3 Reds position battles that will come down to the wire this spring

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Stuart Fairchild
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Stuart Fairchild / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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2. Reds spring training position battle: Fifth outfielder

If Joey Votto and Nick Senzel begin the 2023 season on the Injured List, the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster will look very odd. Under this scenario, one can assume that Cincinnati will platoon Tyler Stephenson and Wil Meyers at first base and Chad Pinder will be added to the 26-man roster.

With three catchers and the left-handed hitting trio of Jake Fraley, TJ Friedl, and Will Benson all be assured of a spot on the Reds Opening Day roster, there's bound to be battle for the final outfield spot.

Stuart Fairchild and Nick Solak have been the two players competing for this final spot throughout Reds spring training. Michael Siani is in the mix as well, but the former fourth-round draft pick is probably ticketed for Triple-A Louisville.

The good thing in this scenario is that both players have minor league options remaining. So, if the Reds are able to add Pinder by placing Justin Dunn or Tejay Antone on the 60-day IL, neither Fairchild or Solak will have to be designated for assignment.

Solak has the advantage of being able to play on the infield dirt, but Fairchild is much more athletic and can play all three outfield spots while Solak is much better suited to play left field exclusively.

Of course, if the Cincinnati Reds decide to select of the contract of Christian Encarnacion-Strand, then both players could be headed to the minor leagues to start their 2023 season.