Cincinnati Reds: 3 replacements at first base with Joey Votto on injured list

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) talks about his day off and recent switch from Android to iPhone with the first base umpire.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) talks about his day off and recent switch from Android to iPhone with the first base umpire. /
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Kyle Farmer #17 of the Cincinnati Reds prepares for a spring training game.
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA – FEBRUARY 28: Kyle Farmer #17 of the Cincinnati Reds prepares for a spring training game. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Kyle Farmer, Reds infielder

This is easily my least favorite option, but it’s an option nonetheless. Kyle Farmer is most likely ticketed to begin the 2021 season as the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day starter at shortstop. However, with Joey Votto on the shelf, the possibility exists that Farmer could be the team’s Opening Day starter at first base instead.

Farmer has put in the work to be the team’s everyday shortstop, but the 30-year-old is a versatile defender who can play everywhere on the infield, including behind the plate. Farmer saw just one inning of work at first base last season, but in 2019, he saw six starts and 72 innings worth of work at the position.

The problem with putting Farmer at first base is two-fold; it weakens your defense up the middle of the infield and it limits the team’s explosiveness offensively. Farmer is career .242 hitter, and though the Georgia native has made improvements to his swing, there’s no proof that he’s going to better than a bottom-of-the-order bat in this Reds lineup.

If Kyle Farmer is playing first base, that means that Kyle Holder or Dee Strange-Gordon are likely to be the regular at shortstop. Holder hasn’t played in the big leagues to date and Strange-Gordon has been a below-average hitter the past two seasons.

Next. 6 Reds fighting for the last roster spot

Moving Farmer to first base is an option, but it’s not a good one. The only way this move works is if the Reds roll with José García at shortstop and let the prospect take his lumps. This is also not very desirable, and should be a last resort in the event Joey Votto is not able to go on Opening Day.