Today is that day of the 2020 season when Major League Baseball teams must trim their active rosters from 30 players to 28 players. While we’ve heard rumors of the agreement being in place, it wasn’t official that the rosters would remain at 28 players for the rest of the year until late on Wednesday night.
Following agreement with @MLB_PLAYERS and approval by @MLB Clubs, 28-player rosters will remain in place from tomorrow through end of 2020 season, including the Postseason. Doubleheaders will allow a 29th player, and taxi squads may increase from 3 to 5.
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) August 6, 2020
Teams will get an extra player when they have doubleheaders, and the taxi squads for road trips will increase from a maximum of three players to a maximum of five players. The Reds are currently on a road trip in Cleveland and they head to Milwaukee for three games beginning on Friday, but only have two players on their taxi squad. The two players who are optioned to the Prasco Park roster before the game today could simply be added to the taxi squad for the remainder of the road trip.
Who sticks around and who winds up being optioned is anyone’s guess. There have been some guys who have struggled out of the bullpen, and there have been some guys who have struggled at the plate. Who has options available to be used always comes into play.
While there have only been 12 games played this year and some good luck/bad luck certainly plays into how the stats look for someone at this point, 15 players have gotten at least 10 plate appearances and seven of them are hitting under .200. Five of them are hitting under .150. Three of them are hitting under .100. We know that some of those guys are safely remaining on the roster. Eugenio Suarez is hitting .098. They aren’t sending him down. Jesse Winker is hitting .143. He’s not being sent down. Phillip Ervin is out of options, so despite hitting .067, he’s probably not being sent down after 15 at-bats and being put on waivers.
It’s a similar story on the pitching staff. Either you are one of the nine pitchers who have been good, or you are among the five pitchers with an ERA of 6.23, 9.00, 12.00, or 12.46. Options could come into play here, though. Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen are among the group with high ERA’s, but they aren’t being optioned. Cody Reed is out of options and that makes it unlikely he’d be placed on waivers after just three games. Nate Jones has an ERA of 6.23, but has a WHIP of 1.15 and he’s struck out 7 hitters in 4.1 innings – he’s going nowhere. With both Tyler Mahle and Tejay Antone in the rotation, one of them is likely going to have to move to either the bullpen or be optioned. Brooks Raley has an ERA of 9.00 in his 4.0 innings and has allowed five hits, hit three batters, and walked two more.
It will be interesting to see who the choices are. But even those who remain, some of them need to get going. Whether that’s on the mound or in the batters box – there are too many guys that are struggling early on, and in a shortened season that’s going to add up quickly. It already has.