Today is the last day that a team can add a player to the roster in order to make them playoff eligible. If the season were to end today the Cincinnati Reds would be in the playoffs – barely. There are loopholes that can be exploited – if someone is injured then a player who was not on the roster as of August 31st can replace them on the playoff roster.
When looking at the Reds roster as it stands, there probably isn’t a ton of movement to be made. Much of the team is locked in and there aren’t many guys that even have options right now. That would mean the team would have to flat out designate a player for assignment in order to bring someone up in many cases.
There are, however, a few options that could be considered from Triple-A. Jose Barrero was just sent back to Triple-A over the weekend when the team picked up Asdrúbal Cabrera. He would provide a potentially dangerous right-handed bat. We saw in the last few days that the team was stuck pinch-hitting lefties against lefties because the bench was overwhelmingly left-handed.
The bullpen certainly has still had some struggles. We will continue to point to Triple-A reliever Dauri Moreta, who hasn’t allowed an earned run in nearly two months (July 4th), as a potential addition to both the 40-man and 26-man roster. Hunter Greene and his fastball/slider combination out of the bullpen down the stretch is certainly appealing on many levels. The same thing can be said of Graham Ashcraft.
Moreta, unlike the other two, is and always has been a reliever. He would be much better suited to step into a true relief role where pitching multiple times a week, being able to warm up quickly to enter a game, etc. would be normal for him. Greene and Ashcraft are not relievers and haven’t been as professionals. That routine would be completely new to them and they likely would not be able to step into a true relief role out of the gate and instead would need to kind of have their role planned out in advance for a bit to transition into that kind of role.
Those latter three – all pitchers – have never been in the big leagues. Jose Barrero’s big league time is rather limited, too. There’s something to be said about thrusting young, unproven guys into key roles in the big leagues right out of the gate. Perhaps you don’t have to put them into those roles, though. Experience certainly can help. But the flip side of that is that if the alternatives are guys who have experience, but are struggling and have been struggling for a long period of time, how much does it hurt to go in another direction when the end goal is to try and have the best team on the field and make the playoffs?
It feels like the Reds are going to dance with the one who brought them. But maybe they’ve got a trick up their sleeve and will surprise us today with a move that could put them in a different position looking towards the playoffs.