Cincinnati Reds: Predicting the Opening Day roster 2.0

Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez (7) smiles at second base after hitting a double.
Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez (7) smiles at second base after hitting a double. /
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Cincinnati Reds right fielder Aristides Aquino (44) flashes his signature arm flex for fans.
Cincinnati Reds right fielder Aristides Aquino (44) flashes his signature arm flex for fans. /

Reds reserves (5)

Tyler Stephenson, Aristides Aquino, Mike Freeman, Kyle Farmer, Dee Strange-Gordon

Here’s where things start to get interesting, and where Eugenio Suárez’s place on the field dictates some of the utility roles on the Reds bench. Tyler Stephenson is the Reds backup catcher and will see plenty of starts versus left-handed pitchers. The remaining four spots are anyone’s guess.

Kyle Farmer will go from starting shortstop to the team’s top utility infielder. Farmer has the ability to play every single position on the infield dirt, including catcher. Farmer could fill in for Joey Votto at first base if the former MVP is out to begin the season, but he could find his way back into the starting lineup at shortstop if the Suárez at shortstop experiment goes awry.

Aristides Aquino is still looking to find consistent at-bats in the big leagues, and Shogo Akiyama’s absence may provide that. The Punisher has been inconsistent since he burst onto the scene in August of 2019, but a couple starts per week could do great things for Aquino’s confidence. There’s plenty of pop in that bat.

The Reds recently traded for Mike Freeman. I believe if Max Schrock is unable to return from injury before Opening Day, Freeman will grab a spot on this year’s team. Finally, Dee Strange-Gordon is likely to make the cut. While he was brought to Cincinnati this season as an infielder, the veteran has experience in the outfield and could serve a dual role until Akiyama returns to the lineup.