3 Reds rookies, not in the starting rotation, who will have an increased role in 2023

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Alexis Diaz.
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Alexis Diaz. / David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Reds OF TJ Friedl will have an increased role in 2023.

If you're an outfielder who's looking to make a name for yourself in 2023, you want to be part of the Cincinnati Reds organization. Cincinnati's outfield, which was the team's strength back in 2021, may be its biggest weakness heading into next season.

Gone are Jesse Winker, Tyler Naquin, and Nick Castellanos. The promise of Nick Senzel being a perennial All-Star has long since disappeared. In fact, Senzel's future in the outfield is now in question.

Such a void of talent, however, give TJ Friedl a golden opportunity to prove that he's more than just a rotational outfielder who can snag a start once every third or fourth day. Friedl had a cup of coffee with the Reds in 2021, but got a much longer look last season.

Friedl's bat has always been his calling card, but after posting an OPS of .750 in 225 at-bats last season, it's going to be hard for Reds manager David Bell to keep the Universtiy of Nevada product on the pine.

In fact, if you take away Friedl's first-half performance in 2022, you'll see that a trip to the minors helped the otufielder grow by leaps and bounds. Friedl posted a slash line of just .200/.250/.289 through June 18th last season.

Knowing that those types of numbers were unsustainable, Friedl made an adjustment to his approach while on an assignment in Triple-A. Once he got back to the big leagues in August, Friedl hit .267/.354/.533 with eight home runs and 18 RBIs.

TJ Friedl has great speed on the base paths, though his fringe arm will probably keep him out of right field. Still, don't be surprised if Friedl surpasses Jake Fraley as the team's No. 1 left-handed hitting outfielder in 2023.

dark. Next. 3 Reds rookies who'll see decreased playing time in 2023