Reds News

What's the ideal Cincinnati Reds lineup with the likely addition of the universal DH?

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6) reacts after hitting a home run.
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6) reacts after hitting a home run. / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
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We saw the National League adopt the universal DH in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, but things returned to normal last year. However, Major League Baseball and the Player's Association are locked in negotiations right now and about the only thing the two sides agree on is the implementation of the designated hitter.

Sorry, baseball purists, but it looks as though the DH is on its way to the NL in 2022. I know, I don't like it either, but it's happening. While I'm not the biggest fan of the addition, it will certainly help the Cincinnati Reds next season. What might the team's everyday lineup look like with the addition of the designated hitter?

1. Jonathan India, Reds second baseman

Leading off for the Reds will be second baseman and reigning Rookie of the Year, Jonathan India. The infielder broke onto the scene during spring training last year and performed so well in camp that David Bell shuffled his infield.

Mike Moustakas went from second base back to the hot corner, Eugenio Suárez returned to the days of his youth and manned the shortstop position, while India became the Cincinnati Reds starting second baseman. Injuries and poor performance forced Bell to shuffle things once more, but India remained entrenched at the keystone.

Eventually, Bell made a decision that would change the course of Cincinnati's season when he inserted India atop the Reds batting order. Once the 25-year-old became the team's leadoff hitter in early-June, the Reds vaulted into playoff contention. India hit .274/.382/.480 with 17 home runs.

I don't see any way that Jonathan India is not batting first for the Reds in 2022. India endeared himself to the fanbase in 2021, and sure to receive a huge pop on Opening Day when he steps into the batters' box. Get out your permanent marker and write India's name atop your scorecard.