Reds News

3 Reds most likely to be tabbed as Cincinnati's designated hitter in 2022

Cincinnati Reds third baseman Mike Moustakas (9) hits a fly ball to end the second inning.
Cincinnati Reds third baseman Mike Moustakas (9) hits a fly ball to end the second inning. / Meg Vogel via Imagn Content Services,
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The owners the Player's Association met the first time since the lockout began to discuss core economic issues. Among the pieces of the owner's proposal, according to the Associated Press, was expanding the designated hitter to the National League.

Personally, I enjoy watching baseball in its purist form. I'm not a fan of the defensive shift on the infield, I despise the three-batter minimum, and I'm not in favor of the DH making its way to the NL. But I don't have a say in the matter.

It seems almost a foregone conclusion that the NL will adopt the DH for the 2022 season and beyond. The National League added the universal DH for the pandemic-shortened 2020 season in order to help preserve pitchers who had their spring training interrupted, but went back to baseball as it should be played during the 2021 campaign.

The Cincinnati Reds would probably love to see the DH in the National League next season, as the team's roster is a bit top-heavy with high-priced veterans who are not as good with the glove as they once were. So who are the most likely candidates to be the Reds designated hitter in 2022?

1. Mike Moustakas could be the Reds DH in 2022.

Mike Moustakas is undoubtedly the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to who the Cincinnati Reds might select to be the team's DH in 2022. Cincinnati's prized free agent signing from the 2019-20 offseason has struggled mightily during his first two seasons with the Reds.

A lot of Moose's shortcomings have been due his inability to stay on the field. Foot and heel issues limited the left-handed slugger to just 62 games and 206 plate appearances. Moustakas slashed .208/.282/.372 with with six home runs and 22 RBIs.

In his two seasons with the Redlegs, Moose has hit just .217 with a wRC+ of just 86. At 33 years old, Moustakas is no spring chicken, and you can only assume his sub-par defensive skills at third base will continue to diminish. After not committing a single error in 2020 at both second and third base, Moose was on the hook for five miscues last season.

Unless the Cincinnati Reds are able to trade Mike Moustakas once the lockout is concluded, he's the odds-on favorite to be the team's DH in 2022. The Reds cannot afford to bench a healthy Moustakas, and there is some pop sill left in his bat.