3 questions in the battle for second base during Reds spring training

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages

Second base has undergone some considerable changes since David Bell first arrived as the Cincinnati Reds manager back in 2019. To be honest, the position has been a bit of revolving door.

Scooter Gennett, Jose Peraza, Mike Moustakas, Jonathan India, Nick Senzel, and Josh VanMeter were all anointed as the Reds second baseman of the future at one point in time over the last four seasons.

Gennett and VanMeter have since been traded, Moustakas and Peraza were both released, and Senzel has seen more time on the outfield grass than the infield dirt. Let's look at three questions in the battle for second base during the upcoming Reds spring training.

3 questions in for in the battle for 2B during Reds spring training.

Jonathan India had a tumultuous 2022 season. After winning National League Rookie of the Year honors in 2021, India suffered a hamstring injury early on last season and the effects lingered throughout his entire sophomore season.

It's unlikely that anyone on the roster will unseat India as Cincinnati's starting second baseman in 2023, but that doesn't mean there aren't still questions that will need to be answered during Reds spring training.

1. Will Jonathan India be the leadoff hitter during Reds spring training?

It was assumed after his terrific performance in 2021 that Jonathan India would be the Cincinnati Reds leadoff hitter for the foreseeable future. However, India added a ton of muscle during the offseason and was looking to be more of a power-hitter during Year 2 of his major league career.

India's batting average and on-base percentage took at hit, and it's questionable as to whether or not his speed was affected as well. Jake Fraley could certainly take over as the leadoff hitter in 2023, especially when a right-handed pitcher is on the mound.

2. Can Jonathan India improve his defense during Reds spring training?

Statistically speaking, Jonathan India was one of the worst defensive second baseman in all of baseball during the 2022 season. India accounted for -14 defensive runs saved according to Fielding Bible. Only Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (-15 DRS) was worse.

With MLB changing the rules in 2023 that will limit the defensive shift, India's defense will be more important than ever. If his glove isn't up to snuff, then a position change may be in order.

3. Will Matt McLain receive reps at second base during Reds spring training?

All signs point to Jonathan India opening the season as the starting second baseman for the Cincinnati Reds. Spencer Steer, who can play second base, will likely get a long look at third base this spring. But where does that put infield prospect Matt McLain?

McLain, a former first-round pick, will undoubtedly be part of Reds spring training. Where he'll line up defensively will be another story. McLain has familiarity with both second base and shortstop and played in the outfield while at UCLA. McLain is likely to make his debut in 2023, but where he'll end up playing is still in question.

Next. 2 Reds who'll breakout in 2023, 1 who'll keep struggling. dark