Predicting the Reds starting lineup versus right-handed pitchers

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jake Fraley
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jake Fraley / Justin Berl/GettyImages
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The days of a manager running out the same eight players every day are long gone. First, with the addition of the designated hitter in the National League, Cincinnati Reds skipper David Bell now has nine spot in his lineup.

Bell's lineup card will look different depending on the opposing pitcher. When a left-handed pitcher is on the mound, Bell will load up with right-handed bats in order to hopefully gain an advantage.

But when a right-hander toes the rubber, what's the Reds lineup going to look like? Let's see if we can get close to predicting what the Reds starting lineup will be against right-handed pitching. (Note: This is under the assumption that both Joey Votto and Nick Senzel are unavailable).

Predicting the Reds starting lineup vs. right-handed pitchers

1. Jonathan India, 2B

Jonathan India was the Cincinnati Reds leadoff hitter for the majority of the 2022 season after having success batting first in the order during his rookie season. The results were not the same, however, as India struggled through injures and played in just 103 games.

But India's speed and power, coupled with reshaping his physique this offseason, will go a long way toward seeing the third-year player have an impact atop the Reds lineup. While India's defense certainly was below-average in 2022, that's also an area he's looking to improve on in 2023.

2. Tyler Stephenson, C

Look for Tyler Stephenson to be in the Cincinnati Reds lineup nearly every day. But don't count on the former first-round pick squatting behind the plate for every contest. Stephenson will be positioned as the team's starting catcher while also seeing time at first base and DH.

Stephenson is, arguably, Cincinnati's best hitter and could bat cleanup for Redlegs in 2023. Throughout Cactus League play, however, Stephenson has regularly occupied the No. 2 spot in the Reds batting order. That could carry over into the regular season.

3. Wil Myers, 1B

Just like Tyler Stephenson, Wil Myers will not have a set position on the field. But his presence in the Reds lineup is a virtual certainty. Myers will likely be shuffled between right field and first base until Joey Votto is back in the lineup. Myers can also be used as the team's designated hitter.

Myers was the Reds biggest offseason addition, and while he could be on the trade block later this summer, while he's on the team, expect to see the former San Diego Padres outfieler hitting third or fourth in David Bell's lineup.

Predicting the Reds starting lineup vs. right-handed pitchers

4. Jake Fraley, RF

This is where things get interesting. Jake Fraley proved to be a fine addition to the Cincinnati Reds in 2022. Part of the deal that sent Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez to the Seattle Mariners, Fraley is the perfect platoon outfielder.

Fraley raked against right-handed pitching in 2022 and the Reds are hoping for more of the same during the upcoming season. With Wil Myers occupying first base in his scenario, right field feels like a good fit for Fraley.

5. Spencer Steer, 3B

Spencer Steer was a key acquisition at last year's trade deadline and by all accounts, it appears as though David Bell and his coaching staff will look to the former Minnesota Twins prospect to be the Cincinnati Reds everyday third baseman.

Steer has the ability to play all over the infield, so don't rule out the 25-year-old giving Jonathan India the occasional day off at the keystone. Steer will likely settle into a spot somewhere in the middle of the Reds batting order.

6. Will Benson, CF

Will Benson seems to be nice pickup on the part of Reds GM Nick Krall. The team acquired Benson from the Cleveland Guardians in exchange for last year's draft pick Justin Boyd.

Benson has huge power and a ton of speed. Look for the left-handed batter to ride the bench when a southpaw is on the bump, but Bell will likely go to Benson early and often when the opposing hurler is right-handed.

Predicting the Reds starting lineup vs. right-handed pitchers

7. TJ Friedl, LF

Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell will have some options when it comes to left field. But if he's looking to load up on left-handed bats, TJ Friedl should be on the field. Friedl can play all three outfield spots, but his arm profiles better in left field.

Friedl had reverse splits last season, so it'll be interesting to see how the 27-year-old fares against right-handers. Friedl has done enough this spring, especially with Nick Senzel likely out for Opening Day, to log a lot of starts for the Reds in 2023.

8. Chad Pinder, DH

The designated hitter could go one of many ways in 2023. When Joey Votto returns, DH duty will likely be split between the six-time All-Star, catcher Tyler Stephenson, and right fielder Wil Myers. But until is back in the everyday lineup, the designated hitter will be a revolving door.

You could just as easily swap Chad Pinder for TJ Friedl in left field and the University of Nevada alum could take over as the Reds DH. Cincinnati will not have you typical DH who can mash 30-plus homers per season, but instead, that job will fall to several players throughout the entire season.

9. Jose Barrero, SS

Shortstop has been an open competition this spring. While so many of the Reds fanbase are excited to see Elly De La Cruz and Matt McLain make their way to The Show, neither one is likley leave Goodyear on a plane bound for Cincinnati.

Jose Barrero and Kevin Newman have both shown the ability to field the position defensively, but after Barrero's disastrous 2022 season, he's going to be a very short leash this year. But the Reds are determined to see what they have in the 24-year-old infielder, so expect to see Barrero start two out of every three games.

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