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.

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.

18 Responses

  1. jessecuster44

    Option Lorenzen. He’s been bad, and perhaps it will send a message to the rest of the bullpen. You can always bring him back once he gets his head on straight.

  2. mark

    Raley and Davidson would be my votes and swap out Garcia for Galvis.
    Some type of trade to shake things up needs to occur at some point here. I would put Antone in the bullpen for now and go with the 4 man rotation of Gray, Castillo, Bauer and Desclafani. Suarez and Winker have been major disappointments so far this year. Shogo has been a no go so far. T. Stephenson needs AB’s…..why not DH him? The offense on this team is attrocious SS,3B, LF are pathetic so far.

    • Gonzo Reds

      Raley and Davidson down is a slam dunk. Can’t see them doing anything else other than that. Neither deserved to be on the 30 certainly not the 28.

      Janikowski is solid for pinch running and late inning defense and should be safe now that we aren’t going to 26.

      Don’t need a 5th starter for awhile so agree Antone up but in the pen and he can work a couple of innings at a time where needed. Lorenzen will stay up but move out of the setup role, Strop/Garrett should be getting most of those opps. Still think Kuhnel is the ultimate answer there but Reds seem hesitant to bring him up over one of the vets.

      Think we aren’t going to see Garcia and Stephenson until it’s determined that we’re out of the race which is getting closer every day in this short season. Already 5 behind the stupid Cubs and seems the whole NL is ahead of us for wild cards. Sweeping the Brewers would be a step in the right direction.

  3. Hotto4Votto

    I’d DFA Raley and option VanMeter. For this team having Davidson’s pop as a RH is something that the Reds don’t have a lot of on the bench. VanMeter’s best positions (probably 1B and 2B) are spoken for by other LH starters, and are covered well defensively by Colon and Farmer (who both offer more defensive flexibility in general) off the bench. Jankowski may not be needed much either but his speed offers a good option in extra innings. With VanMeter offering no specialty that’s not covered elsewhere he’s probably the most expendable and has options.

  4. Jack

    A lot of safe pitchers for a group that I pretty much cringe at when they come in with runners on.
    As for the hitting I think it will get better on its own. They’ve had a few slow starts, a few bad breaks with covid symptoms (that weren’t), and Moustakis keeps getting minor injuries. The biggest problem though is they’ve faced some great starting pitching.
    Hopefully they split today and get on to meatball pitchers.

  5. wizeman

    my thinking is raley and van meter.

  6. Charlie Waffles

    That’s 12 games in the books now. Right at 20% of the season. Shake things up. Make a trade. A big change of scenery trade is needed. And the Reds have a plethora of players that could use some change of scenery. Trade deadline is only 25 days away. It is getting late early.

    • Mark Moore

      +250 for the late/early thought, Charlie

  7. TOmn

    Raley, Davidson and Van Meter can all be optioned, or whatever. Van Meter is painful – I was a big fan last year but he just looks overmatched this year. Don’t know what happened.

    Would LOVE to see Garcia and T. Stevenson up here. See what they can do, even if it means putting Galvis at 2B or something.

    I’d say put Mahle as #5 in the SP. He looked very good the other night and has had good stretches. Too valuable to give up on. Worse case, long man in the BP for now.

  8. Ron

    – Agree on Raley and Davidson.
    – Go to four man rotation.
    – Lodolo/Greene replaces Reed/Lorenzen.
    – Aquino replaces Ervin.
    – Garcia replaces Van Meter. (Garcia starts over Galvis)
    – Trade bait for DH or bullpen help: Winker, Lorenzen, Ervin and Van Meter.

  9. SultanofSwaff

    Raley, Lorenzen, Davidson could be removed without issue. My biggest concern is that VanMeter killing us, and doing so with horrible body language that screams ‘I’m defeated’ before even stepping into the batter’s box. The league has him figured out and he didn’t adjust and is still lost. Happens all the time….move on. Call up Jose Garcia until Moose is ready and slide Freddy to 2B for a short stint. At least we’d get better defense in the tradeoff. I mean, VanMeter couldn’t even put the throw on the third base side of home plate from 80 feet. He’s costing the team on both sides of the ball.

  10. SultanofSwaff

    I think you have to seriously look at swapping Ervin for Aquino. It appears Ervin is solely a corner outfielder for the Reds at this point, so in that context Aquino would be rated the better defender because of his arm. More importantly, this new environment makes hitters who can neutralize same handed pitchers so much more valuable. To that end, Aquino has hit lefties and righties equally well both in the minors and majors, Ervin has decidedly not.

    • Doug Gray

      You can’t swap them unless you’re willing to let Ervin go because he’s out of options.

      • VaRedsFan

        No objection there. Why are sweating over a 5th outfielder?

      • Doug Gray

        Well, depth matters – especially in 2020. Ervin is a quality big league bench piece. You don’t just give those away.

      • Old-school

        I’ve been a big get Aquino on the roster guy. But, it does make sense to keep some credible backups in the quarantine ” bubble ” of Prasco Park.

        Stephenson C van meter 2b Aquino OF and now Antone with a reliever or 2 ready to be called up when the next round of interruptions and uncertainty strike

  11. wizeman

    wow. antone. never saw that coming

  12. Old-school

    Reds are 5-7.
    The next 12 games against Cle(1) Brewers (3) Royals (4) and pirates (4).

    If they go 8-4, not unrealistic, they could enter the crucible of the season Aug 20 13-11 and over .500.

    The 15 games starting Aug 20 will determine the season.

    StL (4) Brewers (4) Cubs (4) StL 3.

    Reds very much still a contender but can’t head into the Aug 20 stretch under .500. Bullpen and hitting need to buckle down. Suarez is going to heat up. Now is better.