Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell gave Joey Votto the day off on Sunday. Well, a day off from the field anyway. Votto still occupied the No. 4 hole in Bell's lineup, but not as the team's first baseman. Rather, Votto was Cincinnati's designated hitter on Sunday afternoon in Denver.
Mike Moustakas drew the start at first base, and that can never happen again. If Votto needs a day off, Bell would be better running Colin Moran onto the field.
Moustakas inexcusably made two costly defensive mistakes during the first two innings of Sunday's finale in Colorado. While it's unfair to say that the defensive blunders cost the Reds the game, it sure as heck didn't help.
Mike Moustakas needs to stop playing defense.
It's time for Mike Moustakas to accept the fact that he's never been a great defender. It might be a stretch to call the former Kansas City Royals third base an average defender. For his career, Moustakas has -18 defensive runs saved during his time at third base.
On Sunday, the first "hit" of the game belonged to Connor Joe. A former Rule 5 Draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds, Joe slapped a ball toward the right side of the infield, and rather than let Matt Reynolds make the play from second base, Moose ranged to his right and vacated first base.
With no one in the vicinity except for the pitcher, Reiver Sanmartin, Reynolds did the best he could to get the putout. However, the ball scooted away from Sanmartin and Joe was safe at first. That "base hit" started a six-run inning for the Colorado Rockies.
In the second inning, with Buck Farmer on the mound for Cincinnati, Elias Diaz popped up a routine fly ball just above the pitchers mound. Pitchers typically give way to the first or third baseman depending on where the fly ball is located. Moustakas charged late, never really had a chance, and the ball fell to ground. Diaz was safe at first and Farmer was charged with an error.
Mike Moustakas' most valuable asset is his bat, and even that's been suspect this season. Moose is hitting just .200 with a wRC+ of 22 and he's worth -0.3 fWAR. If Moustakas wants to see that number go up, he needs to start making contact at the plate and stay away from first base.