Moustakas still on mend as his former team comes to Cincinnati

Reds second baseman won World Series with Royals in 2015

Second baseman Mike Moustakas learned how to win with the Kansas City Royals. Now he’s trying to put those same lessons to use with the Cincinnati Reds.

That’s been more difficult early this month because Moustakas is on the injured list with a quad strain. The injury will prevent him from playing against his former team for the first time this week at Great American Ball Park. The Reds start a two-game series against the Royals on Tuesday.

“It’s definitely going to be different seeing those boys on the other side of the field,” Moustakas said. “I’ve been out of Kansas City now for a couple of years, but it would have been nice to play against them.”

Moustakas last played for Kansas City in 2018. He was a part of the team that won the World Series in 2015. Four of his teammates from that season remain in Kansas City: pitcher Danny Duffy; left fielder Alex Gordon; catcher Salvador Perez; and reliever Greg Holland.

The COVID-19 restrictions may put a damper on any reunion this week. Moustakas knows he may have bump elbows with his former teammates instead of hugging them.

“We all have to be careful,” Moustakas said. “We have to respect each other and respect the game of baseball. We want to play this season and finish this season and get as far as we can into the postseason. The only way we can do that is by being overcautious.”

Moustakas hasn’t played since Aug. 4. He’s eligible to come off the injured list Saturday. He suffered the injury in Detroit while trying to field a ball up the middle. His foot got caught in the ground and slid underneath him. While it was a little sore at first, he didn’t think much of it. A couple days later, he couldn’t move the leg.

Ever since, Moustakas has been working to return. As of Tuesday, he had not started running or taking batting practice.

“I’m here (at GABP) in the mornings,” Moustakas said. “In the afternoon, I’m at Prasco (Park). I’m doubling up on rehab to get back as soon as I can.”

Even when he’s sidelined however, Moustakas tries to be a leader in the clubhouse.

“In cases like this, you almost want to be seen but not heard,” he said, “but once that game starts, we still have jobs to do. I’ve still got something to do. My job is to get back as soon as possible and to be out there cheering. If a pitcher’s tipping a pitch, I tell them that. I try to do things like that and stay involved in the game, stay locked in. If someone has a question for me, I’ll be there to answer and help.”

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