3 Reds players who could use a change of scenery in 2023

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Mike Moustakas.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Mike Moustakas. / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Reds SS Jose Barrero could use a change of scenery in 2023.

Parting ways with Jose Barrero seems incredibly unlikely because of the infielder's low salary and the fact that he has minor league options remaining, but after receiving two full months of regular playing time, the excuses may be running out for the shortstop.

Mike Moustakas posted a -1.0 bWAR last season. Barrero's bWAR is -1.5 in about half the number of games played. That's how badly the 24-year-old played last season while occupying the role of everyday shortstop from August through the end of the season.

Barrero hit just .152 and struck out 76 times. Just to put it in perspective, that's the same number of strikeouts as Nick Senzel (who played in 110 games) and one more than Moustakas (who played in 78 games). Barrero's 76 punch outs is more than TJ Friedl and Stuart Fairchild combined (69).

It's bizarre to see such a fall from grace. Jose Barrero was the Cincinnati Reds' Minor League Player of the Year in 2021 and had been lauded as the shortstop of future. But after suffering a hamate injury during the offseason and missing the first two months of 2022, Barrero looked like a shell of himself at Triple-A and things didn't get any better after jumping to majors.

Elly De La Cruz and Matt McLain are knocking on the door and Jose Barrero knows it. It's quite possible that one or both leapfrog the Cuban during spring training and take Barrero's spot on the Opening Day roster.

It seems crazy to think that Cincinnati would actually move on from Barrero after seeing such promise in the young infielder. It's more likely that Barrero starts the 2023 season in the minors, as trading him at this time would be selling extremely low on one of the team's most highly-touted prospects.

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