Cincinnati Reds’ roster will force Jose Peraza to play every other day

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Reds have neglected to find back-ups for any of their position starters this off-season.

Jose Peraza is going to have to cover a lot of ground for the Cincinnati Reds in 2017. The Reds recently claimed Richer Shaffer off of waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies, but he is a pinch hitter by design.  After letting Ivan Dejesus and Tyler Holt, who signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, move on, there are no true back-ups.

Jose Peraza is a shortstop by trade.  He played second, short, left and center in 2016 for the Reds.  He also played second, short and center for Louisville.

If you look at the forty man roster, Peraza sits as the top back-up on the depth chart at second, short, and center.  Dilson Herrera is right there at second, but he will stay at Louisville to develop unless both he and Peraza have full-time roles with the Reds.  The Reds don’t even have a true back-up center fielder on the forty man.

That means that when Zack Cozart and Billy Hamiltion invariably fall apart during the season Peraza will have to take over their roles and bat wherever the Reds need him to step in.  When that happens the Reds will be searching to find someone to back-up everyone else on the team.  This is what happened towards the end of last year, when Hernan Iribarren came up from Louisville.

The Cincinnati Reds can use a crew of pinch-hitters and allow Jose Peraza to focus on the field.

Of the seven positions on the field the only one that the Reds would have trouble using Peraza to back-up is third.  Peraza can play all three outfield positions, second and short.  He can also play left field, so that Adam Duvall can back-up first base.

That leaves third base.  Duvall can move in from left and play third.  Peraza or Brandon Phillips could learn to play third base on the fly or the Reds could use a roster spot on a back-up third baseman.

If a system like this is left in place, Peraza would start about seven times every two weeks.  Joey Votto and Duvall might not get full days off, but the rest of the starters could.  That means that Peraza could not be the starting shortstop until Cozart moves on to another team.

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This is a good plan for both the Reds and Peraza.  He is an elite talent and needs to get on the field as much as possible.  They just need to make sure that the bench is filled with professional hitters to support Peraza’s defense.