7. Aristides Aquino, Reds right fielder
With the left-hander Max Fried on the bump for the Atlanta Braves, I believe David Bell will counter with the right-handed bat of Aristides Aquino. The question isn't whether or not Aquino will be in the lineup, but will he be the Cincinnati Reds designated hitter.
I for one believe that Aquino might be the best defensive outfielder Cincinnati has. The Punisher has deceptive speed, a cannon for an arm, and is versatile enough to play all three outfield positions. Jake Fraley might have something to say about that, but with Fried on the hill, we won't see the former Seattle Mariner in the starting lineup.
8. Tyler Naquin, Reds designated hitter
If the Atlanta Braves sent a right-hander to the mound on Opening Day, Tyler Naquin would be hitting second in the Cincinnati Reds lineup. But, with the left-hander Fried toeing the rubber, look for the 30-year-old to be hitting near the bottom of the batting order.
Naquin put up career numbers in 2021 with 1.4 fWAR and a wRC+ of 110. But, Naquin hit just .197 off southpaws last season. Were Donovann Solano available, he'd be the Reds acting DH on Opening Day. As it stands, look for Naquin to snag that role on Thursday night.
9. Kyle Farmer, Reds shortstop
It seems a little odd having Kyle Farmer all the way down in the No. 9 hole after his breakout 2021 season. But it's hard to see Cincinnati Reds skipper David Bell slotting the shortstop much higher in the lineup.
Farmer had a career year in 2021, but still posted an OPS+ of just 86 and a wRC+ of only 91; both of which are below average. While a big section of Reds Country is pulling for Farmer to duplicate his success from a year ago, he'll soon have the up-and-coming Jose Barrero nipping at his heels for playing time.
Until the rookie returns from the Injured List, the job is Farmer's. The 31-year-old's defense more than makes up for his lack of a potent bat. Farmer was worth 2 defensive runs saved in 2021 and led the team in outs above average.