2014 Reds

Final Roster Decisions

Information is gradually leaking out regarding the Reds final roster decisions. 

Outfielders: Roger Bernadina will make the 25-man active roster. That means the five outfielders will be: Ryan Ludwick, Billy Hamilton, Jay Bruce, Chris Heisey and Bernadina. As a non-roster invitee to spring training, Bernadina will have to be added to the 40-man roster. DL: Skip Schumaker

Infielders: The six infielders will be: Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier, Ramon Santiago and Neftali Soto (just announced). Soto, who plays 3B, 1B and has trained as an emergency catcher, is on the 40-man roster, but Santiago will need to be added. Chris Nelson has opted out of his contract with the Reds. DL: Jack Hannahan

Catchers: Devin Mesoraco will start the season on the DL with a strained oblique muscle. That means Tucker Barnhart will fill the role of backup catcher  and join Brayan Pena on the active roster. Barnhart is on the 40-man roster. DL: Devin Mesoraco

Starting pitchers: The Reds have announced that Johnny Cueto, Tony Cingrani and Homer Bailey will pitch in the first series at home against the St. Louis Cardinals. Then the Reds head to New York where Mike Leake, Johnny Cueto and Alfredo Simon are expected to pitch against the Mets. That lines up Cingrani and Bailey to pitch the following series in St. Louis. It isn’t clear when Mat Latos will make his first appearance, but April 9 against St. Louis remains possible. DL: Mat Latos

Relief pitchers: J.J. Hoover, Sam LeCure, Manny Parra, Logan Ondrusek and Trevor Bell (just announced). Nick Christiani, and Pedro Beato, who are on the 40-man roster, are also likely to make the staff. Bell would need to be added to the 40-man roster. Curtis Partch may have pitched himself off the 40-man roster today, walking the two batters he faced in Louisville. DL: Aroldis Chapman, Sean Marshall, Jonathan Broxton, Brett Marshall

The Reds have said that none of the 8 players who will start the season on the disabled list will qualify for the 60-day DL. Players on the 60-day DL are exempt from the requirement to be on the 40-man roster. (I’d sure be tempted to put Hannahan on the 60-day.) Any player the Reds have to put on the 40-man roster necessitates taking another player off. It now looks like that number will be three. Those players would have to pass through waivers before they could stay with the Reds organization. 

41 thoughts on “Final Roster Decisions

  1. That’s 3 tough moves for the 40 man roster. Almost all teams are struggling right now with their 40 man rosters, but if the Reds don’t make a trade with someone currently on the 40 man roster (and not on the 25 man roster), I have to think the Reds are going to lose prospect(s) very soon with no compensation coming their way.

    Then the problem will be exacerbated in a few days/weeks once players start returning from the DL and options aren’t available to send existing players back on a minor league assignment. Christiani, Soto and Barnhart have options available and can be moved for Latos, Hannahan and Mesoraco, but when Broxton, Schumaker, Chapman and Marshall (since the Reds are apparently not placing him on the 60 day DL) comes back, more tough decisions and possible player loses are facing the Reds.

    • That was my thoughts. Christiani, Barnhart, Santiago,and Beato?? Not the stuff of Champions. Hope we survive until Mes, Latos and Chapman return. Very sobering.

  2. Partch and Lutz are two candidates to be cut. Partch because he’s expendable as a bullpen guy. If there is one place the Reds are deep it is in the bullpen. Even beyond the guys on the 40-man we also have Jumbo Diaz, Lee Hyde, and Chris Manno, among others, capable of stepping in and helping the bullpen during the season.

    Lutz is a candidate because he’s now approaching another year in AA, and is not a good defender. He also is in his second year on the 40-man meaning he only has one more option year after this. Additionally, LaMarre (a better defender, better plate discipline) and Duran were recent adds to the 40-man, and we have top prospects in YRod, Winker, and Ervin coming up on his heels. There simply isn’t going to be a place for him in the near future.

    After that it becomes a much harder decision. Corcino and Guillon appear to be the next obvious choices. But both still offer quite a bit of upside still, but at the same time both have struggled mightily with their control. Corcino is listed on the Pensacola roster, meaning he is essentially being demoted. A move to the bullpen is also likely in his future. The Reds just have too many other starters in AA and AAA that are getting better results. Guillon is at least moving in the right direction, and ended his season well over the last month last year. He still has a nice K rate and as a LH would be a better asset due to the lack of LH’ers in the system.

    Ideally a trade involving some of those guys for someone that may help in the minors at some level would be the best option. But with teams having limited space and making their own roster moves, it may be a more difficult route.

    • I’m still waiting for Walt to pull the trigger on a deal for Nick Franklin. However, I’m not holding my breath.

    • If the Reds can not move one or more of the players on the 40-man roster who are not on the 25-man roster, I agree that Partch, Lutz and Corcino may be the choices to waive from the 40-man roster. I hope none of them must be removed and possibly lost (except in a trade). I certainly hope that WJ is NOT considering removing LaMarre from the 40-man roster. That viewpoint was solidified this evening after he ‘worked’ 2 BB from Bailey in 2 very good PA’s.

      For his 1st three seasons, LaMarre maintained an OBP>.350 and an OPS>.700 each season through A, A+ & AA. Last season, LaMarre was slaowed by injury during the 1st half of the season, but after the all star break, LaMarre slashed .292/.362/.431 against AA pitching. He will have the opportunity to prove himself against AAA pitching for the 1st time this season. If LaMarre continues to produce offensively like he has at every level previously, he becomes a real competative starting OF option for 2015. LaMarre is an outstanding defensive OF, including CF. If Hamilton stumbles, LaMarre may be the best option available for CF. If Hamilton excels this season, LaMarre may be the best option for LF, finally producing a killer top-of-the order lineup with Hamilton and LaMarre hitting #1 & #2, respectively, in front of Votto and Bruce.

      • You’d certainly hate to give up on any of them, especially Corcino, who is a little over a year removed from being a top 5 prospect for the Reds. Hopefully Walt is on the phone with any and all teams that have the ability to make a little roster space.

  3. If I’m the Reds, I’d be fed up with Jack Hannahan. He hurt his shoulder last spring then played all year with it hurt and affecting his ability to hit. He didn’t tell anyone. I guess one way to look at it would be to say that he toughed it out. I’d look at it differently – he played ineffective all year. Now he’s had labrum surgery and who knows how long it will be until he’s back swinging the bat with any degree of normalcy. If I’m the Reds, I put Hannahan on the 60-day DL and see if he can get it back. He’s not a great hitter even at his best. He’s a glove guy and Todd Frazier has proven he doesn’t need a defensive caddy. I’m not quite at the point of cutting Hannahan lose, but it would cross my mind.

    • I agree with you 100% regarding Hannahan. Put him on the 60-day DL and let him go through a complete 20 day rehab assignment, then evaluate what the best move is for the TEAM once Hannahan has completed a successful AND productive rehab assignment. Once Schumaker returns, Soto will almost certaionly be optioned out unless Bernadina has simply tanked during the 1st 2 months of the season and Soto has exploded during the 1st 2 months of the season. If Soto or Bernadina (whoever is retained when Schumaker returns) is producing once Hannahan is ready to return to the lineup, well…

      I do not understand WJ’s resistance to utilizing the 60-day DL until a player has exceeded 60 days on the 15-day DL. I also do not understand WJ’s reluctance to utilizing the 15-day DL when a player is injured and unable to play. The Reds still have time to put Hannahan (or even Marshall and Chapman) on the 60-day DL since it can not be backdated prior to opening day. I’m not sure I can agree with the rational that delaying Hannahan’s (or Chapman’s or Marshall’s) return by 2-3 weeks, at the most, justifies losing a prospect permanently. If it does, then why are these so-called prospects on the 40-man roster?

    • Since Bryan took over the helm, the pitchers have been much more forthcoming regarding minor injuries or possible minor injuries. I’m hoping that the same attitude has or will pervade the rest of the roster, allowing the manager, coaches and trainers a better opportunity to properly evaluate and treat such minor situations early before they become major situations and properly evaluate such situiations as major situations early and shut a player down to properly recover.

      The attitude of being open and forthcoming did not seem to be accepted in previous seasons, contributing to the situation you described with Hannahan, to the detriment of the team. The rash of minor injuries being treated on the pitching staff may very well avoid any significant negative impact on the team’s performance this season by addressing the injuries early and appropriately. Fron the outside looking in, Bryan does not appear to want any player stubbornly playing with a debilitating injury to the detriment of the team. I think he would rather trust a younger player who is 100% and challenge that player to produce rather than having to carry a veteran player at less than 100%.

    • Sean Marshall seems like another easy choice. At the best, he seems a couple of weeks from game work; and given his history. Then I’d think they want to use a full rehab stint with him pitching back to back days repeatedly before they activated him at the MLB level. That’s got to be 2/3-3/4 of a 60 day stint even with no hiccups at all; and, given his history over the last year what’s the over/ under on no hiccups in the process.

  4. Man O Man am I not looking forward to this. NEEDING to stay healthy, the Reds start w/ 8 on the DL, and most important of those is Mesoraco. Terrified to see the entire staff throwing to two brand new catchers. Poor Cingrani; this will be his 7th and 8th different catcher in less than one full season!

    That bullpen; what can you say. I feel like Cincinnati is going to need 9 runs a night to make me feel comfortable; especially with the brutal start to the season, schedule wise.

    I knew this day was coming; but I didn’t want to believe the names on the 25 man. Now, I must accept them.

  5. I find it a little bit ominous than Meso was DLed. I understand that with the backdating, essentially they could activate him very quickly once he has played several rehab games. However, with the early off days and Soto available as an emergency catcher why would they waste a roster spot on Barnhart if they expected Meso back really soon when they have Soto to fill in and could have Barnhart there overnight if they really needed him?

    • On the 15-day I believe they can back date up to 10 days. So essentially, with an off day in the first series, they could have Mesoraco back for the 2nd NYM game. It’s basically calling up Barnhart, who is ML ready defensively, for 4 games.

      • But unless they plan on starting Barnhart, the roster spot is wasted because Soto could get them through the lurch if something happened to Peña in a game; and, Barnhart could be there by the next day.

    • Maybe I should reword above and say I’m surprised they used the Meso’s roster spot for Barnhart instead another position player (for the reason cited above) and that makes me wonder if Meso is going to be out longer rather than shorter.

      • What other position player is there, that wouldn’t have necessitated another roster move? LaMarre, Duran, Lutz, YRod? At least two of those 4 aren’t any more ready to help than Barnhart. And if they wanted LaMarre or Lutz on the roster they could have added them over Bernadina when Schumaker went down. Soto has all of two innings in ST as a catcher. They probably don’t want to run Pena out there 4 out of the first five games. I would bet Barnhart will get at least one start in those 4 games.

    • Hopefully this is a sign that the organization has learned their lesson. Every game matters, even in a 162 game season.

      Oblique injuries are tricky and the Reds need to let Mesoraco heal at his own pace. Mesoraco, like Hanigan before him, would have felt that subtle push to get himself on the field and be a “leader”. Hopefully, the Reds can avoid the .079/.182/.079 line Ryan Hanigan put up in March/April last year.

  6. I’m actually not that worried about the bullpen. Maybe I’m naive. But I think Beato and Bell both have the stuff to be successful out of the pen. I am a firm believer in Price’s (and hopefully Pico’s) ability to get the most out of the staff and make the changes necessary for improvement. I have a lot of faith in Hoover, Parra, and LeCure nailing down the last three innings more often than not. I believe Christiani will be serviceable and hopefully Ondrusek will as well in any mop up/early relief roles they may fill. In fact, if I’m worried about anyone it’s Ondrusek.

    • Yeah, I’m worried about Ondrusek, too. Price (and Dusty before him) must see something in him that is not apparent to me. Yes, he sometimes has good stuff, but too often he gets clobbered. I would much rather see him go than any of the Reds’ prospects.

  7. I wish they weren’t saddled with Santiago. Clearly they had no other long term option in the entire organization should Cozart go down and had to spend a 25 man roster spot to keep Santiago from walking. Even worse, does anyone recall seeing a single kid all spring at SS who looked like he could provide future organizational depth at SS, let alone challenge for the job at some point in the not too distant future?

    All and all this is another situation to note when it comes time to evaluate the performance of the GM.

    • I wonder about SS, too, and it may be that prototypical modern shortstop prospects are in short supply, as one would expect, considering how superior an athlete a kid must be in order to play a very demanding position and be a formidable hitter. They didn’t have to hit much, years ago. Lets chip in and get a fountain of youth for Barry Larkin–the best ever.

      • This time three years ago, the Reds had three, count’em three, legitimate MLB SS prospects. One was converted CF, one was traded for Choo, and. the 3rd one, arguably the weakest of the three in overall ceiling, now looks to be the Reds SS for the foreseeable future simply because he was a season to a season and half ahead of the other two in the pipeline.

        This is why I question the judgement of the development folks and GM at this position.

        • Almost no one expected B-Ham to actually land at SS, and all indications was that he couldn’t cut it at the position. Now he’s playing in a position of need.

          I like Didi, but it’s difficult to complain too much about what they got for him.

          SS is a barren wasteland across MLB. Actual contenders like the Tigers are going into the season with retreads like Alex Gonzales. The Reds have made a fairly easy strategic decision to shift valuable resources (payroll and high draft picks) away from the SS position to other areas, SP and position players. Their success rate at doing so has actually been fairly impressive.

    • Kris Negron played 73 games at SS in 2013 for the Bats with 5 errors. This spring he hit .302/.362/.558 in 43 AB.

      Not sure why you would take Santiago over Negron since the backup SS will likely be used as a PH more than a defender. Meanwhile Santiago is 34 (nothing but downhill) and hasn’t hit higher than .225 since 2011. His OPS+ hasn’t been above 60 since 2011 either.

      Don’t understand this club’s obsession with old hispanic shortstops that struggle with not just the Mendoza Line, but the Interstate. I don’t want to see another 200 AB from Renter-Valde-Iztur—Santiago.

      • Not contradicting your points about on the field; but, in the current situation, Negron would the same as Santiago, i.e. require a 40 man move as he was dropped (from the 40 man) last season and signed as a minor league FA going into this year.

    • It makes is more curiouser that Reds didn’t go after the Cuban kid, Diaz. The Cardinals got him, pretty cheap I might add.

      • At times, the way they have handled the SS position over the last several years has made me wonder if there is someone in the front office/ development chain that has as bigger or bigger stake in Cozart’s than Cozart himself.

  8. Drive two hours and pay $100 for standing room only tickets or watch it in glorious HD from my couch?

  9. The Reds NEED TO UTILIZE the 60 day DL. Put Chapman and Hannahan on it. That would open 2 spots for Bernadina and Santiago. The 3rd spot for Bell requires a move as well. DFA Guillon, Beato or Partch. DFA HANNAHAN. I can’t believe the Reds are prepared to lose some valuable players BC they refuse to use the 60 day.

    • No one seems to think Chapman will be out that long and they need to get the bullpen arms back as quickly as possible.

  10. This is going to be ugly…I can’t remember the last time a team limped into the start of a season this banged up. ANY team, not just the Reds. And with two Cards series in the first week and a half. We could be 4-5 games out by the end of April and that’s being optimistic.

  11. What about loyalty to home-grown players? Didn’t Negron do everything he was supposed to do and then some? I just don’t get it. Turns me off. Kris Negron showed he can hit, bunt and field. More than that, he has shown incredible toughness coming back from a terrible injury. Was surprised too how well he was running. This decision immediately sours my outlook on the new leadership.

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