Why are the Reds waiting until now to move Jose Barrero to center field?

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Oh boy, the Cincinnati Reds are up to their old tricks. I guess after watching former top infield prospect Nick Senzel fail miserably after switching positions, the Reds figured it couldn't hurt to do the same with Jose Barrero.

After spending the majority of his career on the infield dirt, the Reds have chosen the final week of spring training to attempt to convert Barrero from a shortstop into an outfielder.

The idea isn't so much a problem, but the timing is absolutely dreadful. It's not as if the Reds didn't know coming into spring training that there were umpteen major league-ready shortstops on the roster.

Why are the Reds waiting until now to move Jose Barrero to center field?

Moving one of the team's shortstops to center field is a fine idea. I probably would have gone with Matt McLain, and done so at the outset of spring training, but hey, better late than never, right?

Seriously though, what in the world are the Cincinnati Reds doing? It's not enough that Jose Barrero has 14 strikeouts in 33 at-bats this season, but now he's being tasked with shifting from a position that he's quite good at and being moved to foreign territory in center field.

Now, Barrero has made some loud contact during spring training and looks more comfortable in the batters' box. But a 42.4-percent strikeout-rate in spring training is not going to translate into success once the regular season begins.

If the Reds are truly committed to giving Jose Barrero a chance to play in center field, the team should option him to Triple-A to begin the season and just roll with Kevin Newman at shortstop.

Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell will tell you that giving Barrero some time center field is about adding versatility to his repertoire, and there's some truth to that. But if we're being honest, giving Barrero time in the outfield is intended to take out some the sting when Elly De La Cruz becomes the Reds unquestioned starting shortstop.

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