While some teams in Major League Baseball are choosing to use some of their 60-man player pool roster spots for developmental purposes of top prospects who aren’t likely to help the big league club this year, that doesn’t appear to be the case for the Cincinnati Reds. At least not yet. Earlier today they unveiled their roster, which featured only 57 players. That leaves open three spots that they could fill with prospects (or veteran free agents) if they want to.

“The group that will be at the alternate site will include a few of our prospects, I guess you could say a few of the players that are further off that we would like to see get development, but we are philosophical decision is to support the team to win this year,” said Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams earlier this week about the potential breakdown of the teams roster.

Looking at the roster there doesn’t appear to be anyone who fits that description. Here’s the roster for the team that will begin at Great American Ballpark, and the team that will be at Prasco Park in Mason.

The Reds Great American Ballpark 60-man roster participants

Pitchers Position Infielders Position
Bauer, Trevor RHP Barnhart, Tucker C
Bowman, Matt RHP Casali, Curt C
Castillo, Luis RHP Farmer, Kyle C/INF
DeSclafani, Anthony RHP Blandino, Alex INF
Garrett, Amir LHP Davidson, Matt INF
Gray, Sonny RHP Galvis, Freddy INF
Iglesias, Raisel RHP Moustakas, Mike 2B
Jones, Nate RHP Suárez, Eugenio 3B
Kuhnel, Joel RHP VanMeter, Josh INF/OF
Lorenzen, Michael RHP Votto, Joey 1B
Mahle, Tyler RHP Outfielders Position
Miley, Wade LHP Akiyama, Shogo OF
Reed, Cody LHP Castellanos, Nick OF
Romano, Sal RHP Ervin, Phillip OF
Shafer, Justin RHP Payton, Mark OF
Sims, Lucas RHP Senzel, Nick CF
Stephenson, Robert RHP Winker, Jesse OF
Strop, Pedro RHP
Thornburg, Tyler RHP

The Reds Prasco Park 60-man roster participants

Pitchers Position Infielders Position
Alaniz, RJ RHP Peña, Francisco C
Antone, Tejay RHP Stephenson, Tyler C
Biddle, Jesse LHP Colón, Christian INF
Carpenter, David RHP Garcia, Jose INF
De León, José RHP India, Jonathan INF
Hendrix, Ryan RHP Rodriguez, Alfredo INF
Lodolo, Nick LHP Outfielders Position
Powers, Alex RHP Aquino, Aristides OF
Raley, Brooks LHP Fairchild, Stuart OF
Santillan, Tony RHP Jankowski, Travis OF
Smith, Josh D LHP Powell, Boog OF
Schebler, Scott OF

Looking at the Prasco Park roster, which seems to be the guys on the outside looking in at making the team for opening day, there’s no one on the list who wasn’t already pegged for either Double-A or Triple-A this season. All of the players here are guys that in a normal year would have been a good stretch performance and a big league injury or lack of performance away from getting called up.

The Oakland Athletics are bringing in a 17-year-old who has never played a professional game before to get him development time. The Reds are going in the opposite direction. Obviously some of this comes down to believing that you are contending versus perhaps not believing that. Cincinnati believes they are in it to win it. Stacking the roster with guys you believe can all help you out in 2020 makes more sense for them than for a team who doesn’t think they are really a contender.

With that said, there are spots open. Hunter Greene was recently throwing 102 MPH in a bullpen session. As the organizations top prospect, having him working with your staff makes so much sense. That’s the one player, more than any other, that I had expected to see listed that isn’t currently on the roster. It’s certainly possible he could be added down the line, but it just felt like this one was an easy one to make. Reds General Manager Nick Krall had this to say about Hunter Greene’s non-inclusion on the roster for now:

Of course, this is all not to say there aren’t prospects on the Reds roster. There are more than a few guys that are Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospects on the roster. There just aren’t any guys there who seem to be there for true developmental only purposes. Everyone that is on the list truly could be a player who figures to be capable of performing in the big leagues in one way or another during the 2020 season. Dick Williams quote earlier this week left me with the impression we could see a few guys from the lower levels make it to the roster simply to get time on the field. I guess that could still happen, but as of now, it hasn’t.

19 Responses

  1. Krozley

    I was surprised Dietrich wasn’t added. He looked good in the spring and I thought had a 26-man spot locked up. I guess that means Payton will make the team. I also heard Trahan chose to retire. I’m thinking the lower level prospects will get time in Arizona in an extended fall league, so I’m not too concerned they were not included this time.

    • Oldtimer

      Dietrich can still be added (so say the Reds).

      • MK

        Glad Dietrich is gone. I thought it would come down to he and Van Meter and Van Meter is the future not the past. When I coached I would cut a Senior if a underclassman had equal ability. Chances were the underclassman would get better and a Senior is what he is. Same with Dietrich.
        I kind of thought Aquino would have a though time when they signed Castellanos.

      • Oldtimer

        True story. Lifelong friend (and big Reds fan) Mark Teipel was senior LHP at Joliet West HS (near Chicago) in 1965. His coach cut him in favor of a gangly sophomore LHP. The coach said he thought Teipel was better now but the sophomore had more potential.

        The name of the sophomore? Larry Gura. Future MLB pitcher.

    • IndyRedsFan

      Here’s my guess on Dietrich. Like a lot of guys who’ve played in the majors, but signed a minor league contract, he probably has an opt out clause.

      The Reds likely initially assigned him to Prasco Park, and let him know that they couldn’t guarantee and opening day roster spot.

      With that, they’ve given him some time to see if he can find a better opportunity. If he does, they let him opt out now. If he doesn’t, then he commits to not opting out and they assign him to Prasco.

  2. MBS

    1 Naughton, shocked he missed the list
    2 Green, surprised he missed the list
    3 (Ervin, Aquino), sad they are not flipped on the list

    Overall it’s what everyone probably expected. I just have a few disappointments. We will see how it develops with the 3 open spots. I am guessing they are waiting to see who gets cut by other teams before adding the final 3 players.

    • Jack Noble

      Leaving 3 open spots creates flexibility, but I agree with you, it’s what everyone pretty much expected. I’d hoped to see Hunter Greene on his way up, but they must have a reason not to.

    • BK

      Personally, I prefer Ervin. He’s more consistent and the perfect platoon compliment to Winker. Aquino has more potential, but he seems very susceptible to breaking pitches low and away (perhaps his open stance?) … just a guess.

      • MK

        Think they found the hole in his swing the last two weeks of the season and in Spring Training.

    • Norwood Nate

      I believe Ervin is out of options and Aquino is not. Plus as has been mentioned, Ervin makes a great platoon option the way he hits LHP.

      • MBS

        I’m not worried about losing a player if there is a better option. I feel Aquino is a better option than Ervin.

      • Norwood Nate

        You may not be concerned, but the Reds appear to be. Just trying to give you a reason why Ervin is up and Aquino is not. Personally I prefer Ervin because of his platoon splits and ability to play all three spots. I still like Aquino but he’s got to adjust to the league’s adjustment to him and figure out how to lay off those low breaking pitches.

      • MBS

        I wasn’t trying to argue that point. I understand Ervin is out of options, and that could give him an edge over another player. I was arguing the more philosophical point of putting the best product on the field. Message boards like this were designed for such debates.

  3. DaveCT

    My first reaction is the number of ASAA pitchers. Seems more than needed for a short season. I do recognize cuts can and will happen. I’d rather stash a few high upside guys among the AAAA guys and use them as needed, hopefully not too much.

  4. MK

    I have seen nothing about Brandon Finnegan. Anybody know anything about him?

    • Doug Gray

      He’s still under contract. But he was in minor league camp this spring.

  5. Norwood Nate

    While I expected Lodolo to be able to contribute later in the year, he’s the only guy on the list that I wasn’t sure if he would have started the year at AA.

  6. Michael Parker

    I think this team is really going to miss Josiah Grey. ESPN is saying that he may be the best arm in their farm. Also, have to give Hunter an invite. Needs to pitch in actual meaningful situations. Hope he plays a part in the latter part of the 2021 season.