Cincinnati Reds: Three players hindered by the delay of the 2020 season

GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 28: Jose Garcia #83 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with Josh VanMeter #17 (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 28: Jose Garcia #83 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with Josh VanMeter #17 (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 4
Next
Cincinnati Reds
MIAMI, FLORIDA – AUGUST 28: Josh VanMeter #17 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

2. Josh VanMeter, Infielder

Few players in Reds camp were swinging a hotter bat than Josh VanMeter. With an undefined role heading into 2020, VanMeter was just taking advantage of the increased playing time with Eugenio Suárez on the shelf. VanMeter grabbed four starts at third base during Cactus League play before the stoppage, but he’ll likely return to a bench role or maybe even start the season in the minors.

After hitting .400/.526/.667 in 15 spring at-bats, it’s hard to envision VanMeter starting the 2020 season at Triple-A, but that reality is very possible. Unlike a lot of others competing for a spot on the Opening Day roster, VanMeter has minor-league options remaining. The aforementioned Matt Davidson and Derek Dietrich could be pressing VanMeter for playing time.

The Reds infield is set. Barring an unforeseen injury, Joey Votto, Mike Moustakas, Freddy Galvis and Eugenio Suárez will be the starters when the 2020 opens. Kyle Farmer is the lone utility player that we know will have a seat at the table. The other is a mystery. VanMeter and Dietrich provide a punch from the left side, but the Reds have no legitimate backup at shortstop aside from Alex Blandino.

Speaking of Blandino, the former Stanford University standout was already swinging a hot stick during Cactus League play. With a slash line of .458/.536/.792, Blandino opened a lot of eyes. The race for that final spot on the Reds bench will come down to VanMeter and a host of other players. A streaky hitter, the time away from the game could really impact VanMeter’s chances.