Cincinnati Reds: David Bell will get creative after acquiring Freddy Galvis

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - MAY 08: David Bell #25 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on during the fourth inning. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - MAY 08: David Bell #25 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on during the fourth inning. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

With the acquisition of Freddy Galvis, the Cincinnati Reds have a good problem on their hands. David Bell will have to get creative with his lineup in order to balance playing time.

David Bell has shifted, altered, and changed his lineup on a daily basis; much to the chagrin of some of those in Reds Country. For those folks, I apologize in advance, because we’re bound to see even more of it. The recent acquisition of Freddy Galvis will force the Cincinnati Reds skipper to shuffle his lineup even more in an effort to balance out the playing time.

Picking up Galvis off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays was a steal. The switch-hitting infielder adds some power the lineup and plays very sound defense. When the acquisition was made, many fans thought that this was an insurance policy heading into 2020 in the event that José Iglesias was lost to free agency. While that may be the case, it sounds like Bell has other plans.

Freddy Galvis is an established shortstop. He’s logged over 700 games at the position with a .985 fielding percentage. Galvis has double-digit home runs for the past four seasons, so it was a virtual no-brainer for the Reds to claim Galvis once he became available. The 29-year-old has a $5M club option for 2020, which I assume the Reds will pickup.

It just so happens that the Cincinnati Reds have a 29-year-old shortstop currently on the roster who’s playing the best ball of his career. José Iglesias has been one of Cincinnati’s best hitters all season, especially in clutch situations. Not only that, but his defense has been out of this world. Reds Country has not seen anyone occupy the middle infield with that kind of flare since Brandon Phillips.

So, rather than chose between the two, it sounds as though David Bell is going to play both Galvis and Iglesias at the same time. How is he going to do that? Look for Galvis to get a lot of playing time at second base, while also filling in at shortstop from time to time. Bell spoke about his plan for Galvis via

“I anticipate he’s going to get a lot of playing time, I told him I wanted to stop short of saying every day. I think with a bit of a rotation of four or five guys — one of them not playing each day — they can all basically be everyday players and we can still get some guys rest here and there and find their best days to play. I think he’s going to play a lot at second base. He’s played more short and he’ll probably focus his work more at second because he hasn’t played there as much.”

Essentially, look for Bell to go back to the rotation that we saw before Scooter Gennett was traded to the San Francisco Giants. While that may upset some fans who want to see more of Josh VanMeter at second base, we’re still likely to see plenty of the Reds rookie. Bell had this to say about VanMeter’s playing time via

“I think Josh will still play some second. There’s going to be days where Galvis is playing second and Josh is playing the outfield.”

So there you have a little insight into Bell’s plan for his lineup going forward. As he has all season, look for the Cincinnati Reds manager to exploit certain matchups. When there’s a southpaw on the mound, look for an outfield of Aristides Aquino, Nick Senzel, and Phillip Ervin. When a right-hander toes the rubber, perhaps we’ll see Senzel, VanMeter, and Jesse Winker.

I know a lot of fans want to harken back to the good ole days when you could set your watch by the starting lineup that you knew by heart. However, this is the trend and the new normal throughout Major League Baseball. Outside of Senzel, Joey Votto, and Eugenio Suárez, there’s no telling who David Bell is going to run out onto the field on any given day.

There are two players who are likely to be effected by the Galvis addition more than anyone else, and that’s Ervin and José Peraza. Ervin’s season has already resembled a yo-yo in terms of playing time. However, he’s made the most of every opportunity and will likely see a similar amount of playing time that he’s been accustomed to seeing this season.

Peraza, however, will likely see a sharp decline. Even though Peraza has been hitting .304 over his last 30 games, he’s the one who’ll see his playing decrease the most. In fact, according to Bell, look for Peraza to see more time in the outfield.

I think the Cincinnati Reds are going to play out the rest of the 2019 season with an eye towards 2020. At just 6.5 games back in the chase for the final Wild Card spot, the Reds cannot afford to hand the reigns over the youngsters just yet. Reds fans should appreciate the front office making moves that can help during the present and in the future.

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The trade for Trevor Bauer was made with a similar vision. Bauer will do nothing but help the Reds make a playoff push this season, but with the right-hander under team control for one more season, he’ll help Cincinnati build a contender in 2020.