TJ Friedl's injury timeline thrusts this ill-suited Reds player into everyday role

Reds fans may not see TJ Friedl until after the All-Star break.

Cincinnati Reds outfielder TJ Friedl
Cincinnati Reds outfielder TJ Friedl / Emilee Chinn/Cincinnati Reds/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds will be without TJ Friedl for the next two to three weeks, at least. The Reds outfielder was declared out with a hamstring injury and Cincinnati placed Friedl on the 10-day IL. In a corresponding move, the Reds selected the contract of Levi Jordan from Triple-A Louisville.

This is the latest setback in what' sure to be a forgettable season for Friedl. The 29-year-old began the year on the IL with a fractured wrist, then after returning for just six games, was plunked on the hand and missed another couple of weeks with a broken thumb. Friedl's latest injury comes on the heels of a stupendous play that saw him make a diving catch last week at PNC Park.

Friedl had some lingering effects, but was back in the lineup late last week. The outfielder was reportedly playing at less than 100%, and the team made the decision to shut him down for the next few weeks.

TJ Friedl's injury timeline thrusts Reds OF Stuart Fairchild into everyday role

This latest injury will require Stuart Fairchild to act as the Reds' everyday centerfielder — a role that doesn't necessarily fit his skillset. Fairchild is oftentimes used as a platoon bat against left-handed pitching, but has struggled against right-handers this season.

A quick look at Fairchild's splits shows exactly why Reds manager David Bell keeps the outfielder out of the starting lineup when the team faces a right-handed starter. Fairchild has hit .289/.362/.422 against southpaws this season, but boasts a paltry .104/.189/.376 slash line against right-handed pitching.

The Reds could chose to deploy Will Benson in center field against right-handers, but the 26-year-old has looked awful at the dish this season. Though Benson's splits are vastly better against right-handers than lefties, a .215/.293/.419 slash line is hardly worthy of inclusion in the starting lineup.

Blake Dunn is currently on the seven-day IL at Triple-A and not an option at the moment. Minor leaguer Peyton Burdick has a handful of games played in center field during his major league career, but his stats at Triple-A hardly warrant a call-up.

Sorry, Reds fans, but look for Fairchild to get the lion's share of reps in center field while Friedl is on the IL. It's far from ideal, but that seems to be the way this season has gone thus far. At least Fairchild plays above-average defense. The former second-round pick has made some phenomenal catches this season and is worth 3 outs above average according to Baseball Savant.

More Cincinnati Reds News and Rumors