It was announced yesterday that Jonathan India, the top infield prospect, had compiled the list of the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day. If India gets on the starting line-up, according to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, he will be the Reds’ first rookie to make his Major League debut on opening day on the second base since Pete Rose did so in 1963.
India has worked hard to get to this point and appears to be on the brink of starting their first major league on the greatest leg of all. The former Florida Gator was named number 5 overall in the 2018 MLB Draft, and its work on the alternative location in 2020 and at Goodyear this spring has put India in the spotlight.
Jonathan India wants to make his Reds debut.
This winter, it seemed like a given that the Cincinnati Reds would sign one of the top shortstops for freelance agents. Cincinnati’s general manager Nick Krall basically said that too. But when the drug went off-season, it turned out that the front office was more interested in saving money than spending it.
We saw Marcus Semien, Andrelton Simmons, and ex-farm laborer Didi Gregorius leave the freelance agent market and Cincinnati made the choice between Dee Strange-Gordon and Jonathan Villar. The Reds opted for the former, and Strange-Gordon is now looking for a new home after being released a few days ago.
Eventually the Cincinnati coaching staff and front office came to their senses and moved Eugenio Suarez to the shortstop. Mike Moustakas ousted Geno on the third base. The keystone seems to be waiting for Jonathan India to make his big league debut.
Will Jonathan India be on the Reds’ starting grid on opening day?
David Bell has always been one of those who played the percentages. We have seen Bell bench early and often in the early years on the Reds’ bench, preferring to play a heavy left-handed setup versus a right-handed pitcher. Will Bell go with the right Jack Flaherty of Cardinals on the hill with India on the second base?
I think the answer is yes, but we’ll have to wait and see. The only other option Bell could have is to approach the left-handed man who beats Max Schrock, but that seems unlikely. Look to India to find a home in the second half of the Cincinnati hit sequence and if all goes well the former first round player may take a hit in the bottom of the first inning.
Jonathan India, unlike Nick Senzel, was put on the active squad two years ago, despite the advantage Cincinnati could have gained by keeping him in the minors for the first month of the season. Mixing the infield and promoting India is a signal that the Reds are tired of losing and wanting to compete in 2021.