The Cincinnati Reds have released their Opening Day roster, which for some strange reason only has 28 players on it right now (with Anthony DeSclafani beginning the year on the injured list), though two additions appear to be coming tomorrow according to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. That leaves 28 players on the “alternate site roster” over at Prasco Park. Let’s take a look at that group:
|RJ Alaniz||C||Mark Kolozsvary|
|Tejay Antone||C||Francisco Pena|
|Jesse Biddle||C||Tyler Stephenson|
|Matt Bowman||INF||Alex Blandino|
|David Carpenter||INF||Christian Colon|
|Jose De Leon||INF||Matt Davidson|
|Hunter Greene||SS||Jose Garcia|
|Ryan Hendrix||INF||Jonathan India|
|Joel Kuhnel||INF||Alfredo Rodriguez|
|Nick Lodolo||OF||Aristides Aquino|
|Alex Powers||OF||Stuart Fairchild|
|Sal Romano||OF||Boog Powell|
While the big league roster is currently split at 14 pitchers and 14 position players, the Prasco Park roster isn’t. There are 16 pitchers at Prasco Park and only 12 position players. In theory that makes plenty of sense – you are likely to use more pitchers than position players
The starting pitching depth at Prasco Park would seem to be Tejay Antone, Jose De Leon, Nick Lodolo, and Tony Santillan – in no specific order. While the long term plan for Hunter Greene is to start, it would be very surprising to see him make starts at the big league level this year. The bullpen depth is strong, with multiple big leaguers there.
The position player crew is a mixed bag. As things stand now, and it could change if the Reds additions to the big league roster tomorrow come from the Prasco Park roster instead of outside transactions. The outfield has just three guys on it – but given how many outfielders there are on the big league roster, three should be fine as far as depth goes. Aristides Aquino seems like the guy who would be the first called up if an outfielder is needed. First, he’s got the experience, and second, he’s already on the 40-man roster. Stuart Fairchild is probably the best defender of the three, having the capability to handle center field – but on the big league roster there’s already several players who can do that, so that may not factor into things if another outfielder is needed between he or Boog Powell.
On the infield you have several utility type players with Alex Blandino, Christian Colon, Matt Davidson, and Alfredo Rodriguez. All bring different skillsets to the table that could be useful for the big league squad depending on what exactly they are looking to get out of a bench player. But you also have Jose Garcia and Jonathan India, two of the organizations top prospects. They are around for both developmental purposes and for depth options.
Going with three catchers for 16 pitches doesn’t seem too much out of whack for a sort-of-weird roster. Tyler Stephenson, already on the 40-man roster, would likely be the first guy called up if the team needs a catcher. Francisco Pena has big league experience, and perhaps if the team needs a very short term option behind the plate he could make sense instead of Stephenson – but needing a 40-man spot makes that a questionable option, too. Mark Kolozsvary has never played above Advanced-A and is clearly the 6th catcher on the depth chart behind the three big leaguers, Stephenson, and Pena.