Spencer Steer's hot start should have David Bell considering Reds lineup changes

Though he may not want to, David Bell needs to make some adjustments.
Cincinnati Reds left fielder Spencer Steer (7) bats
Cincinnati Reds left fielder Spencer Steer (7) bats / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
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It's easy to be critical of David Bell's lineup choices. If you don't believe that, just log on to X (formerly Twitter) for about five minutes after the Cincinnati Reds social media team releases the batting order to an upcoming game.

A manager's lineup has been, and always will be, a point of contention among fans. Bell was asked about a potential lineup change following the Reds 7-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night, and Cincinnati's skipper said, "I'm not looking to spark anything. I trust our guys. I trust where we are."

Bell also said that he's not looking to shake things up. That's all well and good, but keeping Spencer Steer down in the No. 7 hole when he's been your most consistent hitter to start the season seems a bit foolhardy.

Spencer Steer's hot start should have David Bell considering Reds lineup changes

Steer was batting in the No. 2 hole on Wednesday night, but that was because the Reds were facing a left-hander in Wade Miley. Bell has been consistent about loading up on right-handed bats when facing a southpaw, and Steer has been hitting behind leadoff hitter Jonathan India. But Will Benson is occupying that spot when a right-handed pitcher is on the bump.

Steer, who was just named NL Player of the Week, leads the Reds in almost every major hitting category. Steer is first on the team in hits, RBI, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS. Steer has a .444 batting average and 1.331 OPS against right-handed pitchers. Benson is hitting just .188 with a .650 OPS against right-handed pitching.

In fact, the trio of Benson, Jeimer Candelario, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand are all hitting below .200 against right-handed pitchers and collectively have 37 strikeouts between them. Elly De La Cruz has gone down on strikes 11 times against right-handers this season, but he's also .321 with a 1.081 OPS.

Though Bell seems unwilling to shuffle the Reds lineup, he may have no choice. Looking at the numbers, the Reds may want to move Steer and Jake Fraley up in the batting order and shift Benson, Candelario, and Encarnacion-Strand down.

Having taken the position he did during Wednesday's postgame interview, Reds fans should not expect to see Bell make any changes immediately. But if the Reds' bats don't wake up during the team's road trip to Chicago over the weekend, a change may be in order.

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