Kyle Farmer is mired in a horrendous slump. The Cincinnati Reds shortstop is 0-for-33 in his last eight games. Farmer is hitting just .198 on the season, and while he does have seven doubles on the season, Farmer has yet to go deep in 2022.
Unfortunately, even the defensive-side of the ball doesn't offer much silver lining at this point. According to Baseball Savant, Farmer has -5 outs above average (OAA), the lowest among any player on the team.
Now I know how much Reds Country loves Kyle Farmer; I'm a fan of him myself. That said, given Farmer's lack of production, I hope everyone can now see that when Jose Barrero returns from the IL, he must be given every chance to become the Reds starting shortstop.
Reds SS Kyle Farmer should not start once Jose Barrero returns.
You'll never hear me argue about the intangibles that Kyle Farmer brings to the Cincinnati Reds. The 31-year-old is a gamer and is extremely well liked by his teammates and the coaching staff. But this isn't a popularity contest.
The fact of the matter is that despite Farmer's fine season a year ago, the infielder only registered a wRC+ of 91 according to FanGraphs and an OPS+ of just 87 according to Baseball Reference. Those are both below-average numbers.
Farmer benefitted from a white-hot month of July where he hit .395/.456/.691 while recording seven doubles and five home runs. Farmer also had a decent month in September where the shortstop posted an OPS of .810.
However, Kyle Farmer never hit above .240 in April, May, June, or August last year and never saw an OPS over .630 during any of those months either. None of this is meant to throw shade at one of the Reds most likable players, but the truth is that Farmer is best suited to be a utility player in the major leagues.
The Cincinnati Reds are 5-23 and 13.5 games back of the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers. It's highly unlikely that the Reds will be competing for the division crown. Therefore, this season becomes more about developing the team's young talent (Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Jose Barrero, etc.)
With that in mind, Jose Barrero needs to be given as many reps at shortstop as possible. That's not to say that Kyle Farmer shouldn't get the occasional start at shortstop, second or even third base. But Farmer's role with the club needs to be exactly that; a utility infielder.