Reds manager David Bell needs to make big-time move to pave the way for Jake Fraley

Jake Fraley is the Reds' hottest hitter.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jake Fraley
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jake Fraley / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell already shook up the starting lineup early this season. After Jeimer Candelario was mired in a slump, the Reds skipper moved his third baseman down in the batting order and supplanted him with Spencer Steer. That move seemed to work well, and it's time for Bell to swing for the fences again.

Jake Fraley is off to a red-hot start. The Reds right fielder is leading the team in almost every major hitting category, and has even seen some success against left-handed pitching. Fraley is 4-for-8 against southpaws this season.

With Fraley's hot bat leading the way, and Jonathan India struggling, it's time for Bell to shuffle the lineup once again. Bell needs to insert Fraley as the Reds leadoff hitter and bump India down in the batting order.

David Bell needs to change the Reds lineup & make Jake Fraley the leadoff hitter

India was getting on base at a nice clip, but it appears as the Reds second baseman became rather obsessed with drawing walks and forgot how to swing the bat. India is hitting .169/.333/.237, and while he leads the team in walks, India is stuck in a rut at the moment. India hasn't recorded a base hit since his double against the Milwaukee Brewers over a week ago. Since India's three-hit performance against the New York Mets on April 5th, he's 2-for-32 with 10 strikeouts.

While India doesn't necessarily have to hit .300 in order to make an impact, he can't let his on-base percentage slip as well. Since April 5th, India's OBP is just .262. Bell cannot afford to allow the team's leadoff hitter to be what has amounted to an automatic out almost every time he steps into the batters' box.

Fraley has a good eye at the dish and the type of speed on the base paths that warrants consideration to be No. 1 on Bell's lineup card. It's a role Fraley filled for 11 games last season, and hit .333/.405/.455 when given the opportunity.

Because of Fraley's pop, you'd probably prefer to bat him lower in the lineup, but with India's struggles and the absence of TJ Friedl, this might be Bell's best option to help jumpstart the offense. Since the Reds left Chicago, the team has scored just four runs.

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