Universal DH: What It Means For the Cincinnati Reds

Universal DH: What It Means For the Cincinnati Reds

Cole Paganelli
9 months ago
2 min read
Cincinnati Reds third baseman Mike Moustakas (9) hits an RBI single in a 2021 MLB Game

The implementation of the universal designated hitter (DH) will be valuable for most National League teams. But it may be even more vital to the success of the Cincinnati Reds in 2022.

Cincinnati has a number of players who could benefit from the DH this year. Let’s take a look at what the DH means for the Reds moving forward.

Reds Bashers

The Reds have a number of big hitters who are not exactly defensive maestros. The main two players who could split time between third base and DH are Mike Moustakas and Eugenio Suarez.

Suarez is coming off one of his worst offensive seasons in recent memory, but I believe a part of that was due to his defensive woes. The Reds attempted to place Suarez at shortstop to open the 2021 season, but it was a short-lived experiment as it was clear he was better suited for the hot corner.

But if Suarez is able to settle in at third base and spend some time at DH, he could be in line for a bounceback season.

Moustakas will likely see the brunt of the time at DH. He has dealt with injuries over the past couple of seasons, so if he is able to stay off the field and just take a few swings per game, Moustakas might finally be able to enjoy a healthy campaign.

What it Means for the Free Agent Market

The DH could also play a role in the Reds free agent market. The odds of bringing back slugger Nicholas Castellanos are fairly low, but Cincinnati might make a more aggressive pursuit for him because of the DH.

Castellanos was one of the best hitters in baseball last year and will certainly be a hot commodity on the open market once the MLB lockout comes to an end. If the Reds re-sign him, he could be another option for the DH role since he is a subpar defensive outfielder. 

Expect a Revolving Door

Some teams will pick one guy to be their main DH. But I expect the Reds to utilize multiple players at the position. 

Moustakas and Suarez will likely be the main options for the role, but there is another player in the organization who I could see taking some reps at DH this season. 

27-year-old outfielder Aristides Aquino blasted 19 home runs during the 2019 season. He also hit .259 during that campaign. But his career has trended in the wrong direction since as he has hit under .200 in each of the past two years. 

But if he only needed to focus on hitting and leave defense on the back burner, then perhaps Aquino could fulfill his potential as a power hitting slugger for Cincinnati. 

With all of this being said, we do not know for sure the strategy that the Reds will take in regards to the DH. The one thing we do know is that it will be highly beneficial for the team this season.

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