The Cincinnati Reds certainly waited until the last minute to set their roster for 2023 Opening Day, but with five hours to spare before the first game of the season they did just that. There were a whole lot of roster moves needed to make it happen, too.
The Reds added pitchers Derek Law and Alex Young to the 40-man roster. They also added utility-man Jason Vosler. Cincinnati recalled outfielder Stuart Fairchild from Triple-A. In order to add Law, Young, and Vosler to the 40-man roster the team designated Nick Solak for assignment and placed pitchers Tejay Antone and Justin Dunn on the 60-day injured list.
The team also placed Nick Senzel and Joey Votto on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Monday. Pitchers Tony Santillan, Lucas Sims, and Luke Weaver were all placed on the 15-day injured list retroactive to Monday. At least some of them are expected to be with the Louisville Bats tomorrow when they open up their season.
All of that leaves us with this as the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster:
|Hunter Greene||Curt Casali|
|Nick Lodolo||Luke Maile|
|Graham Ashcraft||Tyler Stephenson|
|Luis Cessa||Jose Barrero|
|Fernando Cruz||Kevin Newman|
|Alexis Diaz||Spencer Steer|
|Buck Farmer||Jason Vosler|
|Joel Kuhnel||Will Benson|
|Derek Law||Stuart Fairchild|
|Reiver Sanmartin||Jake Fraley|
|Alex Young||TJ Friedl|
That roster is likely to see plenty of changes on it within the first month of the season. All of the players on the injured list – except those on the 60-day injured list – are expected to begin rehab soon with the Louisville Bats and without any set backs should return within a few weeks. As of now, the team is going to be missing a few household names as they welcome in the Pittsburgh Pirates to open up the first series of the year.
A little disappointed that Henry Ramos was not on the roster, but understand why they put Vosler on. He may be the one to go, or Fairchild, when Joey is activated.
Likely Fairchild goes down to AAA when Joey is activated.
Given the 10 and 15-day designees, this is pretty much what we expected. It puts Vosler and Fairchild back in L’Ville by late April when Joey and Lil’ Nick complete their extended ST rehab assignments.
Clock is ticking to the first pitch. And then, of course, the clock WILL tick for every pitch.
Some head scratchers for me in Bell’s lineup:
Vosler batting in the five hole
Benson in LF and Friedl in CF
(Those two should be swapped in my opinion)
Glad to see Barrero starting at short and Friedl starting.
Where you find it?
Reds Twitter page
Vosler had an OPS+ of 127 last season and was better against RHP.
Did Benson play anywhere but CF in spring. I only remember him in CF.
I remember him playing some RF but I don’t recall any LF, if he did. He should be fine there. I just think he would handle CF a little better than Friedl. Faster and better arm.
Wasn’t he the guy in left who lost a ball in the sun that nearly hit him in the head? (And then later lost another in the sun that was fortunately a home run, so it couldn’t hit him in the head.)
Benson played three games in LF during ST plus both of this week’s intrasquad games. Benson also made ten starts in CF.
Friedl made twelve starts in CF during ST plus two more during the intrasquad games.
In the minors Benson played in the OF 489 G, 60% of them in RF, 23 % in LF, and 17% in CF.
Thank you BK and Tom for tracking down that information. That is helpful to know.
Honestly IMO I haven’t seen enough of Benson vs Friedl to think who should be in which spot. 6 one way half dozen the other to me
Would rather see Myers at 1B and Fairchild, but that’s probably just me knowing Fairchild and not knowing Vosler. Also I know “I must play LH/RH split lineups” Bell will never do that
One has to wonder if Antone will ever pitch again
I was hoping Krall had something intriguing going but I guess not. I agree with @DW, the lineup has the right players, maybe. But the order is odd. I don’t have high expectations of Vosler and would rather have seen Fairchild with Myers at first. It’s that L/R thing of Bell’s regardless of the batters splits. Bell is third on the most likely to be fired. Here’s hoping he beats the odds and wins that contest
Agree right players, interesting order
Surprised to see that much faith in Friedl at 2. Surprised Myers and Benson, the two jewels of the off season, are 6 and 8
For Bell to beat the odds, the Reds have to perform poorly. Wouldn’t it better to eat some more crow and watch the Reds excel?
@BK, nope. I’d endure another 100-loss season to be free of Bell. There is nothing good that can come from Bell managing the likes of EDLC, McLain, and company. He hasn’t demonstrated anything resembling the ability to develop talent. I’m looking for the long game. If Bell is here next year, the Reds are doomed.
Solak seemed out of favor–just two hits in limited ST action, among the first sent down during ST, and not brought back for any subsequent ST games. If the Reds still have a glimmer of hope that he can help down the road, now is a great time to try to slip him through waivers and outright him to AAA.
Solak came in with reports of being below average at 2B and barely average in the OF. Given that many players struggle with the bat early on, I’d speculate that his defense continued to barely be adequate and that earned him a quick demotion (or, that the batted ball really ate him up). And I do think defensive chops are a valid marker for this year’s team, especially concerning the young starters.
I actually think defensive improvement will be a good thing to follow moving forward. The exception, obviously, being Joey. But if you look at this year’s opening roster and defense: Catcher, improved; 1st, possibly improved; 2nd, possibly improved; SS, improved; 3B, (who the heck even played 3B last year?); RF, Not improved (Acquino), but likely average or better; CF, improved; LF, possibly improved.
After a really good spring Reds Rule 5 draft pick Blake Sabol getting the opening day start for the Giants in LF.
I’m fine with the roster the Ress put together but he would have been a fun player to track
Wonder what the scouting reports on him vs Maile at catcher are
If the reds wanted to keep a third catcher, and if Sabol could do so serviceable while also providing position flexibility…seems like that would’ve been the easy decision
Maile is very good defensively as a catcher … solid numbers in all metrics consistently over his career.
Sabol has made 93 starts at catcher in the minors. While it’s hard to evaluate him defensively from an internet search, he does have 13 passed balls which is quite a lot. Maile has had one over the last two years, 62 starts.
From Doug’s scouting report of Sabol, “Defensively he’s played more catcher than anywhere else on the field, but he’s probably not a big league catcher any more than Kyle Farmer was. He can handle it if you need him to, but he’s better suited elsewhere on the field.”
@BK thanks for the leg work on that – and Doug obviously
Guess that’s the answer. Reds wanted a “real” third C
The IR list is this long already. . .again? What is it with their medical and training staffs?
Steve, I don’t really find any surprises on this list, so it may or may not reflect on the training/medical staffs.
Tejay Antone, Justin Dunn, Nick Senzel, Luke Weaver are in the oft-injured group.
Votto is 39 (that alone qualifies for no surprise, but he is coming off major shoulder surgery.
And Tony Santillan and Lucas Sims are returning from back injuries.
The first thing that sticks out to me is the three catchers at the top of the list. I still think we should add a fourth. I mean doing things like walking down the steps to the clubhouse can be dangerous. Our backup of the backup COULD get hurt too. 🙂