The Cincinnati Reds made 13 roster moves this evening as they began to tighten things up a little bit in big league camp. But something interesting happened that you don’t often see – but 2021 is a bit different than other years. Left-handed pitcher Brandon Finnegan and infielder Jonathan India, who were previously in “Early Minor League Camp” got invited to big league camp as non-roster invitees.
The Reds also sent 11 players to “minor league camp”. 10 of those players were pitchers. Edgar García, Vladimir Gutiérrez, Ryan Hendrix, Riley O’Brien, Tony Santillan, and Jared Solomon were all optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Solomon had Tommy John surgery in the offseason and is going to miss the 2021 season. Non-roster invitees R.J. Alaniz, Matt Ball, Shane Carle, Bo Takahashi – all pitchers, and outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. were all reassigned to minor league camp.
Jonathan India has been impressive with the Reds so far in camp. While he’s been in early minor league camp, he’s spent a lot of time on the field with the big league club, playing in nine games so far. He’s hit .286/.500/.571 with a double, home run, stolen base (of home!), three walks, and he has struck out four times in 20 plate appearances.
Brandon Finnegan has been working his way back for a few years, last pitching in the Major Leagues in early May of 2018. He missed most of the 2019 season while working at a Driveline Baseball facility to try to regain his lost velocity and work on some other things. That worked as we saw in his first appearance as he showed off a fastball that reached 94. Last season he was at the Reds alternate site. This spring he’s pitched in two games for Cincinnati and allowed two hits in 3.0 innings without an earned run allowed, no walks, and he’s struck out three batters.
Their invitation to big league camp from early minor league camp is a symbolic move of sorts, according to David Bell. C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic reports that it’s the team telling them that they are officially competing for a spot on the big league roster.
David Bell said the move to invite Finnegan and India to big-league camp is symbolic, in a way, to say they're officially completing for a spot on the big-league roster
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) March 12, 2021