The Cincinnati Reds had their biggest cut day of the spring on Saturday. Before the game against the San Francisco Giants the team announced that they had placed right-handed reliever Tejay Antone on the 60-day injured list. He’s going to be out all of the 2022 season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. They also announced that they had sent 12 players to minor league camp.

Players Optioned

The Reds optioned catcher Mark Kolozsvary and infielder Alejo Lopez to Triple-A Louisville. As a reminder – the fact that they were optioned to Triple-A does not necessarily mean that is where they will begin the season. It does seem likely that is where they will begin, though.

Players re-assigned to minor league camp

Cincinnati also re-assigned 10 others to minor league camp. Unlike the players who were optioned, these players are not on the 40-man roster and were non-roster invitees to camp. Left-handed pitcher and #6 rated prospect Brandon Williamson, and right-handed pitchers Zack Godley, Joel Kuhnel, and Connor Overton were sent to the minors. Shortstops Matt McLain – the #7 rated prospect – and Miguel Hernandez, catchers Chris Okey and Chuckie Robinson, as well as outfielders Trey Amburgey and Ronnie Dawson were also sent back minor league camp.

What some of the moves tell us

The spot on the roster to back up Tyler Stephenson was assumed to be between Aramis Garcia and Andrew Knapp, and with the moves today that becomes official with just the three of them remaining in big league camp as catchers.

Brandon Williamson, who just arrived in the trade with the Seattle Mariners, posted a 3.39 ERA in 19 starts last year between High-A Everett (6 starts) and Double-A Arkansas (13 starts), appeared to have an outside shot at the rotation. He’s now back in the minors and there’s one less (but still many) in the conversation for what appears to be three open spots in the rotation to begin the season.

There are still 50 players remaining in camp, including outfielder Tommy Pham who officially signed his contract this afternoon. He’s one of 8 players in camp that are outfielders, with only Albert Almora Jr. not being on the 40-man roster among that group. The team will have some tough decisions to make with regards to the outfielders that make the opening day roster.

23 Responses

  1. Hotto4Votto

    The OF situation will be interesting to follow. I think a case can be made that Senzel, Naquin, Pham, and Fraley are our top 4 options. But Aquino and Akiyama can’t be optioned. And carrying 6 OF’ers isn’t going to fly when we’re down to 26 man roster.

    Wonder if Akiyama would take an AAA assignment if he was informed it was either that or cut completely?

    • Josh G

      I like Fiedl over both Shogo or Aquino, but He’ll probably start the year as the starting left fielder for louisville ( Almora in center down there)

    • Brian Rutherford

      I agree with Josh G here. T.J. Friedl looks good and should get consideration for the last spot

    • 2020ball

      Aki’s contract stipulates that he cant be sent down without his consent, so Id be extremely surprised if he chose that route. I’d personally just ask to be waived and hopefully sign elsewhere, the money on the contract is his no matter what.

    • MK

      Akiyama has never been optioned. Why can’t he be optioned?

      There is going to need somebody to be DFAed or placed on 60-dayIL to add one of the catchers.

  2. Kevin Patrick

    All will depend on health of course…and the Reds might find themselves adjusting health to roster moves…(and I mean in that order). As I look at the “infielders” on the 40 man, I see 7 guys who will come north. (Farmer, India, Moran, Moustakas, Shrock, Solano, and Farmer). No Barrero for now…assuming they take Garcia…that’s 8. I only see room for 5 more guys right?! (Senzel, Naquin, Pham)…that’s 3 more… So…I see them making a decision based upon how well the infielders hit for power on who they carry for those last 2 outfield spots. One of those spots goes to a fielding first outfielder for sure. I would say that battle is between Almora and Akiyama. The other battle is between Aquino and Fraley. Honestly, I’m not even sure how much it matters which they pick. If three of those start to tear the cover off the ball, they might keep them and pray for rain in April so they can carry fewer pitchers.

    • Chris

      Why would this team keep Moran over one of the right handed hitters. I can’t imagine that they would Keep Moran over Aquino for example. They may, but it makes no sense at all.

    • Rod Andrews

      I suspect Votto will come north with the infielders!

    • MK

      Garcia? The catcher? One of two will be there.

  3. TheCoastMan

    Thus far, based on performance I like Senzel, Naquin, Pham, and Fraley, but with Senzel’s injury history, I can’t see him lasting very long out there. I wouldn’t missed a minutes sleep if we just cut Akiyama loose. Watching him this spring just reinforces the fact that he doesn’t belon on a MLB team.

    I hope to see a more settled lineup next Saturday when I go to the Padres game. I know, I’m a weak, lilly livered hopeless fan, but I couldn’t help myself. Yes, wife and I are going to Goodyear next Saturday.

    That said, I ordered one of those “Sell the Team, Bob” t-shirts (https://theriverfront.myshopify.com/products/sell-the-team-bob-1), which I plan on wearing to the game if it gets here in time.

    • 2020ball

      I’m not sure why you’d be embarrassed to say you’re going to spring training to see your favorite team, that sounds awesome and I’m super jealous. Hope y’all have a blast. Also hope the shirt arrives in time lol.

      • TheCoastMan

        Not so much embarrassed, but weak because I’ve been swearing I would boycott them this year and it didn’t last 2 weeks.

    • Rod Andrews

      I wonder if Shogo could be sold back to Japan?

    • MK

      Well he is sitting beside dugout today.

  4. Arley Ray Cope

    Love to see them ship Aquino to Denver maybe for someone needing a scenery change. Can you imagine him at Coors? They gotta find a trade for akiyama, even if they gotta throw in a prospect. After last cuts they can probably pick up a 4 or 5 outfielder better than current options.

    • MK

      Why would anyone trade for Aquino or Akiyama if someone else is going to cut guys better than them and they can be had without a trade.

  5. MK

    Think they kind of screwed up Akiyama from the beginning. The marketing people made such a big deal out of him being the 1st, etc.He should have started at AAA to get his feet on the ground rather than serving as a part timer with limited at bats on MLB bench. He might have had the opportunity to have some success which could translate to bench. Would like to see them try to sell his contract to a Japanese team and allow him to go home.

  6. Kevin Patrick

    Yea…I guess he’ll make the cut. I have no idea what I missed.

  7. MK

    Seems like an overload of catchers at the top of the system. Koloszvary, Oakey, and with Knapp or Garcia at AAA. Robinson probably deserves to be as well. Yang and Free were in High A last year as well as Nelson for a few games which means could go to AA.

    • Greenfield Red

      I just wish Kolo and Okey would hit more.

  8. Redsvol

    I’m not sure why but C. Trent over at the Athletic has relievers Buck Farmer, Zack Godley and Kyle Zimmer making the Reds 28 out of spring. I can’t see this happening. These 3 plus one of the non-roster catchers making it means adding 4 to a full 40 man roster meaning 4 cuts. I can squint and see maybe 2 kicked off the 40 man (Hendricks, Duarte) but not 4. There are some good dudes on that 40 man roster this year compared to previous years. C. Trent must be seeing something in person that we can’t.

  9. HOOF HEARTED

    Sorry in advance for my ignorance but is Moreta hurt I’ve only seen him in boxscore for 1 inning or did I miss another appearance thx to anyone who can help answer me

    • Doug Gray

      He’s scheduled to pitch tomorrow night as well as Wednesday night (as of now).