Spring training began in Goodyear for minor leaguers less than a week ago. The first workouts were held on Sunday in Goodyear, and for many of the players it was the first time on the field since mid-March of 2020. Some guys did get on the field for instructional league, a few had time in winter ball in their home countries, and a few did see action at the alternate site last year as well as “early minor league camp” this spring that began at the same time as big league spring training did. Still, it’s been a long time coming for a lot of these guys to get back on the field.

With the minor league spring training roster in hand, as well as the alternate site roster – there are 147 players in total. Usually there are 25-man roster sizes in the minor leagues, which would mean that 47 of these guys wouldn’t have a spot on Opening Day on May 4th at one of the four full-season affiliates. This season, though, roster sizes have increased to 30 for A-ball, and to 28 for both Double-A and Triple-A. That’s an additional 16 roster spots out there for the taking.

I sat down and completed a rough prediction of what the starting 9 (listed 4 outfielders, but every team has a DH at least some of the time), plus the starting rotations could look like at each of the four affiliates based on who is in camp or at the alternate site.

Some of these are based on a lot more information than others. We know that Nick Lodolo, Hunter Greene, and Jose Garcia are all likely to begin in Double-A thanks to Reds general manager Nick Krall saying so earlier this week. Many of the Triple-A guys are already in Louisville with the alternate site team (I say many because a few of them are with the Reds currently as members of the traveling taxi squad out west). With the pitchers, I at least am working with the information of who is at least working as a starting pitcher this spring, so that helped out some. But beyond that, these are just educated guesses on who winds up where.

A few notes

A few players with a lot of versatility – guys like Alejo Lopez and Brian Rey for example, who can play spots on the infield or outfield – could be moved off of “the starters” list to make a spot open up for someone who isn’t listed here yet as those two could play 4-5-6 times per week at multiple spots on the field. This was just me trying to get a name on every line and there’s probably more than a few that I got very wrong. Pobody’s nerfect.

Vladimir Gutierrez is at the alternate site in Louisville with the Reds team that’s there. Two interesting notes on him: First is that he gets credit now for games towards his suspension and he will be eligible to pitch once the games begin in the regular season. Second is that while he is in Louisville with the alternate site team, I’ve been told that he is not eligible to pitch in front of paying fans while he is still serving his suspension. Looking at the alternate site schedule – the Kansas City, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh alternate site hosts don’t seem to be offering tickets for sale for their games (perhaps they are and it’s just not apparent in any way at all on their official websites). The plan seems to be that if his scheduled day to throw would be when the Reds team is in Louisville that he’ll just throw live BP/simulated games, but if it falls on a day when they are on the road (and no tickets are being sold for the game) he will pitch in those games.

20 Responses

  1. CP

    What happened to Jackson Miller? Is he still in the system?

    • Doug Gray

      Yes, he is. He’s a very young catcher. Historically the Reds have kept those guys back for Billings. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wound up in Daytona, but I played it safe on this one. 1st draft and all. We’ll see how that changes in a few weeks once they start playing a little more and I can maybe hear some reports on how everyone looks.

  2. Jonathan Graham

    Fidel Castro and Wendell Marrero would seem to be two rather large omissions. Debby Santana, less so.

    Are the Latinos going to end up in Arizona for the nonce, or are they just not thought of as big league material, Doug?

    Castro’s 22 and had put up relatively big numbers (in relatively small samples) across three seasons before last year’s pandemic. Marrero was an 11th round draft pick out of Puerto Rico in 2019 who ended that season with an OPS north of 900 (120 ABs). Santana’s had more ABs and a good hit tool at 3B over the past four years.

    • Doug Gray

      I will try to remember to ask about Fidel Castro – he was not on the spring invite list. That may or may not mean much of anything. But I overlooked him when placing guys because he wasn’t on the list.

      Wendell Marrero was a guy I went back and forth on. But he’s younger than the other outfielders, so I decided that he’s one that *could* be held back in Arizona as a look-and-see type, and if June rolls around and he’s looking great out there, you can make the move then.

      Santana….. I’m a Santana supporter, but he’s not going to play over Rece Hinds at third. I didn’t think it felt right to push either of them to Dayton, either. So that just kind of left him off of the “starter” list. Maybe he’ll still get to Daytona and they’ll figure out a way to utilize the DH, maybe Santana, who isn’t known much for his defense (sub .900 fielding percentage in his career), plays some first too.

  3. Shawn

    How will the taxi squad effect the Louisville roster? Will they just take 6 away every time they are on the road or will there be 6 that just travel with the Reds and don’t play for the Bats? Can’t really see that happening. They have to be playing somewhere to be ready if needed

    • Doug Gray

      That’s a good question, and one that I don’t have the answer for.

      Me, literally just thinking out loud right now: If the team mostly gets vaccinated, then the Reds won’t need to bring 5 guys on every trip, which gives you some leeway on how you deal with the roster. But with expanded minor league rosters, even though it’s only a few guys at the Triple-A level, it does help out *some*.

  4. MK

    Are Triple A rosters going to be expanded to compensate for the road trip taxi squads of the Reds and other big league teams. Five guys off a AAA roster could create a real issue especially since one is a catcher.

  5. MBS

    That Daytona team looks like a fun team to go watch. I might have to do a road trip one weekend.

  6. Krozley

    I think that Miguel Hernandez was not on the spring training list either, which was surprising. I hope he is still around as I think he is only 22.

    • Doug Gray

      He wasn’t. But he’s still around. Late arrival (the roster I initially posted was who was there on Day 1 – there were a handful of guys that the team knew were arriving but weren’t there yet. There are still a few travel issues that need to be overcome from some places, and the intake process can also hit a hiccup that will delay a guy a day or two as well).

  7. Optimist

    Mike Siani seems to be flying a bit under the radar – there have been several notes and comments, and IIRC he was pretty good to very good in Dayton in 2019. I may have forgotten, but was he at Prasco last year, and is there any late word on him the past few weeks? Good to see him pencilled in at AA. Still very young.

    • Doug Gray

      Siani was sort of at Prasco last year. He was assigned there on September 11th. That meant he was there for less than two weeks before the alternate site came to an end. At that point Siani went to Arizona and participated in instructional league.

      No word on him for the last few weeks – minor league camp started six days ago, no games being played yet.

  8. DaveCT

    The starting pitchers at Dayton could be filthy, Playing second fiddle to Chattanooga, of course, but there’s some talent of that staff.

  9. kevinz

    Be dialed into AA.
    Garcia Siani and Of Course Greene and Lodolo.
    huge moving Forward If all can Perform.
    Believe all could give a boost to the Reds.

  10. Matt O'Neal

    Interesting to see you have Pidich as a SP. Was a fairly dominant reliever at A+ in 2019, only started 1 game in the Reds system.

  11. AlexRD

    What are your thoughts on Randy Wynne? Think he’ll be on one of the rosters or has age caught up with him?

    • Doug Gray

      I fully expect him to be in the bullpen somewhere – my guess is Double-A.

  12. GallowayB

    Cleveland’s alternate site, the Columbus Clippers, will allow 500-1000 fans into games. Season ticket holders get first crack. Any seats left will be offered to the public for $5, I believe beginning April 14th.