Mike Moustakas is finally beginning to live up to his massive contract

Cincinnati Reds designated hitter Mike Moustakas celebrates at second base after hitting a double.
Cincinnati Reds designated hitter Mike Moustakas celebrates at second base after hitting a double. / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

It's been a struggle for Mike Moustakas since joining the Cincinnati Reds. An abbreviated season in 2020, a position change in both 2020 and 2021, and a rash of injuries during his first two-plus seasons in the Queen City have hampered Moose's ability to establish any sort of momentum.

But since returning from a biceps strain that shelved the three-time All-Star earlier this season, Moustakas has been on a tear. Mouatakas has appeared in 10 games since returning from the IL and his stats are quite impressive.

Moustakas is hitting .344/.462/.531 with three doubles, a home run, and a wRC+ of 183 according to FanGraphs. It's becoming very apparent that this is the version of Mike Moustakas that the Cincinnati Reds envisioned when they signed him to a four-year/$64M contract in December of 2019.

Reds DH Mike Moustakas is finally living up to his contract.

The Cincinnati Reds, foolishly I might add, decided to sign Mike Moustakas to a four-year/$64M contract after the 2019 season. It wasn't necessarily foolish to sign Moose or to even give him that much money. The foolish aspect of the deal was making Moustakas the team's starting second baseman.

This was, of. course, after the Reds had parted ways with Scooter Gennett during the previous season. Many fans, myself included, thought that the vacancy at second base would be filled by former first-round pick Nick Senzel who'd spent his rookie season out of position in the outfield.

Instead, the Reds front office, desperate to return to the postseason for the first time since 2013, signed Moose to take over at second base. There was one big problem with that concept; Moustakas was not a second baseman.

Moustakas was a below-average defender at second base in 2020 and was shifted back to third base after the Cincinnati front office failed to address offseason concerns once again. Instead of pursuing a legitimate shortstop, the team decided to switch Eugenio Suárez from third base to shortstop and inserted Mike Moustakas at the hot corner.

This past offseason was another disaster that saw Moustakas bounced from the team's most likely candidate to be the universal DH to once again being seen as the primary third baseman.

Finally, however, it would appear that Moustakas has settled into the role of designated hitter. While he's played third base quite a few times this season, the Reds have many more capable infielders than Moustakas and half of his 10 starts over the past two weeks have come as the Reds DH.

That's all this team really needs Mike Moustakas to do. If the left-handed hitting slugger can be a consistent presence in the lineup. In 12 games during the month of April, Moustakas posted an OPS of .433 and struck out 14 times, In the eight games Moustakas has played in May, he owns an OPS of 1.084 and has only went down on strikes six times.

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