Reds roster predictions: Starting lineup (8)
Joey Votto, Mike Moustakas, Kyle Farmer, Eugenio Suárez, Tucker Barnhart, Jesse Winker, Shogo Akiyama, Nick Castellanos
Right-hander Jack Flaherty will likely be on the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 1 of the 2021 season, so David Bell is likely to go with a left-handed heavy lineup on Opening Day. This means Nick Senzel, though he’ll be a big part of the 2021 Reds roster, will likely find himself on the bench to start the season.
Instead, I’d expect Bell to start Jesse Winker in left field, Shogo Akiyama in center field, and Nick Castellanos in right field. Senzel will see plenty of time in center field himself, and Akiyama will also see time in left. Without the universal DH, finding creative ways to get all four outfielders quality at-bats will be one of the tougher tasks ahead of Bell during the upcoming season.
The infield corners will look the same way they have for the past several seasons. Joey Votto, who played below-average defense in 2020, will look to rebound from a subpar performance both in the field and at the dish. Eugenio Suárez, who’s now a full year removed from shoulder surgery, will be looking for a bounce-back season as well.
Up the middle, look for Mike Moustakas to prove that he’s worth that $64M contract he received last offseason. In 2020, the former Kansas City Royals third baseman spent several days on the injured list and never really found his groove. Moose will be looking for some redemption in 2021.
For now, Kyle Farmer has the advantage at shortstop. Defensively, Farmer played the position well in 2020. The right-handed hitting Farmer also obliterated left-handed pitching (.400/.423/.480) last season, but he struggled mightily against right-handed pitchers. Until the front office makes a trade, the job looks like Farmer’s to lose.