Cincinnati Reds: 3 lineup shuffling scenarios to replace injured Joey Votto

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) hits an RBI single.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) hits an RBI single. /
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Tyler Stephenson #37 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts on second base after hitting a double.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 26: Tyler Stephenson #37 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts on second base after hitting a double. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) /

3. The Reds could move Tyler Stephenson to first base temporarily.

Is there a hotter hitting duo behind the dish than Tucker Barnhart and Tyler Stephenson? If the Cincinnati Reds really wanted to shake things up, David Bell could move Stephenson to first base and roll with Barnhart as the everyday regular behind the dish.

Stephenson has just one inning of experience playing first base and that came on Tuesday during the blowout loss to the Chicago White Sox. In terms of defensive experience playing the position, this is by far the worst option.

However, in terms of offensive production, this would give the Reds a ton of power in the lineup. A starting lineup up Stephenson (1B), Barnhart (C), along with the usual suspects playing the field would put a lot of power in Cincinnati’s starting eight. Stephenson’s .839 OPS is quite impressive, but Barnhart’s (.924) is even more impressive.

Bell has been continually platooning Stephenson and Barnhart all season. What started out as Stephenson facing left-handed starters and Barnhart facing right-handed starters has morphed into more of a 50/50 split and given Bell a lot of options.

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The Cincinnati Reds will not be able to easily replace Joey Votto’s leadership and production, despite his OPS sitting at just .730 this season. Votto has been hitting the ball hard, as his average exit velocity, maximum exit velocity, and xSLG all ranks in the top 12% of Major League Baseball this season according to Baseball Savant. Eventually that will turn into production in some other categories.