Have the Reds already abandoned the idea of Christian Encarnacion-Strand in the outfield?

Did the Cincinnati Reds outfield experiment with Christian Encarnacion-Strand end as quickly as it began?
Arizona Diamondbacks v Cincinnati Reds
Arizona Diamondbacks v Cincinnati Reds / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Reds threw their fan base a curveball last week when it was observed that one of the organization's top infield prospects, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, was in the starting outfield for the Louisville Bats.

This decision sent ripples through the Reds fanbase, as it revealed that perhaps the team was interested in expanding his defensive versatility and elevating Encarnacion-Strand to the major leagues.

The Bats slotted Christian Encarnacion-Strand in right field on June 15th, and then shifted him to left field the following night. But since then, Encarnacion-Strand has been back at usual positions (first base and third base).

Have the Reds already abandoned the idea of Christian Encarnacion-Strand in the outfield?

The Cincinnati Reds infield is very crowded. Joey Votto made his return to the Cincinnati Reds earlier this week, and David Bell has already been forced to move both Nick Senzel and Spencer Steer from the infield dirt to the outfield grass in order to get more consistent playing time.

The idea of shifting the slugging Christian Encarnacion-Strand to the outfield would appear to follow a similar though process, but perhaps the Reds have other ideas.

Both Encarnacion-Strand, Steer, and even Senzel may be best served playing a corner infield spot, but with Votto back in the lineup and Elly De La Cruz finding most of his playing time at the hot corner, those opportunities will be few and far between heading into the second half of the 2023 season.

Nearly every player on the Reds roster has shown the ability to play multiple positions this season. Outside of Votto, the Reds may not have a player on the field who doesn't possess the ability to play multiple positions.

For now, the Cincinnati Reds roster crunch would appear to be at a standstill. Wil Myers was desiganted for assignment and Stuart Fairchild was optioned to Triple-A. With Fairchild, Henry Ramos, T.J. Hopkins, and Michael Siani all in Triple-A, the Reds appear to have gone away from the concept of expanding Encarnacion-Strand's versatilty beyond just first and third base.

We must applaud the Reds for the idea of giving Christian Encarnacion-Strand a shot in the outfield, as this should be viewed as a bold, win-now move. But, for now, it would appear that the idea of moving Encarnacion-Strand to the outfield has been put on hold.

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