While there are two different sites for Cincinnati Reds spring training 2.0, once the season begins there will be two “teams”. The Great American Ballpark “site” as it is, won’t exist anymore – that will just be the Major League Baseball Cincinnati Reds. But over at Prasco Park, where some players are currently training every day – that will become essentially the “minor league” side of the operation that will provide depth and development options for the team. Just like in regular spring training, though, teams need to make cuts to their rosters in order to get the size down to the roster limits for opening day. That’s 30 players this year, and opening day is in one week. Today saw the team make their first set of “cuts”, sending six players to the “alternate site” roster.
Aristides Aquino headlines the group of six players who were sent to the Prasco Park roster this evening. The outfielder had been crushing the ball in some scrimmages this week, homering twice and hitting a double – the only hit against Trevor Bauer on the day. But in a crowded outfield with plenty of options to choose from, it may have been the fact that Aquino could be optioned while others couldn’t, that led to his particular movement to the Prasco Park roster.
Shortstop prospect Jose Garcia was the only other position player in the set of roster moves today. He has been the subject of plenty of praise of late, and deservedly so, but it’s not surprising to see him reassigned given that he wasn’t expected to make the roster out of spring training 2.0.
Four pitchers also got moved to the alternate roster. Relievers Matt Bowman, Joel Kuhnel, Justin Shafer, and Tyler Thornburg all landed on the Prasco Park roster in today’s round of moves.
Both Matt Bowman and Joel Kuhnel seemed to be guys who were battling for one of those final spots in the bullpen. They both had some success last summer for the big league club in Cincinnati.
Of the six players, five of them were “drafted” onto one of the Reds Summer Series teams that are playing this weekend. Two coaches on the staff drafted a team of players from the player pool to square off in a 3-game series tonight, Saturday, and Sunday – with the winning team of the series getting Monday off. Only Tyler Thornburg, who has been battling some right elbow discomfort, was not picked to participate on one of the two teams. So expect to see some of these guys playing this weekend despite their new roster assignments.