Predicting the Cincinnati Reds post-trade deadline starting lineup

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer (17) and second baseman Donovan Solano.
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer (17) and second baseman Donovan Solano. / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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The Cincinnati Reds have made some big changes over the past few days. With the trade deadline now behind us, Reds fans have a better idea of what their favorite team might look like over the final two months of the 2022 season.

Predictably, starers Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle were traded. The Reds also dealt Brandon Drury, Tyler Naquin, and Tommy Pham prior to Tuesday's deadline. In return, Cincinnati received several young, talented prospects.

But with the aforementioned Drury, Pham, and Naquin now playing for contenders, the Reds have some holes in their lineup that will have to be filled. What might the Cincinnati Reds starting lineup look like over the remainder of the season?

1. Jonathan India, Reds second baseman

Don't look for much to change at the top the Cincinnati Reds lineup. Jonathan India returned from the Injured List several weeks ago, and the 25-year-old is finally starting to look like the reigning National League Rookie of the Year.

India began the season rather slowly, was hampered by a hamstring injury, and eventually wound up on the IL for about six weeks. A healthy Jonathan India atop the Cincinnati lineup is essential for success in 2022 and beyond.

2. Kyle Farmer, Reds shortstop

Brandon Drury is now a member of the San Diego Padres and his spot in the Cincinnati lineup will need to be filled. On Tuesday night versus the Miami Marlins, David Bell chose to go with Nick Senzel. That's an interesting choice seeing how well he's hit when he's further down in the batting order.

Kyle Farmer has done his job this season, but Jose Barrero has just been called up to the big leagues. It'll be interesting to see how this play out. Farmer is not your typical No. 2 hitter, but nothing about this Reds lineup is typical.

3. Donovan Solano, Reds third baseman

Tommy Pham had been Cincinnati's No. 3 batter throughout the entire season, but the outfielder is now off to Beantown with aspirations of helping the Boston Red Sox reach the postseason. Pham's spot will have to be filled by somebody, and Donovan Solano has been one of the better Reds hitters of late.

It was mildly surprising to see Solano on the Reds roster after the deadline. There were likely teams that inquired, but none with offers that overwhelmed Nick Krall enough to pull the trigger. Solano could be one of the bright spots over the final two months of the season.

4. Joey Votto, Reds first baseman

If Tyler Stephenson were healthy, David Bell would probably bump Joey Votto up to the third spot in the batting and have his catcher batting cleanup. As it is, Stephenson was just placed on the 60-day IL, so if he returns at all, it won't be until late September.

Votto has been the Cincinnati Reds cleanup hitter throughout the 2022 season. With Brandon Drury and Tommy Pham now playing for other teams, Votto is the team-leader in home runs with 10. Will we see Votto make his classic late-season charge this year? He's certainly been better since returning from the IL.

5. Aristides Aquino, Reds right fielder

Reds fans are going to laugh, but Aristides Aquino is going to get one last chance to prove that he has what it takes to be a major league player. Aquino has all the tools to be a force in the middle of the lineup, but he has to cut down on his strikeouts.

Given the lack of outfield depth in the Reds minor leagues, The Punisher is the best of a bunch of not-so-good options. But at this point, Cincinnati should just send out Aquino every day and see what he's got. He's only played in 32 games and there's no better player on the roster to line up in right field night in and night out. Aquino has a cannot for an arm.

6. Jake Fraley/ Albert Almora, Reds left fielder

This is where things start to get interesting. Without Tommy Pham in left field, David Bell will get the opportunity to mix and match his lineup based on the opposing starting pitcher. Look for Jake Fraley to start versus right-handers and Albert Almora to get the green light agains southpaws.

Fraley has been sidelined for quite some time, but performed well in his first game back off the Injured List. The same can be said for Almora. Both these men can field all three outfield positions and will see plenty of time in the Reds lineup over the next two months.

7. Nick Senzel, Reds centerfielder

It's been great seeing what a healthy Nick Senzel can do. The 27-year-old has played above-average defense in center field, and once David Bell bumped him down in the lineup, Senzel began to have success at the plate as well.

Bell put Senzel behind Jonathan India in the No. 2 during Tuesday night's game, and it's not a bad idea to see he's able to have the same level of success while hitting higher in the batting order. But if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

8. Mike Moustakas, Reds designated hitter

Oh boy, the trade deadline passed and Mike Moustakas is still on the Cincinnati Reds roster. But you knew that was going to happen. Moustakas has been, well, bad. Moose is hitting .205 with six home runs and has had umpteen trips to the IL in 2022.

Moustakas shouldn't take away at-bats from the younger players on the team, and the Reds should not put him in the lineup versus left-handed starters. There will be several other players who occupy this spot in the coming weeks, including Stuart Fairchild and Matt Reynolds. Donovan Solano can act as the DH as well which will allow David Bell to shuffle the lineup on a regular basis.

9. Aramis Garcia/ Austin Romine, Reds catcher

Aramis Garcia is current on the Injured List, but once he returns, you'd have to assume that he'll be the Cincinnati Reds everyday catcher with Tyler Stephenson out until late-September. The Reds picked up Austin Romine on Tuesday, so fans should expect to see the veteran behind the dish in the coming days.

Until then, look for Mike Papierski and Mark Kolozsvary to hold down the fort. Neither has been overly impressive at the dish or behind the plate. This is why Stephenson is so valuable to the Cincinnati Reds as a catcher. It's hard to see Cincinnati moving Stephenson to first base anytime soon.

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