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

Cincinnati Reds third baseman Nick Senzel.
Cincinnati Reds third baseman Nick Senzel. / Kareem Elgazzar via Imagn Content

Kyle Farmer was traded to the Minnesota Twins and Mike Moustakas was designated for assignment. That removes at least two players from the competition for playing time at third base. However, the Cincinnati Reds still have plenty of questions surrounding the position with the 2023 season just around the corner.

Eugenio Suarez held down the position for quite some time until the former All-Star was shipped to the Pacific Northwest shortly before the beginning of the 2022 season. Farmer and free agent pickup Brandon Drury split the majority of time at the hot corner last season, but both will be playing for different teams in 2023.

Cincinnati will have no shortage of young players looking to try their hand at locking down a spot on the Opening Day roster once Reds spring training begins. Let's look at three questions in the battle for third base during the upcoming Reds spring training.

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

The starting spot at third base, more than almost any other position on the entire Cincinnati Reds roster, is up for grabs. One player, who'll surely see some time at the position in Reds spring training is top infield prospect Noelvi Marte.

Marte was acquired from the Seattle Mariners at last year's trade deadline, and the Reds have already decided to move the former shortstop to third base. While Marte has been added to the 40-man roster, his inexpereince in the minors suggests he'll need more seasoning in 2023. But fans should still expect to see him early and often during Reds spring training.

1. Is third base Spencer Steer's spot to lose during Reds spring training?

Heading into Reds spring training, the most obvious choice for Cincinnati's Opening Day starter at third base is probably Spencer Steer. The former Minnesota Twins prospect had a cup of coffee in the big leagues last season, but has the makeup of a solid piece heading into 2023.

Steer was moved all over the diamond in 2022, but he showed enough power in the minor leagues for the Reds' brass to believe that the 24-year-old could stick at the hot corner. His performance during spring training could go a long way toward dictating his role on next year's team.

2. Will Nick Senzel get any reps at third base during Reds spring training?

Many of the Cincinnati faithful have opined over the years about the lack of time Nick Senzel has seen on the infield dirt. A lack of outfield depth and a slew of injuries have prevented the Reds from ever really exploring the idea.

However, the 2023 season might provide Senzel with his best opportunity ever to prove that he has the chops to play third base on a regular basis. Senzel has finished three of the past four seasons on the IL, and perhaps a move to the infield would help prolong his career.

3. Will Alejo Lopez factor at all in the battle for third during Reds spring training?

Alejo Lopez is oftentimes overlooked because of his lack of power. But the 26-year-old is able to find other ways to impact the game. Lopez played third base eight different times in 2022 and started four games at the hot corner.

Lopez fits the mold of a utility infielder much more than a regular at third base. But being a switch-hitter will put him in position to get more at-bats. Lopez will have to battle in order to find playing time next season, but that's a role he's quite familiar with.

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