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
|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|
|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|
The Reds Prasco Park 60-man roster participants
|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|
|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|
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:
Hunter Greene left off as he finishes his rehab. "He's a guy we're trying to figure out how to maximize this year for him." – Krall. #reds
— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) June 28, 2020
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.