Reds shortstop Jose Barrero draws his first start in center field since 2021

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero (2) is unable to reach a ground ball.
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero (2) is unable to reach a ground ball. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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After a day off on Sunday, Jose Barrero is back in the Cincinnati Reds lineup on Monday. But, he's not where you'd expect him to be.

The Reds shortstop will actually be playing center field on Monday night against the Chicago Cubs. This had been experimented with in spring training, but April 3rd's game at Great American Ball Park marks the first time since September 29, 2021.

It's a big peculiar that David Bell has made this move, as Barrero is arguably the team's best infield defender. But Bell is trying to get both the right-handed hitting Kevin Newman and Barrero into the lineup with left-handed pitcher Drew Smyly on the bump for the Cubs.

Reds SS Jose Barrero draws his first start in CF since 2021.

To say that Jose Barrero's development has been mismanaged would be kind. The Cincinnati Reds hastily called him up in 2020, only to send him back to the minors for the majority of the 2021 season. A hamate injury forced Barrero to miss several months of the 2022 season before rehabbing in Triple-A.

Barrero was called up after the August trade deadline last season and saw almost two month's worth of starts at shortstop. Unfortunately, Barrero struggled at the plate and struck out at more than a 40-percent clip.

While Barrero is 0-for-7 to begin the 2023 season, he arrived in spring camp with a new approach and has looked more comfortable in the batters' box thus far. Hopefully Reds Country will see the results of his hardwork pay off in the near future.

Whether Jose Barrero plays on the infield or in the outfield is irrelevant if he can't find a way to put the bat on the ball. With top prospects Matt McLain and Elly De La Cruz on the cusp of making their major league debuts, Barrero's margin for error is quite slim.

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