TJ Friedl's return to the Reds lineup is likely to push this player off the roster

Cincinnati Reds outfielder TJ Friedl
Cincinnati Reds outfielder TJ Friedl / Jeff Dean/GettyImages
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TJ Friedl is currently on the 10-day IL. After suffering an oblique injury last month, Friedl's return to the Cincinnati Reds lineup was short-lived.

Friedl, while attempting to leg out a potential base hit against the Boston Red Sox last week, suffered a mild hamstring strain during his sprint to first base and landed on the IL once again.

However, Friedl was already taking swings on the field during batting practice on Tuesday. The 27-year-old outfielder will likely join the Reds on their upcoming road trip, and could return to David Bell's lineup as early as Saturday in St. Louis.

TJ Friedl's return to the Reds lineup is likely to push Jose Barrero off the roster.

But when TJ Friedl returns to the Cincinnati Reds lineup, someone from the active roster will have to be removed. While T.J. Hopkins was actually the one to replace Friedl, he may not be the one heading back to the minors upon the outfielder's return.

It's becoming clearer and clearer that the player most likely to make the trek back to Triple-A Louisville is former top prospect Jose Barrero. The former top prospect has a minor league option remaining, and it's likely that the Reds will use it.

Barrero's playing time has taken a nosedive since his grand slam at Fenway Park last week. After starting all three games against the Boston Red Sox, Barrero was notably absent from the Reds starting lineup against the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend.

Barrero came on as a pinch-runner last Friday against the Crew, and saw a little bit of playing time at shortstop the close of Monday's game against Milwaukee after Jonathan India was lifted with a minor back issue.

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But with both Elly De La Cruz and Matt McLain now on the 26-man roster, Jose Barrero's opportunities at shortstop seem all but gone. Kevin Newman is still on the roster as well.

The majority of Jose Barrero's playing time of late has come in the outfield. With TJ Hopkins now in the bigs, and Noelvi Marte ascending up the minor league ladder, Barrero's chances of reclaiming a spot on the Reds infield seem slim-to-none.

It's time for Barrero to attempt to resurrect his career, but he'll need to do so as an outfielder down in the minor leagues. The Cincinnati Reds could also option Will Benson back to Triple-A, but the left-handed hitting outfielder has been playing much better lately.

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