A flurry of roster moves today, and it seems like the Cincinnati Reds are getting closer and closer to having the 25-man roster that will take the field on Opening Day later this week. Here are the details:
Reds option LHP Cody Reed and INF Alex Blandino to AAA Louisville; send to minor league camp catcher Tony Cruz, UTL Brandon Dixon and 1B/LF Sebastian Elizalde.
OF Ben Revere was released from minor league camp. #RedsST 🌵⚾️
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) March 25, 2018
Reed will be starting in Triple-A and he would be first in line to get called up if a spot opened. They want him stretched out and ready https://t.co/G18nnCNDTk
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) March 25, 2018
So LHP Cody Reed and infielder Alex Blandino have been optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Reed’s demotion isn’t terribly surprising, but it seems clear that he has at least gotten himself back on the Cincinnati radar. His control has been better this spring, and he’s starting to show a little of what the Reds have expected of him over the last couple of years. Reed will be starting for the Reds at some point this season. More than anything, I’m glad he’ll be starting at Louisville rather than relieving for the Reds early in the season.
While it had seemed clear for a while that Reed wouldn’t make the Opening Day roster, optioning Alex Blandino was somewhat less expected. Blandino has a bat and a glove that will play in the big leagues, and he’s capable of playing anywhere in the infield. He seemed like a great fit for a backup infielder.
What this transaction tells me is that the Reds think he can still be a starter in the big leagues, so they want the 25-year-old playing every day. But where? Maybe everywhere. Blandino played mostly second base last season, but Nick Senzel will likely get most of the games at that position in Louisville. Blandino has played plenty of third base, as well, and he was drafted as a shortstop, but hasn’t played the position on a regular basis since 2015.
Like Reed, I expect that Blandino will be one of the first Reds recalled when an injury occurs.
What this likely means is that Phillip Ervin, Phil Gosselin, and Cliff Pennington have all made the team, unless the Reds make another transaction to bring someone into the organization. I thought Brandon Dixon had a shot, but he’s been sent to Louisville, as well, and will presumably play on the infield alongside Blandino and Senzel. Before you get outraged about Gosselin or Pennington making the club, remember two things. First, we’re talking about the 25th man on the roster, so perhaps there are other things to be outraged about. Second:
Important thing: someone is getting sent down as soon as the Reds need a fifth starter.
— Jason Linden (@JasonLinden) March 25, 2018
Also, reliever Kevin Quackenbush has evidently made the team.
Quackenbush has been told he made the team. #reds
— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) March 25, 2018
I don’t have a lot to add, except this:
— A Jerrible Idea (@80HD_Theatre) March 25, 2018
Thursday is almost here. Barring any waiver claims or trades, we’re a few relievers away from knowing what Cincinnati’s big league roster will look like on Opening Day. The 2018 March to the Wild Card is about to commence.
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at firstname.lastname@example.org.