Will David Bell's lineup changes help jumpstart this struggling Reds hitter?

The Reds lineup looked slightly different on Sunday.
Cincinnati Reds third baseman Jeimer Candelario
Cincinnati Reds third baseman Jeimer Candelario / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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In case you haven't realized it by now, David Bell is a player's manager. Whether it's to his benefit or his detriment may depend on who you talk to. But to a man, the players in the Cincinnati Reds clubhouse absolutely love playing for Bell.

On occasion, however, it becomes necessary to make a decision that may ruffle some feathers. Bell has always been a skipper who seemingly favors the veterans under his watch, but a recent shakeup in the Reds starting lineup directly affects one of the perceived leaders on the team.

Jeimer Candelario, who was brought in as a free agent this past offseason, has been the Reds cleanup hitter since Opening Day. The results have been less than stellar, and many fans throughout Reds Country have ben clamoring for Bell to make a change. That happened on Sunday, but will it continue? If so, will dropping Candelario in the batting order help light a fire under his backside?

Will the Reds lineup changes help jumpstart Jeimer Candelario?

After getting the day off on Friday, Candelario was back in his old spot as the Reds' No. 4 hitter on Saturday. The Candy Man went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. On Sunday, however, Candelario was replaced as the Reds cleanup hitter by the red-hot Spencer Steer and the veteran was hitting seventh behind Elly De La Cruz. Candelario went 2-for-5 with two RBI and raised his batting almost 20 points. It was Candelario's first multi-hit game of the 2024 season.

Bell had to do something, and some Reds fans would argue that he didn't do enough. Not only has Candelario gotten off to a slow start (.182/.246/.327), but so has Cincinnati's No. 3 hitter Christian Encarnacion-Strand. The man known affectionately as CES is hitting just .185/.191/.308. Both Candelario and Encarnacion-Strand have 20 strikeouts each.

For now, it would seem that Bell is sticking with Encarnacion-Strand in the No. 3 hole. But if things don't improve by the time the team returns home this weekend, more changes could be on the way. De La Cruz, for starters, has been hitting very well. And while the numbers don't quite bear it out just yet, Tyler Stephenson is making great contact and could be bumped up in the lineup as well.

Bell will stay loyal to his guys, but it was rather refreshing to see him make this type of lineup change so early during the regular season. This type of urgency had been lacking in recent years. Perhaps Bell has learned from his mistakes.

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