The Cincinnati Reds rounded out their 30-man Opening Day roster this morning, adding infielders Christian Colon and Matt Davidson to the roster. In order to create room for them on the 40-man roster, relievers Justin Shafer and Josh Smith were designated for assignment.
Matt Davidson has been the talk of Summer Camp this month as he has shown off big time pop in intrasquad scrimmages. Between his time in Goodyear in February and March, and then this July in Cincinnati, he was unofficially leading the team in home runs with six. It’s only unofficial because the games in Cincinnati didn’t count and no one was keeping official “spring training” stats for them – but we all were paying attention. The 29-year-old has hit lefties pretty well in his big league career, with a .268/.344/.461 line against them in 136 games played. Last season in Triple-A he hit .322/.407/.534 against lefties. A bat off of the bench against opposite-handed pitchers seems like a good role for Davidson, and maybe he will get a start or three against a left-handed starter during the year.
Christian Colon is about as opposite as Matt Davidson at the plate as you can get. Davidson has tons of pop but plenty of swing and miss. Colon, however, rarely strikes out, but also rarely shows off home run power. Last year in Triple-A with the Louisville Bats, Colon walked 57 times and struck out just 58 times in 582 plate appearances. With a juiced up baseball his 10 homers were the most he had hit since 2013, but he also had 37 doubles and two triples. He’s not going to be confused with Billy Hamilton in the power department, but he does have a more contact-like approach to his game at the plate. In situations for a pinch hitter where you need contact and a strong plate approach, Colon could fill that role nicely. Defensively he can fill in around the infield where you need him – though at shortstop he’s probably not a guy you play on a daily basis. That said, he did start 15 games there for Louisville last season, so he’s not a true emergency shortstop, either.
The two relievers being designated for assignment put the Cincinnati Reds player pool at 55. There are now 30 players on the opening day 30-man roster, with Anthony DeSclafani on the injured list. That leads 24 players on the Prasco Park alternate site roster. Cincinnati has some room to add players there if they would like, something that General Manager Nick Krall noted could happen later this summer if the opportunity presents itself.