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Cincinnati Reds: Injuries may shuffle Josh VanMeter all over the field

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 10: Josh VanMeter #17 of the Cincinnati Reds fields a ground ball hit by Alec Mills #30 of the Chicago Cubs and throws him out at first base during the ninth inning at Great American Ball Park on August 10, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Chicago 10-1. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 10: Josh VanMeter #17 of the Cincinnati Reds fields a ground ball hit by Alec Mills #30 of the Chicago Cubs and throws him out at first base during the ninth inning at Great American Ball Park on August 10, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Chicago 10-1. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
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After the Cincinnati Reds picked up Freddy Galvis, a lot of fans were concerned about Josh VanMeter’s playing time. Injuries have opened the door for him to play all over the field.

When Josh VanMeter was first called up from Triple-A Louisville, he found most of his playing time in the outfield. After Scooter Gennett was traded to the San Francisco Giants, the rookie saw the bulk of time on the field at second base. A rash of injuries to some of the Cincinnati Reds regulars will likely shuffle VanMeter all over the diamond.

A lot of folks around Reds Country, myself included, want to see VanMeter start every day. Well, unless your name is Joey Votto, Eugenio Suárez or Nick Senzel, that’s not typically the case. However, VanMeter is going to join that list due the influx of injuries the Reds have incurred recently.

The past two nights, Votto has been sidelined with a back injury. VanMeter filled in both times at first base and, for the most part, has done a nice job. Jesse Winker was not in the lineup yesterday because he was dealing with a back injury of his own. Thought Phillip Ervin ultimately got the start in left field, we know VanMeter can cover the corner outfield.

Well, after Eugenio Suárez injured his thumb while trying to apply a tag on Dexter Fowler during last night’s debacle at Great American Ball Park, we may see Josh VanMeter try his hand at third base in the coming days.

Suárez is listed as day-to-day, so hopefully the Reds slugger doesn’t miss too many games. But, if he does, Cincinnati has a great option in VanMeter. Though Kyle Farmer relieved Geno initially, VanMeter matriculated his way over to the hot corner as the game waned on. Barnhart replaced VanMeter at first base and Farmer took over catching duties.

In VanMeter, Farmer and José Peraza, the Cincinnati Reds have three players capable of playing all over the field. Peraza even toed the rubber last night during the blowout loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, something we saw Farmer do earlier this season.

If there’s one thing that Reds skipper David Bell likes, it’v versatility. Bell is constantly using the double-switch and moves players all over the diamond. A few nights ago, we even saw Reds rookie Nick Senzel grab an infield glove and play second base.

Curt Casali’s injury prevents Bell from getting Farmer more consistent time around the diamond. As the primary backup to catcher Tucker Barnhart, it’s difficult to responsibly start his only other catcher as an infielder.

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Look for VanMeter to get more opportunities this weekend. Even when the Reds are full strength, I’d love to see VanMeter start the majority of games somewhere on the field. He may be the starting third baseman today.

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