Jonathan India has officially made the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster. While the entire roster is not out yet – we’ll post it once it is available, though it’s not expected until Thursday as the team is waiting on a decision about Joey Votto and whether or not he’s ready to begin the season on the active roster (first reported by C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic) – we have learned much of the roster through various reports. For Jonathan India, we learned it unofficially when Eugenio Suárez spoke about him earlier this afternoon with the media, saying “that’s why he made the team” at one point. The team officially announced the move just before 2pm ET.

“It’s a crazy feeling,” said India of making the team. “It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was 4-years-old playing this game. To be in this position right now still hasn’t hit me. It won’t really hit me until tomorrow when we’re under the lights and playing. It’s a blessing. I’m not going to let this opportunity slip. I’m going to be here for a while.”

For anyone who paid attention during spring training, this isn’t a surprise. While heading into camp, Jonathan India wasn’t in the position to make the roster, once the team decided to try and go with Eugenio Suárez at shortstop, sliding Mike Moustakas to third, it opened up second base. Nearly every day moving forward from that point it was India starting at second base. The team had a clear plan at that point to get both India and Suárez time up the middle together.

“We’re pretty comfortable together,” India said of he and Eugenio Suárez. “We’re both athletes, so we mesh pretty well. We both played third, we’re both smart infielders as well. We know how to communicate – we’re pretty solid up the middle for now.”

March went well for Jonathan India at the plate, too. He wound up getting into 22 games in spring training and racked up 59 plate appearances, hitting .313/.441/.604 with five doubles, three homers, two steals, seven walks, and he struck out 12 times. He was also hit by four pitches.

For Jonathan India, he credits his time at the alternate site last year as a big piece of his development and getting him ready to take the steps he has and be ready to play in the big leagues this year.

“I was definitely more comfortable this spring playing out there,” India said. “The alternate site helped me a lot, preparing myself, my body, my mental state. It gave me a different look at the game being in that position. I worked on a lot of things there and you can ask the people that were there that I grinded really hard there and I think it made me more prepared for this, mentally, and at the plate and in the field. I just felt very comfortable. The alternate site played a huge role in that and making me more comfortable this year.”

Kudos to the Cincinnati Reds for not playing games with service time here. The team has said this spring that they would pick the 26 best players to go with, not worrying about options and or service time. It seems like they are sticking with that. The team could have “gotten an extra year” down the line of control by keeping Jonathan India in the minors/alternate site for two weeks and then calling him up. They didn’t do that. And with how the division projects, those two weeks could be very important as the race seems to be 1-4 games different between many of the projection systems spots in the NL Central between 1st and 4th place.

25 Responses

  1. DaveCT

    And while he’s still quite a ways away from it, he is also on the path to the best hair in baseball, too. Dare say, Eckersley-like.


  2. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Just who had made the opening day roster? Any idea? I don’t want any of the “I believe they should make it”. I want 99% “out of the realm of possibility”.

    • Doug Gray

      We know the full pitching staff: Castillo, Mahle, Hoffman, De Leon, Miley are the starters (in that order). The Bullpen: Antone, Bedrosian, Doolittle, Fulmer, Garrett, Perez, Romano, Sims.

      The position guys we don’t know yet. C. Trent Rosecrans reported earlier that the team is waiting until tomorrow to know the status of Joey Votto (is he ready to play or does he believe he needs a few more days) before finalizing things.

      It’s clear that Barnhart and Stephenson are the catchers. India, Moustakas, Suarez, Farmer, Castellanos, Senzel, Winker, Naquin, and Aquino (assuming the report was correct) are on the team.

      That leaves 2 spots. One would go to Votto if he’s healthy. The other would be for Blandino, Schrock, or Payton.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Got it. Thank you.

        Boy, I would love to see Blandino get his chance. I feel like he should get/deserve it. I mean, he’s put the time in with the club. But. . .

        Payton and Schrock are both left-handed bats. It would be nice to have those coming off the bench.

      • Matt O'Neal

        The Reds posted a picture on facebook of Aquino at GABP for their workout/scrimmage, so the report is probably correct.

  3. docproc

    “Kudos to the Cincinnati Reds for not playing games with service time here.”
    Yep, yep, yep.

  4. Rex

    looks like Blandino in the last spot with Shrocky on the dl?

  5. Gonzo Reds

    Can we bat him second and Joey seventh? Senzel/India on base with speed could really mess with the opponents SP and give our mashers more mistake pitches to mash.

    I know that’s a lot to ask considering who’s making out the lineup card…

    • JayTheRed

      Let Votto have his chance higher in the lineup for on-base reasons but if he is not producing I totally like your idea after the first two or three weeks.

      • MuddyCleats

        Reds have been missing a true LO hitter and speed at the top of the order for some time. Of course Hamilton could run, but struggled to get on. Why not Votto in the 3 hole w/ those two hitting 1 & 2? My guess is Senzel and India will hit near the bottom to eliminate too much stress on either one. I could see SP hitting 8th and one of those guys in the 9 hole too?? Barnhart most likely hits in front of the SP? Not sure that works as well w/ Stephenson in the line up?

    • Tomn

      As well as Winker has been hitting the ball late in spring training, he has to be near the top of the order.

  6. Homer (Not Bailey)

    With his hat on it looks like he’s sporting a mullet. Please let it be so.

    • Grand Salami

      It’s a Niagara Falls mullet too.

      May it be so.

  7. SteveO

    Would like to see Bell put out a R-L lineup with India batting 7th.
    Senzel, JV, Castellanos, Moose, Suarez, Winker, India, Barnhart, P.
    If JV not producing, flip flop with Winker. Senzel on 1st, lefty at the plate is better for stolen base attempt. Utilize speed to hopefully tack on some runs before our P comes out in the 1st. Go Reds!

  8. Ahimsa

    OD gonna be a fun time for Stephenson and India, and their families and friends

  9. SteveO

    Interesting to see the Reds website has Castillo, Mahle and Hoffman in the St.Louis series and DeLeon and Miley in the first 2games of the Pittsburgh series that follows. Looks like they will give the starters some extra rest between starts at the beginning of the season.

  10. L.A. Red

    Doug, I think you left off that India also hit 2 or 3 dingers during March too!

    • Doug Gray

      I sure did! (Homer Simpson into the bushes dot GIF)

  11. LDS

    I saw elsewhere that the last time a Reds rookie started at 2nd base on opening day was Pete Rose in 1963. Maybe lightening will strike twice. Nah, but it would be cool if it did.

    • west larry

      I’ll take a Rose-like rookie that doesn’t sprint to first on a walk, but otherwise has eighty percent of Rose’s talent.

      • LDS

        I never minded the sprinting to first on a walk. But, I’d be happy if any of the young guys showed 80% of a Rose or a Bench.

  12. 2020ball

    The Reds are the only team I can think of that I’ve ever seen not leave a guy like India in AAA for 2 weeks. Very commendable of them.

  13. DDRedsfan

    Opening Day is here!!!! Here’s to the excitement and thrills that come with the hopes that the Reds will be good this year. Always get excited for opening day, even when I don’t like the moves made by the front office. It’s a new year and a new beginning. Let’s go Reds!!!