2 Reds players who won't lose their roster spot to Christian Encarnacion-Strand & 1 who should

Christian Encarnacion-Strand is set to make his major league debut on Monday.

Cincinnati Reds infielder Christian Encarnacion-Strand
Cincinnati Reds infielder Christian Encarnacion-Strand / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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Reds infielder Kevin Newman should lose his roster spot to Christian Encarnacion-Strand.

By process of elimination, we land on Kevin Newman. Now, this isn't to say that the veteran infielder hasn't served his purpose for the Cincinnati Reds this season, but it would appear as though Newman's time in the Queen City is coming to a close.

Newman has hit left-handed pitching well. Newman's .901 OPS against southpaws is quite impressive, but Nick Senzel has slashed .355/.412/.597 against lefties in 2023. That, plus Senzel's ability to play all three outfield spots likely keeps him on the active roster over Newman.

Much like Senzel, Newman has been relegated to seeing the field only when a left-hander is on the mound. Christian Encarnacion-Strand can easily supplant Newman in the lineup in that scenario.

An infield of Encarnacion-Strand (first base), Jonathan India (second base), Matt McLain (shortstop), and Elly De La Cruz (third base), with an outfield of Spencer Steer (left field), TJ Friedl (center field), and Senzel (right field), seems like the most likely alignment when a left-handed pitcher faces the Reds.

How David Bell plans to get Encarnacion-Strand's bat into the lineup against right-handed pitchers is anyone's guess. But with Newman acting as little more than a platoon infielder against left-hander's his bat is easily replaceable.

Kevin Newman has minor league options remaining, so sending the 29-year-old down to Triple-A seems to be the most likely scenario. It would keep Newman in the organization, allowing for the Reds to recall the former Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop in the event of an injury or trade.

With the MLB trade deadline two weeks away, any transaction that removes a player from the 40-man roster seems unlikely. Look for the Cincinnati Reds to select the contract of Christian Encarnacion-Strand and option Kevin Newman to Triple-A Louisville.

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