Will Jonathan India's return result in surprising demotion for this Reds' veteran?

The most likely scenario is that T.J. Hopkins returns to Triple-A, right?

Cincinnati Reds infielder Jonathan India
Cincinnati Reds infielder Jonathan India / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

Is it any coincidence that the Cincinnati Reds began this horrific slide after Jonathan India landed on the injured list? Perhaps. Regardless, India's teammates will certainly welcome him back with open arms when he returns to the lineup later this week.

Most reports suggest that India will be activated from the IL on Tuesday after being sidelined with a foot injury since the end of July.

But, with India coming back, that means someone else must be sent down. Conventional wisdom would suggest that T.J. Hopkins or Stuart Fairchild should return to Triple-A Louisville in order to make room for India. But maybe there's another player who could be optioned.

Will Jonathan India's return result in surprising demotion for this Reds' veteran?

While this may surprise some Reds fans, Kevin Newman should be the clear choice to be sent down to the minor leagues once Jonathan India returns to the Cincinnati Reds lineup. Why? Because Newman's role is that of a right-handed platoon bat - something he's failed at over the last several weeks.

According to FanGraphs, Newman is 5-for-23 with a .348 slugging percentage in his last 28 plate appearances against left-handed pitching. With Nick Senzel serving in that platoon role as well and being able to field almost any position, do the Reds really need Newman if he's not producing against southpaws?

Not only has Newman seen his batting average against left-handers drop below .300, but his defense has struggled as well. According to Fielding Bible, Newman is statistically the worst defender on the Reds with -6 defensive runs saved (DRS).

Newman's slash line against right-handed pitchers (.230/.273/.286) is not pretty. And with India, Senzel, Christian-Encarnacion-Strand, Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, and Spencer Steer, it's not as if the Reds are hurting for right-handed bats to face left-handed pitching.

With Jake Fraley out of the lineup for the foreseeable future, keeping T.J. Hopkins and Stuart Fairchild in the outfield alongside Will Benson and TJ Friedl may be the more prudent move at the moment. Both Senzel and Steer can play on the infield dirt and the outfield grass as well.

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