The Cincinnati Reds will hold their first true team workouts today at both Great American Ballpark and at Prasco Park. They will be the first official workouts, but they aren’t exactly the first time that the team will be together on the field and doing some sort of activity. Yesterday the Reds tweeted out a video that showed some of the guys out on the field doing some work, and let’s be honest – it felt good to see it.

We still don’t know what the exact schedule will look like, and it sounds like it won’t be until next week that we find out. The players association approved the schedule last week, but the owners have been making tweaks to it here and there and had not given final approval just yet. Opening day will either be on July 23rd, when a few teams will open up, or July 24th when the rest of the league takes the field for the first time.

We found out yesterday that two Cincinnati Reds players had tested positive for COVID-19. Manager David Bell told the media (as first reported by C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic), as I was typing this article, that all 57 players are in Cincinnati. What we don’t know is if that means the two players who tested positive were among that group or whether they were left off of the player pool roster because they had tested positive and may be added later.

Jeff Passan of ESPN wrote this morning that it’s a big day around Major League Baseball, and not just because teams are taking the field together for the first time in over three months.

The viability of a season, we’re about to learn, depends on a series of tests, and not necessarily the variety that require a nose swab. Friday’s is a litmus test — a public referendum on the results of MLB’s coronavirus intake testing. Sometime Friday afternoon, the league is expected to announce the number of positive tests for COVID-19 this week as players and staff returned to stadiums around the country. It will almost certainly number in the dozens and could hit triple digits.

Unless the number of positive tests from this week’s intake screenings is wildly out of whack, that first trap door should be dodged. A reasonable baseline to consider is the NBA. Of the 351 players tested in the past 10 days, 25 came back positive. At that rate, baseball would return about 125 COVID-positive players among the 1,750 or so on 60-man player pools.

The number isn’t going to be small. Hopefully the number isn’t that large, though. We’re all going to find out together.

The Reds have signed another draft pick

The draft signing deadline isn’t until August 1st this year, but the Cincinnati Reds now only have one pick left unsigned. Yesterday saw them sign second round pick Christian Roa. The right-handed pitcher out of Texas A&M was one of only two picks the team hadn’t come to an agreement with, but he signed his deal for the slot value of $1,543,600. Each team has a set amount of money that they can spend before facing penalties. With one pick left to sign, the Reds have the full slot value to offer 2nd round competitive balance pick Jackson Miller, plus $271,400, if they need to. The high school catcher is the last of the six picks Cincinnati made this year that’s unsigned.

As for Christian Roa, the interesting question is whether or not the organization would consider adding him to their 60-man player pool or not. A college pitcher with a history of throwing strikes, three above-average offerings and a guy who did get in some limited work this spring with Texas A&M – he might be a fit for the bullpen later this year if needed. Some teams around baseball have already brought in draft picks from this year, including a few from high school.

4 Responses

  1. Bred

    A high school kid who makes a team’s 60 man must have a unique skill, but that must be truly demoralizing to MiBL players in that system who failed to make the 60 man.

    • Doug Gray

      The high school kid isn’t there for any reason beyond getting time on the field. It’s a development choice, not a “gonna play in the big leagues this year”, choice.

  2. TR

    Luis looks like he went to the Bartolo Colon school of conditioning in the down time. I hope for the best this year as he needs to be ready from get go. Really interested to see who last 3 Reds will be.

  3. Colorado Red

    Doug,

    Thought the Reds could go over slot by just less then 5%.
    That would increase the number to over 500K if needed.
    Or did I miss something (not abnormal for me).