Addition of Christian Encarnacion-Strand to Reds lineup sees Elly De La Cruz with new role

With Christian Encarnacion-Strand in the lineup, Elly De La Cruz has a new role.

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz / Jeff Dean/GettyImages

The youth movement is in full swing. The Cincinnati Reds have selected the contract of Christian Encarnacion-Strand and placed Kevin Newman on the 10-day IL.

Encarnacion-Strand joins the Reds rookie class of Spencer Steer, Matt McLain, Andrew Abbott, and Elly De La Cruz.

But with the addition of Encarnacion-Strand, it appears, at least for now, that De La Cruz may have a new role. Reds manager David Bell has installed De La Cruz as Cincinnati's leadoff hitter on Monday night.

Addition of Christian Encarnacion-Strand to Reds lineup sees Elly De La Cruz with new role.

Christian Encarnacion-Strand will be the Cincinnati Reds designated hitter on Monday night against the San Francisco Giants and bat seventh. Elly De La Cruz, however, will be batting first and playing third base.

Since his major league debut in early-June, De La Cruz has found his home as the Reds cleanup hitter. But after going 0-for-12 against the Milwaukee Brewers this past weekend, it appears that Reds skipper David Bell would prefer to have the 21-year-old's speed atop the lineup.

Jonathan India, who's bounced around from the leadoff spot to the No. 3-hole hitter, has been batting fifth since returning from the All-Star break. He'll remain in that role with TJ Friedl and Matt McLain both being bumped back.

Joey Votto will bat sixth and be followed by Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Tyler Stephenson, and Will Benson. Spencer Steer will get the night off, but Reds fans should not expect this to be a regular occurrence.

The Reds now have 10 players who should be receiving regular at-bats, but only nine spots in the everyday lineup. Nick Senzel will undoubtedly maintain his role when a left-hander is on the mound, and the three-catcher combination will still be in play.

Elly De La Cruz leading off is a good thing. The Atlanta Braves send out Ronald Acuña Jr. as the team's leadoff hitter, and the San Diego Padres typically do the same with Fernando Tatis Jr. The Cincinnati Reds now have their three fastest players batting 1-2-3 in the starting lineup.

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