Mike Moustakas returned to the Cincinnati Reds lineup Wednesday for the first time in 15 days.
“It’s great,” manager David Bell said. “Of course, we missed him. The team missed him every day. He remained a big part of the team when he was injured, but it’s different when you start playing.”
Moustakas hadn’t played since Aug. 4 and missed the first two games last week against his old team, the Kansas City Royals, because of a quad strain. Bell batted him fifth in the batting order Wednesday in the first game of a doubleheader.
Moustakas was the designated hitter for the first time this season, though there was a chance he would return to second base for the second game. Bell was being cautious in keeping him out of the field.
“I told him once my name’s on the card, I’m ready to do whatever’s asked,” Moustakas said. “He’s like, ‘Let’s just DH you and see how you respond.‘”
Moustakas was scheduled to come off the injured list Sunday, but the Reds had games postponed Saturday and Sunday because a player tested positive for COVID-19. The series opener Tuesday against the Royals was rescheduled as part of the doubleheader Wednesday.
Since his last appearance, Moustakas had spent time at the team’s alternate training site at Prasco Park in Mason.
“I went over there a couple times, got some at-bats, moved around, ran some bases,” Moustakas said. “Just to make sure I was ready to go and my quad was feeling 100 percent. It feels great right now.”
Other moves: The Reds played center fielder Nick Senzel on the injured list. They named infielder Robel Garcia as the team’s 29th player for the doubleheader and assigned infielders Alex Blandino and Christian Colon, outfielder Mark Payton and catcher Tyler Stephenson to the taxi squad for the road trip.
Looking ahead: The Reds start a four-game series in St. Louis on Thursday. Sonny Gray will start the first game and will be followed by Anthony DeSclafani, Wade Miley and Tyler Mahle.
Gray started Friday in the 8-1 victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates. That was the last game the Reds played before Wednesday’s doubleheader.
“I think physically there are probably no repercussions for me personally,” Gray said. “I was kind of on the fortunate side of it if you think about it because I did pitch the last game before we got shut down. Mentally is probably the biggest challenge, not only for myself but for the guys here. You had a couple days where you were truly in limbo. You can’t really do anything. The first day was probably the most stressful one.”
Ceremony rescheduled: Retired broadcaster Marty Brennaman will be honored July 17-18, 2021, during the Reds Hall of Fame Induction Weekend. He would have been honored in April 2020. The weekend was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. He’s the only member of the 2021 class.
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