David Bell's curious decision to pinch hit for Jose Barrero can do 2 things for the Reds shortstop

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero / Mike Stobe/GettyImages

Fans rarely every agree with a manager's decisions, especially when things go wrong. But Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell made the call in the eighth inning to remove Jose Barrero from the game with two outs and the bases loaded in favor of recently-called up infielder Alejo Lopez.

The fan reaction on social media was predictable, especially when Lopez's at-bat ended in a strikeout. A large majority of Reds fans were upset with Bell's decision and understandably so.

Barrero has been one of Cincinnati's most highly-regarded prospects for two years and Kyle Farmer was shifted from shortstop to third base just so Barrero can get more reps over the final two months of the season. If Barrero is as good as advertised, why did Bell pinch hit for him in that situation?

Reds shortstop Jose Barrero had a horrible night at the plate.

Jose Barrero had a horrific night at the plate. The New York Mets pitching staff was on point, striking out 13 Reds hitters. When he was removed from the game, Barrero had already accounted for 25% of Cincinnati's strikeouts. Both he and Jonathan India were struck out three times on the night.

But it wasn't just that Barrero was striking out; everybody was striking out. However, Barrero looked lost at the dish. His first at-bat ended with three consecutive swings of the bat with the third strike coming on a swing that was out of the zone.

Barrero's second at-bat ended in the same way; three straight swings and a strikeout on a pitch that was well out of the zone. Barrero's third at-bat ended, you guessed it, with a swinging third strike that was out of the zone. Barrero actually got four hacks during that AB because he fouled off the third pitch. Barrero now has 12 strikeouts and no walks in 21 at-bats this season.

Jose Barrero can take what happened on Tuesday night and grow from it.

Every major league player struggles at some point. Heck, baseball is game of failure. Those who are in the Hall of Fame have success about 30-35% of the time. So how will Jose Barrero respond to adversity?

Sure, David Bell could have left Barrero in the game. Maybe he smacks a game-tying grand slam with one swing of the bat, or maybe he tries to play hero and swings at three straight pitches that are outside the strike zone. Reds manager David Bell was betting on the latter and that's why he allowed Alejo Lopez to pinch hit.

Jose Barrero has two choices; 1) He can sulk about how he was removed from the game, or 2) He can use the experience as motivation to eliminate that decision from ever crossing David Bell's mind again by having productive at-bats.

You have to believe that if Barrero, in any one of his three ABs, had a seven-pitch at-bat in which he battled, hit a sharp line drive to left field that was caught, or even drew a walk, that David Bell would have allowed him to face Trevor May in the eighth inning with the bases loaded.

Jose Barrero needs to use this moment as an opportunity to grow and mature as a baseball player. He's been handed the reins to the starting shortstop job and there are others coming up through the farm system who are looking to take it from him. It's time for Barrero to sink or swim. It's a lot of pressure, but that's life in the big leagues.

Next. The Reds should follow the Cubs example and do this. dark