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
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Predicting the Reds starting lineup vs. left-handed pitchers

7. TJ Friedl, CF

Now wait a minute. Why in the world would David Bell select the left-handed hitting TJ Friedl to bat against a left-handed pitcher? Well, Friedl just so happens to have reverse splits (he hit better against left-handers than right-handers in 2022).

Friedl struggled during the early part of last season, but a tuneup in Louisville helped the outfielder to make a big impact upon his return. Against southpaws, Friedl slashed .333/.455/.667 compared to .232/.301/.416 against right-handed pitchers.

8. Curt Casali, C

The Cincinnati Reds are going to employ three catchers this season. In an effort to keep Tyler Stephenson's bat in the game, David Bell is only going to play the 26-year-old behind the plate about four times every 10 days.

That means the other six days are to be allocated between veteran backstops Curt Casali and Luke Maile. For this exercise, we'll go with Casali, but he and Maile are essentially interchangeable when Stephenson is not in the lineup.

9. Nick Solak, LF

Left field is a bit of a black hole at the moment. TJ Friedl and Jake Fraley can both field the position, but with Friedl playing center field in this scenario and Fraley's track record versus lefties, perhaps this is where Nick Solak gets a chance to shine.

The Reds swung a deal with the Texas Rangers this offseason in order to bring the University of Louisville product to Cincinnati, and until Nick Senzel returns to the field, it's a good bet that Solak breaks camp with the team. Stuart Fairchild could play his way into this position as well.

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