Reds infielder Mike Moustakas has been on the injured list since May 19 due to a right heel contusion, and his recovery has now hit a setback. Manager David Bell told reporters (including The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Bobby Nightengale) that Moustakas re-aggravated his initial injury and is back wearing a walking boot.
It’s a tough turn of events for Moustakas, who just began a minor league rehab assignment this week and was seemingly closing in on a return to the field. Bell did note that Moustakas’s heel issue didn’t involve a tear in his plantar fasciitis, though more will be known about Moustakas’ status (such as a possible recovery timeline) when he is re-evaluated next week.
Due to both this injury and a minimal 10-day IL stint due to illness in April, The Moose has only played in 28 games this season. Moustakas has hit .241/.337/.437 over 102 plate appearances in his second season with the Reds, this year playing only at third base and first base after Cincinnati experimented with him as an everyday second baseman in 2020. While Moustakas has been an above-average hitter (102 OPS+, 110 wRC+) thus far, his hard-contact numbers are down and his .335 wOBA is significantly higher than his .296 wOBA, though it is hard to draw any real conclusion over a sample size of only 102 PA.
The Reds are on a six-game winning streak, bringing their record to 35-31 and within two games of the NL Central lead. A healthy Moustakas would be a nice boost to a team that is planning to contend for another postseason berth, and Moustakas’ return would likely see Eugenio Suarez moved from third base back to shortstop. Suarez and regular shortstop Kyle Farmer have been the two weakest links in a Reds lineup that is among the league’s best in several batting categories.