T.J. Hopkins may all but eliminate the need for Stuart Fairchild on the Reds roster

Cincinnati Reds outfielder T.J. Hopkins
Cincinnati Reds outfielder T.J. Hopkins / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages
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When the 2023 season began, Stuart Fairchild was on the Reds roster for one reason - to hit left-handed pitching.

But Fairchild has been receiving playing time against both right-handed pitchers and left-handed pitchers as of late. However, that won't be the case for much longer.

This past weekend, the Cincinnati Reds placed outfielder TJ Friedl on the 10-day. Filling his spot is 26-year-old outfielder T.J. Hopkins. This latest roster move may all but eliminate Fairchild's starts in the outfield.

T.J. Hopkins' presence on the Reds roster may eliminate the need for Stuart Fairchild.

Stuart Fairchild is slashing a measly .200/.308/.354 against right-handed pitchers on the season. T.J. Hopkins, on the other hand, has torn up the Triple-A this season and will look to do the same in the big leagues.

The addition of Hopkins won't just threaten Fairchild's playing time, but his roster spot as well. When TJ Friedl returns from the IL (hopefully by this weekend), he and Jake Fraley will represent the Reds left-handed hitting options in the outfield.

With Hopkins, in addition to Nick Senzel, Jose Barrero, and Wil Myers (soon to return from the IL), things are getting crowded in the outfield. Reds fans may very well see Spencer Steer find a home in the outfield later this summer as well.

Because of his youth, speed, and low-cost contract, Fairchild could draw some attention from other teams were the Cincinnati Reds interesting in trading the 27-year-old. But Fairchild has minor league options remaining, and could be sent to Triple-A Louisville rather than being dealt elsewhere.

Hopkins arrived to Cincinnati without a lot of fanfare. But the former South Carolina Gamecock crushed Triple-A pitching this season. Oftentimes overlooked due to the presence of Elly De La Cruz and Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Hopkins hit .341/.437/.540 with the Louisville Bats this season.

There aren't many scenarios where both T.J. Hopkins and Stuart Fairchild can coexist on a fully healthy Cincinnati Reds roster. The question now becomes whether or not the Reds release Fairchild all together or send him back to the minors.

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