3 players Christian Encarnacion-Strand could replace on the Reds roster

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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While Cincinnati Reds prospect Elly De La Cruz may be the biggest name in minor league baseball at the moment, his fellow Louisville Bats teammate Christian Encarnacion-Strand has been putting together quite an impressive resumé himself.

It's hard not to talk about De La Cruz without mentioning Encarnacion-Strand in the same sentence. There's been a game of oneupmanship all season at Triple-A Louisville.

The only real advantage that De La Cruz possesses over Encarnacion-Strand is a spot on the Reds 40-man roster. But that can be easily fixed. When Cincinnati finally makes the decision to call-up Encarnacion-Strand, who will he replace on the Reds roster?

1. Christian Encarnacion-Strand could replace Stuart Fairchild on the Reds roster.

Christian Encarnacion-Strand is an infielder by trade, but that doesn't mean the Cincinnati Reds can't clear a roster spot by sending one of their outfielders down to the minor leagues. While Will Benson is back from Triple-A for the second time this season, he'll go back once Wil Myers comes off the IL. The most likely candidate to join him would be Stuart Fairchild.

Both Encarnacion-Strand and Fairchild are both right-handed hitters, so Reds manger David Bell would not be losing any flexibility based on the pitching matchups. Fairchild may be the more patient of the two hitters, but the type of damage that Encarnacion-Strand can inflict on a baseball is second to none.

The defensive flexibility of players like Spencer Steer, Nick Senzel, and even Matt McLain would allow for the Reds to get their best nine bats in the lineup based on the pitching matchup.

Stuart Fairchild is a fine fourth outfielder who provides positional flexibility and speed on the base paths. While Fairchild also has some pop in his bat, it's not even close to the power Encarnacion-Strand has. Unless he catches fire in the next few weeks, Fairchild's time with the big league club could be nearing an end.