3 possible replacements if Reds outfielder TJ Friedl lands on the Injured List

Cincinnati Reds outfielder TJ Friedl
Cincinnati Reds outfielder TJ Friedl / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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Well, the injury bug finally leapt up and bit the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday afternoon. While the Reds walked away with a shutout victory over the New York Mets, the team may have lost one of their best players,

TJ Friedl, who's off to a terrific start in his second big league season, left the game prematurely with an injury. It's not yet know the severity or if the injury will force the Reds onto the IL.

If Friedl is to miss any time, the Reds would certainly have to fill his spot temporarily. There's so much hype surrounding the litany of top prospects down at Triple-A Louisville, so Nick Krall shouldn't have much of a problem finding a suitable replacement. If Friedl misses time, who's likely to be called up to The Show?

1. Reds OF Michael Siani could be called up if TJ Friedl is placed on the IL.

Not the name you were expecting, was it? Well, you may want to buckle up for this one, Reds fans. If the Cincinnati Reds are looking for a short-term solution to offset the loss of TJ Friedl, don't be shocked if Michael Siani gets the call.

Siani wouldn't necessarily receive a promotion to the big leagues based on merit. The outfielder had a cup of coffee with the Reds in 2022 and his paltry .532 OPS at Triple-A Louisville is not going to get the attention of the Reds brass.

But, whlie Siani isn't lighting it up down in the Derby City, the former fourth-round draft pick is part of the team's 40-man roster. That would make the transaction very simple.

Siani, like Friedl, is a left-handed hitter, but the 23-year-old is better known for his glove than his bat. One could argue that the outfield defense would be better with Siani on the major league roster, but the lineup would definitely take a big step back. Siani is an option, just not the best one.

2. Reds OF Will Benson could be called up if TJ Friedl is placed on the IL.

Okay, we're getting warmer, right? Look, Will Benson struggled out of the gate and posted a strikeou-rate north of 50-percent. However, since spending time at Triple-A Louisville, Benson's approach has been improved.

The former Cleveland Guardians farmhand is still hitting below the Mendoza line, but Benson owns a on-base percentage of .413. While you'd love to see that batting average at least above .230, Benson is reaching base almost every other at-bat.

There's also the power, speed, and defensive versatility. Benson has plenty of pop and has two round trippers at Triple-A this season. The 24-year-old also has nine stolen bases. If Benson is getting on base over 40-percent of the time and is able to swipe bags with regularity, he could be a weapon in David Bell's lineup.

Much like the aforementioned Michael Siani, Will Benson is a left-handed batter and is on the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster. The Reds could simply place TJ Friedl on the 10-day IL and recall Benson to the active roster.

I know, it's the not the name you want to see, but this may be the most likely route the Cincinnati front office takes if they're looking for a temporary substitute for Friedl.

3. Reds SS Matt McLain could be called up if TJ Friedl is placed on the IL.

Okay, you twisted my arm. Yes, there is an opportunity for Matt McLain to make his Cincinnati Reds debut if TJ Friedl hits the IL. But, adding McLain is not as easy as the previously mentioned transactions involving Michael Siani and Will Benson.

Look, if you've been paying attention you know that McLain is major league-ready. The 23-year-old just launched his 12th home run of the season for Triple-A Louisville on Thursday night and currently owns an OPS of 1.188. McLain also has nine stolen bases on the season.

But how would the Reds get McLain onto the roster and where would he fit in the lineup? Adding McLain means that someone on the 40-man roster needs to go bye-bye. Actually, with Connor Overton out until at least June, the Reds could very easily move the right-hander to the 60-day IL in order to clear a spot.

If McLain gets the call, he needs to play either shortstop or second base. With Jonathan India entrenched at the keystone and both Jose Barrero and Kevin Newman struggling at the dish, the move is clear; McLain should be the everyday shortstop.

Now comes the more important question; who gets optioned to Triple-A. While moving Overton to the 60-day IL clears a spot on the 40-man roster, the Reds would still need to remove a player from the active roster.

With Stuart Fairchild, Wil Myers, Nick Senzel, Jake Fraley, and Henry Ramos all capable of playing the outfield, Cincinnati could option one of their infielders. Based on his play of late, Barrero should be optioned to Triple-A while Newman serves as a backup and mentor to McLain.

There you go. I think it's fair to say that this is a good, better, best scenario. Which may might the Cincinnati Reds front office go if TJ Frield lands on the Injured List.

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