This Reds player could greatly benefit from Joey Votto's early-season absence

Cincinnati Reds center fielder Will Benson.
Cincinnati Reds center fielder Will Benson. / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

We're four games into Cactus League play and Joey Votto has yet to take the field. More and more it would seem that the six-time All-Star may not be fully recovered from the shoulder surgery Votto underwent last August.

While Votto missing out on Opening Day is far from ideal, it will provide opportunities for other players on the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster.

One such player is outfielder Will Benson. Cincinnati was chastised all offseason for its lack of activity, but the underrated acquisition of Benson may prove to be quite fruitful.

Reds OF Will Benson will greatly benefit from Joey Votto's early-season absence.

The Cincinnati Reds received Will Benson from the Cleveland Guardians in exchange for outfield prospect Justin Boyd and a player to be named later. Benson made his major league debut last season, appearing in 26 games and hitting just .182/.250/.200 in 55 at-bats.

But don't let those numbers fool you - Benson is very talented with tremendous athelticism, above-average speed, and a lot of power. With Joey Votto currently out of the Reds lineup, Benson offers David Bell something that very few others can - a left-handed swing.

With Votto on the shelf at the moment, Benson, Michael Siani, Jake Fraley, and TJ Friedl are the only left-handed hitting on the Reds 40-man roster. Elly De La Cruz is a switch-hitter, but it's very unlikely that the Reds top prospect will break camp with the big league club.

It also seems unlikely that Siani will be on the Reds Opening Day roster as well. While Siani is a supremely-talented defender, the former fourth-round pick still has some work to do in the batters' box before becoming a regular in the Cincinnati lineup.

But without Joey Votto, the need for an additional left-handed bat on the Opening Day roster could be very beneficial for Will Benson. There's a chance that Nick Senzel will miss the start of the 2023 season, and that too will bode well for the 24-year-old.

Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell may not have many left-handed options, but could go with an all left-handed-hitting outfield on Opening Day with Will Benson, Jake Fraley, and TJ Friedl. If Joey Votto is out of action for an extended period of time, Wil Myers may handle first base duties in the interim.

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