Where will Christian Encarnacion-Strand play when Joey Votto begins his rehab assignment?

Cincinnati Reds prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand
Cincinnati Reds prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

One of the Cincinnati Reds top prospects, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, has completely torn up Triple-A pitching this year. The corner infielder has totaled over 11 home runs and has a 1.090 OPS for the Louisville Bats this season.

Encarnacion-Strand has mainly played first base for the Bats, suiting up 12 times at the position so far this season. The slugger seems like a great candidate to take over at first base when Reds legend and six-time All-Star Joey Votto calls it a career. Votto's contract runs through 2023 with a team-option for 2024.

Speaking of Votto, at some point the former NL MVP is headed for a rehab assignment in Triple-A. It's likely to be a lengthy one (up to 20 days) as Votto has missed a considerable amount of time since his first rehab stint earlier this season.

Where will Reds prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand play when Joey Votto begins his rehab assignment?

So, once Joey Votto begins his rehab assignment with the Louisville Bats, where is Christian Encarnacion-Strand likely to line up defensively? Well, more than likely, Encarnacion-Strand will move over to third base again.

Encarnacion-Strand is more athletic than most fans think and has the arm strength to play the position just fine. In fact, the 23-year-old has logged more minor league innings at the hot corner than he has at first base.

There is another possibility, however. Depending on when Votto is actually set to make his rehab assignment, Encarnacion-Strand could put all the talk of a position change to bed and join the Cincinnati Reds active roster.

That call up may be coming soon as Christian Encarnacion-Strand has been doing nothing but dominating Triple-A pitching. It's been just 27 games, but in fewer than 120 at-bats this season, Encarnacion-Strand is slashing .353/.376/.714 with 20 extra-base hits and 25 RBIs.

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