Reds: Kyle Farmer cannot be benched once Mike Moustakas returns

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Kyle Farmer (52), left, talks with Cincinnati Reds second baseman Mike Moustakas (9) as the walk to the dugout between innings.
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Kyle Farmer (52), left, talks with Cincinnati Reds second baseman Mike Moustakas (9) as the walk to the dugout between innings. /
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The Cincinnati Reds are expecting third baseman Mike Moustakas to return from injury in the coming days, perhaps as soon as today. When that happens, Kyle Farmer cannot be benched in favor of Eugenio Suarez. Farmer must remain in the everyday lineup as the team’s starting shortstop.

Moustakas and fellow infielder Nick Senzel have both been out of action since mid-May. Since that time, Suarez has been moved back to third base and Farmer has become the Reds’ starting shortstop.

Since May 18th, Kyle Farmer has been the starting shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds. In that time, the former catcher has hit .283/.337/.457 with eight home runs and 27 RBIs. During that same timeframe, Suarez is slashing .186/.272/.388 with 14 home runs and 40 RBIs.

The Reds must keep Kyle Farmer on the field when Mike Moustakas returns.

Kyle Farmer came into spring training as the odds-on favorite to win the starting shortstop job. The Reds chose not to sign Marcus Semien, Andrelton Simmons, or Didi Gregorius, but opted instead to ink Dee Strange-Gordon to a minor-league contract.

Strange-Gordon was going to compete for the starting shortstop job along with Farmer, Alex Blandino, and Jose Barrero among others. Eventually, the decision was made to shift Eugenio Suarez to shortstop, move Mike Moustakas to third base, and insert Jonathan India into the starting lineup.

While many questioned it at the time, the move did get India’s bat into the starting lineup, and I don’t think David Bell regrets that decision one bit. However, the 2021 season has been wildly unsuccessful for Suarez.

Not only has Geno struggled at the dish, but his defense at shortstop has left a lot to the imagination. Suarez has -8 defensive runs saved while playing shortstop according to FanGraphs and -11 outs above average according to Baseball Savant. Farmer has 2 DRS and 5 OAA.

Reds skipper David Bell faces a difficult decision when Mike Moustakas returns.

While some fans would sharply disagree, David Bell does not face an easy decision when Mike Moustakas returns to the roster. Sure, from the outside, one can easily compare the statistics of Eugenio Suarez, Mike Moustakas, and Kyle Farmer, and surmise that Geno should be the odd-man-out.

But when you’re talking about managing, among other things, player’s egos, playing time, and clubhouse morale, I don’t envy Bell’s decision. Certainly, Eugenio Suarez isn’t going to become a bench bat, but his playing time, more than anyone else, will be effected when Mike Moustakas returns to the roster.

Kyle Farmer has proven the doubters wrong. Next

The Cincinnati Reds are in the race for a playoff spot in the National League and need to out the best eight players in the field on a nightly basis. Right now, I’d expect to see both Moose and Geno get a fair amount of reps at third base, but in no way can Kyle Farmer’s playing time suffer because of of Moustakas’ return.