Written by: Kenta Hagiwara

the Reds weekly update:

vs NYY 

5/19 – L (2-6)
5/20 – L (4-7)
5/21 – L (1-4) 

vs STL 

5/22 – W (6-5) 

5/23 – L (5-8) 

5/24 – W (10-3) 

5/25 – L (1-2) 

@ CHC 

5/26 – W (9-0) 

5/27 – W (8-5) 

5/28 – W (8-5) 


Current Team Leaders (pre-5/29 game @Boston):
BA: India (.290) 

HR: Steer (7) 

RBI: Fraley (34) 

OBP: India (.376)
SLG: Steer (.485)
OPS: Steer (.837) 

ERA: Greene (4.18) 

SO: Greene (80) 

WHIP: Greene (1.38) 


A tough start to the last stretch of games for the Reds as they were swept by the Bronx Bombers at home, but they took 2 of 4 from the Cardinals at home and swept the Cubs at Wrigley.  


The Reds currently sit third in the NL Central (yes, third.) – just four games out of first place Milwaukee. What’s been key to their recent success? Their young offense. The Reds scored 25 runs during their 3 game sweep of the Cubs over the weekend. And this is all happening while a top 5 prospect in baseball waits for his turn in Louisville – Elly de la Cruz.  


There’s been some question as to who makes way for Elly de la Cruz in the starting lineup when he undoubtedly comes up… and even more question as to where Noelvi Marte and Christian Encarnacion-Strand fit in… 


Between 4 infield spots, the Reds have McLain, India, Steer, Cruz, Senzel, Marte, and CES. Even with a DH, that’s too many. Nick Senzel will most likely move back out to the outfield. Whether that’s CF moving TJ Friedl to a corner… or it’s him slotting in a corner outfield spot himself, that seems like the no-brainer move.  


Outside of that, Steer seems to be the logical choice to move to the outfield. Spencer played RF during his time in the minor leagues, and with the Reds having a small outfield and a history of bad defensive right fielders (cough cough… Castellanos), it doesn’t seem farfetched to have him move out to right.  


The final question is how consistently Stephenson can catch. Long term if he’s the starting catcher, that keeps the DH spot open for someone like Christian Encarnacion-Strand or Jonathan India. If not… there’s just not enough spots on the starting lineup for that many players in general.  


Here’s how I would see the Reds line-up play long term:

DH India 

CF Friedl 

2B McLain 

SS de la Cruz 

1B Encarnaicon-Strand 

RF Steer 

C Stephenson 

LF Senzel 

3B Marte 


Absolutely NASTY lineup – but one that’s full of righties. With a power righty starter facing this lineup, a Fraley platoon would do wonders for Senzel/Steer. Barrero can play basically anywhere on the field and allows some good options defensively in the outfield with his speed and Henry Ramos provides a good switch-hitting bench option.  


Not all these guys will come up this year. I’m sure Elly does, and I’m optimistic about CES – they’re both destroying AAA competition. With Noelvi still in AA, I think he gets called up to AAA once Elly and CES make the show – and he should see the Reds big league roster as early as the 2024 season. That’s not too far away – and until then, Senzel can slot in at third or India stay at 2B with McLain sticking to short and Elly playing 3B.  


For the first time in a while –  Reds fans have something to be so incredibly optimistic and excited about. Raw, young talent coming up at the same time while there isn’t a truly dominant team in the division. Reds have what it takes to win the division this season; but even if their playoff hopes fall short in 2023, they have the talent to be favorites for the NL Central in ’24.  

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