
- Chris Mascaro