The Cincinnati Reds have made four roster moves today as they finalized their Opening Day 30-man roster. The team added infielders Matt Davidson and Christian Colon to the 30-man roster, but both players were non-roster invites to camp and needed to be added to the 40-man roster. To create room on the 40-man roster the organization designated two relievers for assignment – left-handed reliever Josh Smith and right-handed reliever Justin Shafer.

Justin Shafer pitched in 34 games last season with the Blue Jays, posting a 3.86 ERA in 39.2 innings with 39 strikeouts. But his WHIP was also 1.66 after giving up 41 hits and walking 25 batters – he walked the tight rope often, but got away with it. He didn’t pitch much during spring training in Goodyear, throwing just one inning.

Josh Smith made his Major League debut last season with Cleveland in May, was waived in September and picked up by the Marlins. Between those two stops he pitched in 14 games with an ERA of 6.39 over 12.2 innings with 11 walks and 14 strikeouts. Miami put him on waivers in October and the Reds picked him up. Out in Goodyear he pitched in five games and allowed five runs in 5.2 innings with four walks and six strikeouts while also hitting two batters.

Those moves drop the Cincinnati Reds player pool down to 55 total players. On the Prasco Park roster, which I’m essentially treating as the minor leagues for this year, there are now 24 players at the alternate site. Here’s an updated look at who remains on that roster.

The Pitchers

Position Players

RHP RJ Alaniz C Mark Kolozsvary
RHP Tejay Antone C Francisco Pena
LHP Jesse Biddle C Tyler Stephenson
RHP Matt Bowman INF Alex Blandino
RHP David Carpenter SS Jose Garcia
RHP Jose De Leon INF Jonathan India
RHP Hunter Greene INF Alfredo Rodriguez
RHP Ryan Hendrix OF Aristides Aquino
RHP Joel Kuhnel OF Stuart Fairchild
LHP Nick Lodolo OF Boog Powell
RHP Alex Powers
RHP Sal Romano
RHP Tony Santillan
RHP Tyler Thornburg

The team can still add players to the player pool roster if they choose to. General Manager Nick Krall noted that would be considered earlier this week when the roster was still sitting at 57 players.

Looking at the roster for the guys at Prasco Park the one thing that really stands out is that among the 14 pitchers that are there, only Nick Lodolo and Jesse Biddle are left-handed. With the new 3-batter minimum, having a lefty specialist in the bullpen isn’t as valuable as it once was. And with the big league roster having three lefties in the bullpen right now, the team isn’t without them – but that could be an area of depth the team looks at addressing down the road if someone pops up on the market.

16 Responses

  1. Billy

    Looks to me like they could stand to pick up a couple of OFs and a 1B. Even if they’re stacked at those positions at the MLB level, they’d probably benefit from having some warm bodies who could play there during Prasco intrasquads.

  2. MK

    There is Davidson and/or Colon.

    Actually though Smith threw better than Raley, at least in 2019.

    • Krozley

      I saw Smith in Goodyear right before things were shut down and his fastball topped out at 82. He had trouble getting anyone out. Maybe I just saw him on a bad day, but his stuff just wasn’t there at that time.

  3. BK

    Essentially, the Reds went with Colon over Blandino and Davidson over Aquino. Aquino’s stock with Reds seem to have taken a dive.

    • MK

      They need infielders, they have enough outfielders.

      • BK

        They already had Farmer and VanMeter on the roster, so the Reds weren’t really in need of adding depth to the infield. I think Davidson is going to start at DH against LHP. Colon and Blandino’s hitting stats are similar. Colon is a better SS and has postseason experience–I think that latter factor may have helped him earn the spot. It will be interesting to see if he makes it past the first cut in two weeks.

      • MK

        Barnhart goes on paternity leave in a week or two and Farmer will need to stay available to catch

    • Oldtimer

      Maybe Blandino and Aquino have options left. Not sure.

      • BK

        Both have options: this year will be Aquino’s last; Blandino will have one left in 2021 per rosterresource.com.

    • Billy

      They needed the 40-man spot. If they’d selected Aquino or Blandino who are already on the 40-man, they could have just optioned Shafer instead of DFAing him. Neither Colon nor Davidson were on the 40-man though.

  4. seadog

    Doug,

    Are the Red’s really this deep??
    https://www.mlb.com/reds/news/top-prospects-on-opening-day-rosters

    I am sure you have read above link. The Red’s the only team (I think) that do not have one of there top 100 on the 30 man. Maybe I am wrong. Not sure that is good or bad?? Tell me your thoughts…

    Also if you look at the outfield on the 40 man (round they were drafted). Just WOW
    1. Castellanos 1st by Tigers
    2. Ervin 1st by Reds
    3. Jankowski 1st by Padres
    4. Senzel 1st by Reds
    5. Winker 1st by Reds

    Akiyama/Aquino are obviously out of this equation…

    Blows my mind when you thank about that. All 1st round picks.

    • seadog

      Even the infield on the 40 man–Look at where they were drafted… WOW
      1. Blandino 1st by Reds
      2. Davidson 1st by DBacks
      3. Colon 1st by Royals
      4. Moustakas 1st by Royals
      5. Votto 2nd by Reds

      Suarez/Galvis both from Venezuela–another story

      Not sure if Van Meter is OF or INf But, 5th rd by Padres

      Doug, if nothing else sticks out to you—LOOK AT THE ROUND THEY WERE SELECTED

      BIGGER THAN THAT***LOOK at the teams that selected them–there are no Yankees/Red Sox/Angels etc. Seems like most (if not all) from small market teams who draft well. Pretty amazing when you sit back and look at it.