Aristides Aquino has made the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster according to a report by Héctor Gómez of Z101 Digital in the Dominican Republic.

The Cincinnati Reds outfielder played in 19 games this spring for Cincinnati and hit .244/.340/.463 with four doubles, a triple, and a home run. In his 47 plate appearances he walked four times and struck out 13 times. He’s spent parts of the last three seasons in Cincinnati. In 2018 he played in one game, striking out in his only plate appearance. During the 2019 season he burst onto the scene, hitting 14 home runs in August and posting an OPS of 1.158. But he followed that up by hitting .196/.236/.382 in September. Last season he only had 56 plate appearances in the shortened season, but struggled, hitting just .170/.304/.319.

A spot as a back up outfielder could allow the Reds to utilize the power that Aristides Aquino brings to the table in big situations off of the bench. Or it could allow David Bell to pick match ups against certain pitchers that match up to Aquino’s strengths even in non-big pinch hitting situations. Defensively you could see him play on the corners in the outfield late in games, or get spot starts there – especially if a tough left-handed pitcher is on the mound with both Jesse Winker and Shogo Akiyama being left-handed hitters.

Sal Romano makes the bullpen

Earlier in the day Sal Romano informed the media that he was told that he had made the Opening Day roster. The big right-handed reliever only pitched in two games last season for Cincinnati, throwing 1.1 perfect innings without a walk or a strikeout. This spring he’s pitched in eight games, throwing 8.1 innings without a home run allowed, with four walks, and he’s struck out 11 of the 40 hitters that he’s face. His ERA on the spring was 6.48, though three of his six earned runs came as a result of a ball lost in the sun that since it was not touched, didn’t count as an error even though it would have otherwise been an easily caught fly ball. Without that misplay his ERA would have been 3.24 on the spring. The other three runs that he allowed came on March 1st.

34 Responses

  1. Jreis

    Thanks doug. I am happy with the move. I still believe that both Sal Ramano and Aquino will be key components in the next great reds team. Aquino as a 30/30 solid right fielder and Ramano as a numbes 3 or 4 starter. So i am happy they got the nod

    • Adam

      I believe that makes Fulmer the last guy in the bullpen. Blandino should make the last positional player. They need to open two spots on the 40 man to accommodate Votto and India. One spot will be Holder being sent back and the other, I suspect, will be Solomon going to the 60 day dl (tj surgery).

  2. DaveCT

    The televised game in which Romano last pitched looked like he may have revamped his stuff. His slider was sharper and moved in on LH hitters, while his fastball now runs into RH batters. I do not remember either pitch doing that, especially the turbo sinker he came up with. I’d be curious if Spin City has been of service with Big Sal, too

  3. Kevin Patrick

    I’m excited for Romano and I’m going to pull for him. Honestly, if he can just give up the occasional run and not implode…I’m ok with that whether he ends up starting or relieving. That said, he is one of a few Reds pitchers that may be more likely to have terrible innings. I think he needs a bit more late movement on his pitches to have more weakly hit balls. But, if he locates well, he’ll be more or less fine.

    I know its spring…and I’m terminally optimistic this time of year like clockwork…but I can’t help but be a tad bit giddy over Cam Bedrosian. Right now, to my eyes, he looks like the best reliever the Reds have if you need a strikeout. Ultimately, this year the Reds will need guys to not only do a strikeout…but also make it an inning or two.

    I can reasonably see how perhaps other outfielders could have been a wiser choice than Aquino. That said, I’m totally pleased that the Reds are taking him North. Aquino has the ability and strength to hit pitches that most other hitters don’t. His pitch recognition may not be as good as some other guys…but when he can get to something…he can punish it or put it in play at least. Some interview mentions how Aquino remarked that he just wanted to bring back the “fun” or something…yes please…hitting strategy=see ball…hit ball…punish eventual mistakes.

    If the Reds allowed themselves a roster spot for guys like Fulmer or Holder…who would not make the team that should? …and how important is it really?

    • RedsKoolAidDrinker

      Looks better than Garrett

  4. GreatRedLegsFan

    Roster is almost set. If going 13/13, Lorenzen will move to IL and Fulmer will be cut. As for positions players, if Votto remains in IL, one of Blandino/Scrock/Holder shall open the spot for India. In the OF, Akiyama starts in IL and Payton will be optioned.

    • Doc

      Holder was returned to the Yankees, per MLB Trade Rumors, which states it was confirmed by both teams.

    • Michael Wuestenfeld

      Peyton should not only make this team but should start. Whatever happened to out performing and out competing the others.

  5. TR

    Good moves. I hope maturity brings some stability to Romano. Aquino has potential and is important in the outfield mix.

    • Colorado Red

      But it is now time, for both of these guys, to go beyond potential. Time to show it on the field. I really want both of them to do well.
      GO REDS.

      • TR#1

        Sal Romano should have been cut. I get he has some interesting stuff but a career ERA (including minors) of over 5, a WHIP near 1.5, and 7 SO per 9 is crap. Maybe relieving full time will finally put pieces together but I don’t trust him in tight game. If he starts ever again, then Reds will be picking in top 10 in draft. Hope I’m wrong.

      • Doc

        Since he has revamped his stuff and both the FB and the slider have different movement, I don’t see the relevance of his career numbers. His spring K/IP are much better than his career numbers, and Doug has multiple times explained the spring ERA.

  6. Jimbo44CN

    Very happy to see both of these guys make the team. I still believe Aquino can be a big contributor. Optimism!!!

  7. Hotto4Votto

    Rotation is: Castillo, Mahle, Miley, DeLeon, Hoffman
    Bullpen is: Garrett, Sims, Doolittle, Antone, Bedrosian, Perez, Romano +1 (Fulmer?)
    Everyday 8: Barnhart, Votto, India, Suarez, Moose, Winker, Senzel, and Castellanos
    Bench: Stephenson, Farmer, Naquin, Aquino +1 (Blandino?)

    The big questions come once Gray and Lorenzen come back. DeLeon with a newly awarded option is probably sent down, but Hoffman, Romano, Bedrosian, and Fulmer all appear out of options from everything I can gather.

  8. Adam

    I could very much see one of them released or even Doolittle.

    • JayTheRed

      Feel like Doolittle needs an opportunity to pitch in actual games that count before we ship him off.

  9. TOM

    I cannot believe De Leon & Hoffman are starters & Antone is stuck in the bullpen. As far as I’m concerned he should be the starter behind Castillo. What the heck are the Reds thinking? Can’t they get anything right? Well putting Antone in the bullpen will probably mess him up as a starter. Also Votto should be platooned this year. His best days are certainly behind him.

    Language…..

    • Tomn

      Except antone is coming off an injury. Other than that I agree he should start. Not impressed at all w Hoffman. Not much by DeLeon. Cheapskate Reds couldn’t sign another starter. Seems this year we have the hitting but SP is shallow. Depressing.

      • Doug Gray

        If you think the Reds starting pitching depth is shallow I hope you don’t look at the other teams around baseball….

    • jazzmanbbfan

      Antone didn’t pitch enough due to injury this spring to be considered to start. He hopes, as do I, that he eventually will be in the rotation.

  10. LDS

    Everyone assumes that India makes the team as 2nd base. Is that official? Or are we giving the team credit for something they haven’t done?

    • Doug Gray

      Nothing is official until Opening Day. We’ve had instances in the past where a guy “made the team”, like he was told that he made the team, before leaving Arizona, and then didn’t make the Opening Day roster because someone hit the waiver wire and was picked up in between that time and Opening Day, and then the roster spot was needed. That’s not going to happen to a guy like India, who if he makes the team would be a starter, but yeah. At this point, as far as we know, India isn’t “official”. I’d imagine that he knows, and the team knows what the decision is. But it hasn’t been disclosed to anyone at this point in the public sphere.

      • TR#1

        Rougned Odor on MLB minimum seems like a move we would make. Need more .200 hitters with power, but who strike out a ton. I’m joking, but honestly wonder about the possibility since he comes cheap and could get extra year from India if kept down.

      • RojoBenjy

        @TR#1

        If anything, Odor’s right cross would come in handy against the Pirates!

    • MBS

      I haven’t heard them announce India yet. I wanted India and Garcia in AAA playing side by side. I think this front office, or at least when Dicky was here, were too quick in bringing up players. India did have a nice spring, just hope it’s not fools gold like so many spring training performances are.

      • Doc

        If it is a fool’s gold spring, the shuttle runs both directions. He earned the position within the parameters of needing to fill the SS position.

  11. Redsfan4life

    Does this mean Payton didn’t make the opening day roster?

  12. Frankie Tomatoes

    I will guess it will be a frustrating season for some of those who believe Aquino should be playing every day because I am not sure he will see much playing time this year. There are better options but I get why the team is keeping him.

    • RojoBenjy

      Ideally for me, Aquino would play every game through April and then reassess. If he falls flat, then we all know what kind of player he is and no one should argue if they let him go.

      If he never gets that kind of chance, a lot of us will always wonder…

      • Jimbo44CN

        True, true, he deserves a shot at being the every day starter.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        Who do you start him over? Castellanos? I may be wrong but it just seems like pitchers caught onto him after August 2019 and he hasn’t made the adjustments needed. Then again, last year was so messed up he didn’t really have a chance to show it. Personally I would start him every day in the minors for 4-6 weeks to see what he has.

      • RojoBenjy

        @jazz

        A fair question of who to start him over. But he has no minor league options left. A conundrum for sure.

        Perhaps if another team desperate for outfielders would overpay a little in a trade?

  13. Steven Schoenbaechler

    Question here –

    So, definitely, as in, 99.9% they are there, who has made the club so far? I don’t want to hear of any “he should make it”. None of that. No opinions. Who is going to be on the field or the bench opening day? How does that stand now?

    • MuddyCleats

      It all changes once injuries heel or new ones emerge! Perhaps a trade or two can take place?