Kyle Farmer's recent surge will make playing time for Jose Barrero hard to come by

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer (17) hits a single.
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer (17) hits a single. / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Barrero, recovering from wrist surgery, is currently on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville. The young infielder has been thought to be the heir apparent at shortstop for the better part of two years.

While the Cincinnati Reds front office forecasted the 2022 season to be Barrero's chance of becoming a regular in the lineup, it appears that Kyle Farmer has other plans.

Farmer has been on a tear of late, hitting .458/.500/.958 in his last seven games. It's going to be very difficult for David Bell to find playing time for both shortstops when Barrero returns from the IL.

Reds SS Jose Barrero looks ready to be in the lineup every day.

Jose Barrero lost any chance of playing in the minors in 2020. The minor league season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, Barrero got a chance to show his stuff at the big leagues having not even played above A-Ball. He played in 24 games and hit just .194.

Last season, the Cuban infielder paid his dues in the minors. Barrero combined to hit .303/.380/.539 with 19 home runs and 66 RBIs in 85 games split between Chattanooga and Louisville last season and received a call-up to the big leagues in August.

Barrero has appeared in 11 games with the Bats during his rehab stint and has posted an OPS of .878. David Bell has referred to Barrero's rehab assignment as spring training since the 24-year-old missed out on Cactus League play due to his injury.

Reds SS Kyle Farmer isn't ready to hand over his job just yet.

If Jose Barrero wants to become the Cincinnati Reds everyday shortstop, he's going to have to fight for it. Kyle Farmer is doing everything in his power to hold onto a spot in the Reds lineup.

After struggling mightily early in the season, Farmer has turned the corner and has been Cincinnati's hottest hitter for the better part of two weeks. In his last 15 games, Farmer is slashing .385/.431/.692 with four homers and 15 RBIs.

I wouldn't want to be David Bell right now. On one hand, you've got the well-respected veteran who's a team leader and is playing at an exceptionally high level right now. On the other hand, you've got an athletic, hungry young stud with All-Star potential who needs consistent ABs at the major league level.

These things usually have a way of working themselves out, and the designated hitter could offer an assist to David Bell. Both Mike Moustakas and Brandon Drury could see time at DH while Kyle Farmer and Jose Barrero cover the left side of the infield.

The Cincinnati Reds need to thread that very fine needle of getting reps for their young players while at the same time keeping the clubhouse happy by finding enough playing time for the veterans as well. The next few weeks will be very interesting to watch.

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