Predicting the Reds starting lineup for the Field of Dreams Game vs. the Cubs

MLB At Field Of Dreams: Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds
MLB At Field Of Dreams: Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Major League Baseball is just a few short hours away from taking center stage with one of biggest events of the season. After the success of last year's Field of Dreams Game, MLB decided to run it back in 20222 and this year, your Cincinnati Reds are part of the festivities.

No, the Reds no longer have the mega-star power of Nick Castellanos and Luis Castillo. Gone as well are Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker, Sonny Gray, and Tucker Barnhart. Cincinnati even traded away their best hitter over the first half of the season by shipping Brandon Drury to the San Diego Padres.

Nonetheless, Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs (who are also in the midst of a rebuild) will playing among the corn stalks in Dyersville, Iowa this evening. How might Reds manager David Bell fill out his lineup card versus Chicago's Drew Smyly?

1. Jonathan India, Reds second baseman

Look for last year's National League Rookie of the Year Jonathan India to lead things off for the Redlegs tonight. India, who was plagued a hamstring injury earlier this season, has been playing very well of late.

In his last 30 games, India is slashing .276/.339/.474 and has five of his seven home runs. Injuries have hampered the second baseman's ability to repeat the success he had in 2021, but rest assured that Jonathan India will be hitting atop the Cincinnati Reds batting order on Thursday night.

2. Nick Senzel, Reds centerfielder

Nick Senzel has had much better success batting further down in lineup earlier this season, but David Bell has been insistent of late that the former first-round pick get more at-bats. Senzel has seen a lot of time lately hitting right behind Jonathan India.

Bell needed someone to take the place of Brandon Drury in the lineup. The Reds home run leader, until he was traded a little over a week ago, had been firmly entrenched as the No. 2 hitter in Cincinnati's lineup. But fans should look for Senzel to occupy that spot during the Field of Dreams Game.

3. Kyle Farmer, Reds third baseman

It doesn't make a lot of sense, but Kyle Farmer has been receiving a lot of at-bats in the No. 3 hole recently. After dealing Tommy Pham to the Boston Red Sox at last week's trade deadline, David Bell has continued to bat Farmer third in the Reds lineup.

Farmer has not had much success since being moved up in the batting order, and even the last month, the 31-year-old has seen his fair share of struggles at the plate. Farmer is batting just .206/.305/.275 over his last 30 games, but the Georgia native is gamer and a leader on this year's team. Plus, everyone knows you've got to have a "farmer" in field, right?

4. Joey Votto, Reds first baseman

Joey Votto will be the most recognizable face among all the Cincinnati Reds who'll suit up for this year's Field of Dreams Game. Votto has spoken publicly about how much it means to him to be playing on the diamond carved out of a corn field.

The 38-year-old has seen his career-batting average dip below .300, which is very un-Votto-like. But the Cincinnati Reds first baseman has been more in search of power during the last two seasons. Votto still has a great eye at the plate and a .336 on-base percentage this season.

5. Donovan Solano, Reds designated hitter

The Cincinnati Reds hottest hitter of late has been infielder Donovan Solano. Fans will likely see the 34-year-old line up as the team's designated hitter tonight, though it wouldn't come as a shock to see Solano and Kyle Farmer switch places either.

Solano absolutely crushes left-handed pitching and will be licking his chops with southpaw Drew Smyly on the bump to start the game for the Chicago Cubs. Solano is hitting .292/.379/.458 in his last seven games. Solano was on base five times over the last three games in New York.

6. Aristides Aquino, Reds right fielder

With a left-handed pitcher on the mound for the Cubbies, you know that David Bell is going to put Aristides Aquino in the lineup. The Punisher has been terrific defensively this season, leading the Reds with 13 defensive runs saved (DRS) according to Fielding Bible.

At the plaate, it's the same song and dance for Aquino. There's a ton of swing-and-miss in his bat, but with Tommy Pham and Tyler Naquin now off the roster, Aquino is getting one last chance to prove that he belongs in The Show.

7. Albert Almora Jr., Reds left fielder

Albert Almora Jr. has been a bit of polarizing figure throughout Reds Country these days. While David Bell decided to move Kyle Farmer to third base in order to get Jose Barrero reps at shortstop, the teams is still giving Almora Jr. time in the outfield over Jake Fraley and T.J. Friedl.

Almora Jr.'s right-handed bat will be in the lineup tonight versus the left-handed Drew Smyly, but don't be surprised if Fraley enter the game once the southpaw is out of tonight's contes. Almora Jr. has great defensive instincts, but is hitting just .170 in his last 15 games.

8. Jose Barrero, Reds shortstop

Speaking of polarizing, no one in the Cincinnati Reds lineup, at the moment, has been more polarizing than Jose Barrero. The shortstop was called up to the big leagues just last week and has drawn both ire and praise from Reds fans during his first week on the job.

Barrero strikeouts a lot, but his athletic abilities are superior to that of Kyle Farmer and his possesses tremendous power as well. The Reds have been grooming Jose Barrero to be the team's shortstop for some time now, and he's finally getting some regular at-bats. Until he's able to cut down on those swings and misses, Barrero will be slotted in the No. 8 hole.

9. Austin Romine, Reds catcher

Austin Romine was a late addition to the Cincinnati Reds roster. But with Tyler Stephenson and Aramis Garcia out of the lineup, David Bell was looking for a veteran to pair alongside Michael Papierski.

Papierski started Wednesday afternoon's game in Queens, and we could see him set up behind the plate during the Field of Dreams Game as well. But David Bell might hand the reins over to Romine this evening. Either way, the Reds backstop will be occupying the No. 9 spot in the batting order.