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.
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.