3 ways Christian Encarnacion-Strand can make the Reds Opening Day roster
By Drew Koch
The Cincinnati Reds have a problem on their hands. Don't get me wrong, it's a good problem to have, but it's still a problem.
Christian Encarnacion-Strand is absolutely dominating the Cactus League so far this spring. If the Reds seventh-best prospect (according to MLB Pipeline) seems to be hitting everything seems to be hitting everything in sight, that's because he is.
Encarnacion-Strand is hitting the cover off the ball this spring with a batting average north of .600 and 10 runs batted in. Encarnacion-Strand certainly looks the part, but how can the infielder actually make the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster?
1. Christian Encarnacion-Strand can make the Reds Opening Day roster if Joey Votto is on the Injured List.
One way for the Cincinnati Reds to add Christian Encarnacion-Strand to the Opening Day roster is dependent on the health of the team's longtime first baseman and six-time All-Star. Joey Votto has been sidelined all spring after undergoing shoulder surgery last summer.
By all accounts, it appears as though Votto will not be ready for Opening Day. This would certainly open the door for Encarnacion-Strand to have his contract selected and find his way into the heart of David Bell's lineup card on March 30th against the Pittsburgh.
Encarnacion-Strand, though he came through the Minnesota Twins farm system as a third baseman, has been receiving most of his playing time this spring at first base. With the Reds intent on getting fellow prospect Spencer Steer regular playing time at third base, it stands to reason why Cincinnati's coaching staff has made this decision.
Adding Christian Encarnacion-Strand to the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster as the team's primary first base is fine if Joey Votto isn't ready to go. But what if he is? There are other ways for the Reds to finagle the roster if they really want to get Encarnacion-Strand in the lineup.