Projecting the Cincinnati Reds 2022 Opening Day roster 2.0

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) recognizes the crowd after exiting a spring training practice.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) recognizes the crowd after exiting a spring training practice. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jake Fraley (27) hits a base hit during a spring training game.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jake Fraley (27) hits a base hit during a spring training game. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Cincinnati Reds bench (4)

Aramís García (C), Jake Fraley (OF), Max Schrock (IF), Aristides Aquino (OF)

Somebody is going to be Tyler Stephenson's backup in 2022, and following his two-home runs performance on Saturday night, you have to assume that Aramís García is the leader in the clubhouse. Andrew Knapp and Mark Kolozsvary are in the running as well.

Jose Barrero has proven all that he can in the minor leagues, and while Kyle Farmer may be the starting shortstop for now, by season's end the job should belong to Barrero. However, C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic is reporting that Barrero will miss the next six weeks with a hand injury, so until he's healthy let's give the roster spot to Max Schrock. Colin Moran is in the mix as well.

The battle for the fourth and fifth outfielder spots will be fun to watch. TJ Friedl, Jake Fraley, and Aristides Aquino will be the three who are competing for two spots. You could make the argument as well that Shogo Akiyama is in that mix as well.

Except for Aquino, the others are all left-handed bats. Given how poorly the Reds roster sets up versus lefties, I have to assume that The Punisher makes the cut. Both Fraley and Friedl have minor league options remaining and the duo have similar profiles. I'm going to give the edge to Fraley for now, but keep your eye on Friedl during the upcoming Cactus League games.