Opinion: India Heading to the outfield….you Buying It?

India to the outfield

Trade rumors are swirling around Great American Ball Park concerning Jonathan India being included in potential trades for a potential starting pitcher. Baseball Ops Manager Nick Krall told a local newspaper yesterday that India is heading to the outfield and getting reps at first and second base this coming spring training. Current Infield options as the roster sits today are below; you can see plenty of options, especially when you think about the flexibility with new signing Candelario being able to play bother corner infield spots similar to McLain, who also can play Short Stop if they ever choose to move De La Cruz to a corner spot or DH for a day.

  • 1B- Spencer Steer, Jeimer Candelario, Christian Encarnacion Strand
  • 2B- Matt McLain, Jonathan India
  • SS- Elly De La Cruz
  • 3B-Candelario, Steer, Noelvi Marte

If True who’s left out?—Noelvi Marte

Well, if Noelvi Marte starts the season in the Minors, I could see one India Starting In left field, Tj Friedl in center field, and Will Benson in right field. I would imagine Steer at first base, McLain at second, De La Cruz at Shortstop, and Candelario at third base, with Christian Encarnacion Strand as the DH. If he is capable of making a move in spring training, this makes the most sense, even though Marte is most likely ready to contribute to the big club immediately. Having him in the minors gives the club more control over his contract options.

Will Benson RF

If Noelvi Marte breaks camp as the starting third baseman, then I think Steer will move to Left field, Candelario will play first, and we see Jonathan India in Right field forming some split with left-handed Will Benson.

Stuart Fairchild RF

With India moving to the outfield, regardless of Marte or not, it most likely means that Stuart Fairchild is sent down to the minors. I think Jake Fraley will hold onto a bench spot if India succeeds with the move to the outfield.

Conclusion

I am BUYING IT and rooting for India to succeed in this new venture; the flexibility it creates for David Bell is incredible; having all the young talent and being able to play all over the field will keep the best bats in the lineup all the time. In the end, Jonathan India is a “Baseball player.” Give him a glove and let his athletic ability take care of the rest, whether that be at second base, first base, or a corner outfield spot. India might not have been a great defensive second baseman, but let’s not be confused: his .977 fielding percentage was just lower than McLain’s, who was at .980. The entire Reds’ defense was poor last year, ranking 5th worst in fielding percentage in all of baseball. Only the Red Sox, Astros, Pirates, and Yankees held the worst fielding percentages last year. This move is more about the log jam of talent in the infield than it is a defensive liability.

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