The Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster isn’t official yet, but manager David Bell did inform several players that they have made the team today. Outfielder Travis Jankowski, infielder/outfielder Josh VanMeter, infielder/catcher Kyle Farmer, and reliever Cody Reed were all told that they’ve made the roster, as first reported by C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic. There was also one other move announced, and it’s official – the team has returned outfielder Mark Payton to the Oakland Athletics as the Rule 5 pick was not going to make the team.

Kyle Farmer and Cody Reed making the roster seemed like guarantees heading into camp as long as both of the players were healthy. Farmer can play everywhere, seems to be the backup shortstop, and he can be an emergency catcher which would allow the team to use either Tucker Barnhart or Curt Casali as a pinch hitter on days that they aren’t catching. For Reed, when he’s been healthy the last few seasons he’s been pretty good – and just as importantly at times, he’s out of options.

Josh VanMeter is fairly versatile, having the ability to play first base, second base, third base, and the corner outfield spots. The left-handed hitter has shown plenty of success against right-handed pitchers in the big leagues, and last season in the minors he raked against left-handed pitchers, too. But he was battling with several others for one of the utility spots available on the team and wasn’t a sure thing to make the roster at the onset. Likewise, Travis Jankowski was fighting for maybe one spot in a very crowded outfield that already included Nick Senzel, Nick Castellanos, Shogo Akiyama, and Jesse Winker. Phillip Ervin could also be in the mix, and he is also out of options – something that could come into play here.

There’s going to be more moves coming soon. The Reds 60-man player pool is now down to 55 players after losing Derek Dietrich (opt-out), Scott Schebler (designated for assignment), and Mark Payton in the last several days.

10 Responses

  1. docproc

    Just saw that there will be “streaming live video on reds.com” for tonight’s game. On Reds.com, they are now identifying tonight’s match as “Free Game of the Day.”

    • Doug Gray

      Until the regular season begins, all games are “free game of the day” – or at least they have been for the last two weeks (across all MLB, except the games that have been on ESPN)

  2. Hotto4Votto

    Seems like we’re pretty close to being set.
    Barnhart, Casali, Farmer, Votto, Moose, Galvis, Suarez, VanMeter, Castellanos, Senzel, Akiyama, Winker, Ervin, and Janikowski make 14. Probably also add Blandino to bring it to 15.
    Gray, Castillo, Bauer, Miley, Disco, Iglesias, Lorenzen, Garrett, Strop, Stephenson, Jones, and Reed. Likely Sims. Probably Mahle. And one more? Raley? Is that why he was added to the 40-man?

    • MBS

      I think DW indicated he’d only have a pen of 8 or 9. If that’s so then I like your pitchers (shot of Raley), and I like your fielders (short of Blandino). If those 28 are locks, then there is 2 open spots.

      Power Bats: Aquino, Davidson
      Quality Defenders: Rodriguez, Garcia, Aquino
      Experienced & Versatile: Colon, Blandino, Davidson

      I think Davidson, and Colon get the call

  3. MK

    Well Peyton gives them a roster spot for Jones.

  4. Old-school

    Bell has said Senzel will play exclusively CF and it’s now clear with his speed he is the CF of the future. He’s not platooning on a regular basis or DH’ ing. Sure, a day off once a week. Bell has said Shogo will primarily leadoff and can play all 3 OF positions. Bell has said Winker and Castellanos both work at defense and are improving and they won’t have a primary DH. Both will play in the field. Castellanos has said he’s not a DH and came to the Reds to play OF and RF is his preferred spot.

    The starting lineup today against a righty reflects this .

    Jankowski gives the Reds speed and a CF backup and late inning defensive replacement.

    Against lefties….2 outfield positions will be manned by Senzel and Castellanos. Are the Reds really going to bench Shogo against Lefties all the time? Occassionally sure, but I don’t think they spent $20 million on a platoon player. His outfield defense is too good to have him DH x on occassion to balance the crowded OF. He and Senzel and Castellanos are long term Reds commitments- a #2 overall selection in the draft and ~$85 million dollars in positional free agency over 3-4 years, something the Reds simply don’t do.

    Kyle Farmer simply beat out Blandino. I could see Farmer getting some DH time against lefties as the Reds are invested in him as a backup SS/legit 3rd catcher and Swiss army knife and longer term player and will want him sharp.

    Ervin and Davidson will get early opportunities the first 2 weeks against righties. They need to produce as a 26 man roster is coming as neither are good defenders and Aquino is a gifted player with raw tools who still fits in the longer term. Farmer is a keeper who can DH against righties when the roster crunch truly hits in a month. Injuries and covid will certainly interrupt though.

    • Old-school

      Against lefties…Ervin/ Davidson.

    • vegastypo

      One note here, if they have Farmer DH, and then Galvis gets hurt, the Reds would lose their DH if Farmer entered the game defensively. As long as the Reds are comfortable with VanMeter at short, I suppose that’s possible.

      • TR

        If Farmer is our DH in any game this year, then we got big problems.

  5. Eric Davis Joe Morgan

    Agreed farmer should not ever be our Dh ! Against righthanders….Winkler or cast. Against lefty’s…I have Davidson and or Ervin! Excited for the very short season to start ! Go reds !