Prior to the Cincinnati Reds trade with the Seattle Mariners, it was assumed that Mike Moustakas would be the team's primary designated hitter in 2022. However, once Eugenio Suárez was shipped to the Emerald City, it left a vacancy at third base.
Reds manager David Bell proclaimed before the season that Moustakas would be the team's starting third baseman, although the Cincinnati skipper did pencil Brandon Drury in at the hot corner for the Reds Opening Day game versus the Atlanta Braves.
Moose has started the past two games at third base for the Reds and has looked awful doing it. The 33-year-old is just a day late and dollar short. Once Donovan Solano returns from the Injured List, Mike Moustakas should be the Cincinnati Reds designated hitter, and nothing else.
Mike Moustakas should be the Reds everyday DH.
I would argue that only Colin Moran is a worse defensive infielder than Mike Moustakas. Speaking of which, the former Pittsburgh Pirate has not been in David Bell's starting lineup once during the opening series. Moustakas has -17 defensive runs saved in his career as a third baseman while Moran has -27 DRS in 7,200 fewer innings in the field.
The Reds have so many better athletes who are capable of playing third base. Kyle Farmer, Brandon Drury, and Donovan Solano are all better options to play the hot corner. Drury doesn't give the Reds a great punch in the lineup, but he did deliver the goods on Opening Night with a three-run home run.
Solano is current rehabbing a hamstring injury, but should be back soon. My best guess would be that Drury, Colin Moran, and Aristides Aquino are most likely to lose their roster spot when Solano returns from the IL.
There's also the matter of Jose Barrero. When the highly-skilled infielder returns from the IL, perhaps Cincinnati's best defensive infield would be Barrero at shortstop and Farmer at third base. Mike Moustakas can then operate as the Cincinnati Reds designated hitter on a nightly basis.
The Reds owe Moustakas $16M this season, so he's not going to be riding the pine, no matter how badly he performs at the plate. But the coaching staff would do well to get Moose's glove out of the lineup and allow him to focus solely on hitting.