Predicting the Reds starting lineup versus left-handed pitchers

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next

Predicting the Reds starting lineup vs. left-handed pitchers

4. Tyler Stephenson, DH

I'm not necessarily a fan of Tyler Stephenson batting second, but it appears as though David Bell is. The Reds skipper has kept Stephenson right behind the leadoff batter throughout most of spring training, but hopefully things change once the regular season begins.

Stephenson is going to split time in 2023 between catching, playing first base, and acting as the team's designated hitter. In this instance, let's assume that Stephenson is Cincinnati's DH.

5. Chad Pinder, 1B

This is far from ideal, but until Joey Votto returns the Cincinnati Reds will be splitting first base duties between the trio of Tyler Stephenson, Wil Myers, and Chad Pinder. The former Oakland A's utility player has the defensive versatility to play almost anywhere on the diamond.

Pinder is not a high on-base player, with a .294 OBP for his career, but the 30-year-old does have some pop in his bat. Until the Reds are fully healthy or begin to call up some of their younger talent, look for Pinder to be a regular in David Bell's lineup, especially against left-handed pitchers.

6. Kevin Newman, SS

Shortstop is another position where there are multiple players invovled. Throughout camp, it's been a two-horse race between Jose Barrero and Kevin Newman. Despite his lack of success against major league pitching, the Reds still have confidence that Barrero can be an everyday player in the big leagues.

But let's give Newman the nod here. Newman's career-OPS is about 80 points higher when facing a left-handed pitcher, and this would be an easy way for David Bell to keep both shortstops fresh.