While much discussion during the offseason centered around who would be the Cincinnati Reds starting shortstop, an injury to Jose Barrero gave us a clear-cut answer. The young infield prospect will seek a second opinion on Monday, but according to The Athletic's C. Trent Rosecrans, Barrero has a hamate injury and will be sidelined for six weeks.
Reds fans were wondering why they hadn't seen last year's minor league star, and on Sunday we received the answer as to why. Barrero had been listed as day-to-day with a sore wrist, but Monday's second opinion will likely reveal what many throughout the organization fear; the shortstop will be on the IL to begin the 2022 season.
Reds SS Jose Barrero will likely begin the season on the IL.
Yes, it's unfortunate news for Jose Barrero, but the Cincinnati Reds can rest easy knowing that they have veteran infielder Kyle Farmer on the roster. After being passed over in favor of Eugenio Suárez last spring, it appears that Farmer will be the Reds Opening Day shortstop in 2022.
Throughout the offseason, much of the banter among Reds fans online has been focused on the battle for the starting shortstop gig between Farmer and Barrero. While one section of the fanbase believes that Farmer earned the right to play shortstop after last year's performance, others think that it's time to embrace the future and allow Barrero to gain valuable experience.
This injury to Barrero makes the choice all the more clear; Farmer will be the Reds starting shortstop when the team opens the 2022 season against the defending champion Atlanta Braves on April 7th at Truist Park.
Farmer displayed great resolve after beginning the 2021 season in a role he was all too familiar with; the bench. While a stellar defender, Kyle Farmer's bat had never been seen as much more than adequate, which is why Bell made the decision to shift Suárez to shortstop, move Mike Moustakas to third base, and insert Jonathan India at second base to begin last season.
After seeing Suárez struggle mightily at the plate and in the field, and Moustakas suffer injury, Bell decided to roll the dice with Farmer at shortstop. The results were staggering, as the 31-year-old flashed above-average defense and put up career-highs in games played, home runs, RBIs, and slugging percentage.
Fans are sure to enjoy watching Kyle Farmer pick it at shortstop to begin the season, and Jose Barrero will undoubtedly be sent to Triple-A Louisville after he returns from injury. I expect Barrero to eventually overtake Farmer as the Cincinnati Reds starting shortstop, but for now, the Georgia native will hold down the fort.