Reds' innumerable injuries have crippled David Bell's late-game decision-making

David Bell has several options, and they're all very bad.

Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell
Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Alright, Reds fans, let's pretend you've been handed managerial duties for one game. As seems to be the case quite often for the Cincinnati Reds, your team is trailing by one run heading into the bottom of the eighth inning and the bottom-third of your lineup is due up.

You're going to need a key hit, and as we've seen, Will Benson and Stuart Fairchild aren't very reliable. Sure, they might run into one every now and again, but both players have an OPS below .650. This looks to be the perfect scenario for a pinch-hitter, right?

So, who are going to select? How about Edwin Rios? Maybe Blake Dunn? Santiago Espinal is an option? Oh yeah, don't forget Livan Soto. Oh, you don't like any those options? Welcome to David Bell's world.

Reds' innumerable injuries have crippled David Bell's late-game decision-making

Now, you can kick and scream and be one of many Reds fans on social media who want to see Bell fired. Or, you can take an objective look at the unenviable position that the Cincinnati skipper is staring down on a nightly basis. He literally has a bench filled with minor league players. Some of those players are even finding their way into the starting lineup.

Rios, Dunn, and Soto were all down at Triple-A just last week. At best, players like Rios and Soto should be the 26th man (temporarily) on a bad team. Dunn is 1-for-18 since his major league debut and clearly not cut out to be part of the Reds' active roster. Espinal may have a slick glove, but he is struggling at the plate having gone 0-for-17 in his last seven games.

The Reds are currently without Nick Martini, Jake Fraley, Matt McLain, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, TJ Friedl, and Luke Maile. That has thrust players like Benson, Fairchild, and Espinal into roles that they're not equipped to handle.

That trio could be terrific role players or operate as part of a platoon, but the number of injuries Cincinnati has incurred this season has forced them into everyday roles. Furthermore, it's handcuffed Bell late in games, prompting the Reds manager to make decision between something bad and something very bad. Bell is in a lose-lose situation at the moment.

So if you want to throw Bell under the bus, go right ahead. By no means has Bell been flawless as Cincinnati's manager this season. But it's not as if the Reds' front office is giving him much to work with either.

Two years ago, Pete Rose commented on the state of the Reds during a season in which Cincinnati ultimately lost 100 games. Rose asked, "What makes a good manager?" The Hit King then answered his own question by saying, "Good players."

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