Today is the first full-squad workout in Goodyear for the Cincinnati Reds. Position players reported on Sunday and yesterday saw everyone get their physicals. Yesterday in the AMA there were more than a few questions about the roster and open jobs. And realistically, it feels like most of the jobs are taken on the 26-man roster.

As things sit right now, it feels like the “starting eight” is actually a “starting ten”, with the dual-headed catcher spot of Tucker Barnhart and Curt Casali as well as the four-headed outfield rotation featuring Nick Senzel, Nick Castellanos, Jesse Winker, and Shogo Akiyama making up those “extra” spots. Working on the assumption that the Reds will split the 26-man roster in half with 13 position players and 13 pitchers, that would leave the bench with three spots. But as was noted a few days ago by manager David Bell to Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer, it seems that Kyle Farmer is going to be the backup shortstop. That leaves just two spots on the bench up for grabs, so-to-speak. For me, the battle that interests me the most lies here for those two spots.

But it’s not the only place where there’s a battle. The bullpen also seems to have a few spots that could be there for the taking. With the rotation seemingly locked down with Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer, Anthony DeSclafani, and Wade Miley it’s the bullpen where the competition is to be had. Some spots in the bullpen seem to be locked in, too. Raisel Iglesias, Michael Lorenzen, Pedro Strop, Amir Garrett, and Robert Stephenson all appear to have the their spots locked in. That would leave three spots available for a whole slew of pitchers to try and stake their claim to.

Jumping back to the Reds bench – at least from what I believe, there are two spots to be had if everyone is healthy and ready to go when the season begins. Ideally, that would go to one infielder and one outfielder for the sake of balance. But with the roster as it is, there may not be a specific need for that balance. Outfielders Nick Senzel and Nick Castellanos have experience playing on the infield. Kyle Farmer can play several spots on the infield, too. That may give the Reds some leeway if they want to carry two outfielders in those spots, for example.

And it’s certainly possible that’s what they do. On the 40-man roster the only other player listed as an infielder that isn’t locked into my roster already is Alex Blandino. That’s not entirely fair because Josh VanMeter is also on the 40-man roster, but is listed among the outfielders despite the fact that he’s far more experienced in his career as an infielder. But they are the only two 40-man roster infielders. Joining VanMeter in the outfield among those not locked into the roster, though, are Aristides Aquino, Phillip Ervin, Travis Jankowski, Mark Payton, and Scott Schebler. Both Ervin and Schebler are out of options, and Payton is a Rule 5 pick who can’t be optioned to the minors (if he doesn’t make the team out of spring training he must be placed on waivers, and if no one claims him, he then must be offered back to the team he was selected from).

Essentially, there are two spots available, and more than two players on the 40-man roster who can’t be sent down to the minors without being placed on waivers. Most of the players vying for a spot can make a reasonable claim to why one of the spots should be theirs, too.

Aristides Aquino has options, and that could work against him in an outfield where there probably isn’t going to be much playing time available for a 5th guy. But the argument that he deserves a roster spot is that he posted an .891 OPS last year with 19 home runs in just 56 games played in the final two months of the season in Cincinnati. He was quite productive in the Major Leagues last year.

Phillip Ervin is out of options, but he’s also coming off of a solid year in Cincinnati where he hit .271/.331/.466 in 94 games last year. He’s capable of playing all three outfield spots and has some speed which can be useful off of the bench if and when it’s needed.

Mark Payton was the Reds Rule 5 draft pick from December. He has to be offered back to Oakland if he doesn’t make the 26-man roster, so that could certainly come into play. He’s capable of covering all three outfield spots. At the plate he hit .334/.400/.653 last season with 30 doubles and 30 home runs in 118 Triple-A games, but was even better in the second half. In the final 64 games of the year he hit an absurd .365/.427/.757 with 24 walks, 18 doubles, three triples, 21 home runs, and struck out just 33 times.

Scott Schebler’s 2019 was disastrous. He entered the year coming off of three straight seasons in which he had posted at least a 101 OPS+, but in 30 games with Cincinnati to begin the year he hit just .123/.253/.222 before he was demoted to Triple-A Louisville. Things got better in the minors, but not by much. Eventually his season would come to an end after he had shoulder surgery. With a 30-home run season under his belt in the Major Leagues, the ability to play everywhere in the outfield, and health with him – a good showing in the spring would give him an argument to have a spot on the roster.

Josh VanMeter, as noted above, has more experience in the infield than the outfield, but the fact that he can play just about everywhere but shortstop and center field help his cause quite a bit. If everyone remains healthy there’s not a ton of playing time to go around for the bench players. But a guy like VanMeter who can fill in at five positions if asked has plenty of value. He beat up Triple-A pitching last season and was solid in the Major Leagues – particularly once he started seeing a little bit of regular playing time.

Travis Jankowski may be the toughest player on the 40-man roster to make an argument for. While he can play all three outfield spots, several others can also do that – and among that group, his bat projects to be the lightest among them. And he reportedly has one option year remaining, too, which could work against him.

Alex Blandino’s best chance to making the roster is one where the team isn’t comfortable enough with Kyle Farmer as the backup shortstop. If that’s the case, the Blandino, who has played a lot of shortstop in the minors, could get the nod as a utility guy who can cover third, second, short, or in a pinch first base or maybe some outfield where he’s had some limited action in the past.

And once you get away from the 40-man roster, you have someone like Derek Dietrich. As we all saw last year, when he’s locked in, he’s really locked in. He’s got a good history in the Major Leagues as an above-average hitter, and he’s capable of playing multiple spots in the field. His 2019 was one of incredibly dramatic splits between the start of the year through June 2nd, and then the rest of the year – but a shoulder injury could explain at least some of the second half failures at the plate and after offseason surgery if he’s healthy and shows out well in the greater Phoenix area in February and March it might be tough to keep him off of the roster.

The Reds front office and David Bell don’t have an easy decision or five ahead of them when it comes down to how this is going to play out. There are good reasons to think that four or five of these guys make a ton of sense on the roster, but there just aren’t that many spots available. It’s never a bad thing to have too many good options, but that doesn’t mean it’ll make for easy decisions, either.

71 Responses

  1. Klugo

    The other intriguing story line is the OF. Castellanos is the only sure-fire every day lock. What happens between Shogo, Senzel, and Winker? Can Shogo hit MLB pitching? Does Senzel show growth? Can Winker hit RHP well enough to make up for his defense?

    Then, I will like the Ervin(Ford) vs Aquino(Ferrari) battle, too. I think Aquino’s options will send him to Louisville.

    With 26 roster spots available, do the Reds keep the max 13 pitchers? VanMeter may not be battling Farmer or Blandino. He may be battling Reed or Jones, or…

  2. JB

    Ervin is a lock unless he is traded. No way he goes unclaimed if put on waivers. Payton and Jankowski were picked up for insurance at the beginning in case the Reds didnt get any outfielders during free agency. Farmer is a lock because he can play infield and catcher. That leaves one spot. Blandino or Vanmeter. Just because they can play short in a pinch. I would go with Blandino just because I would want Vanmeter to get at bats every day in the minors. But either would be good.

    • Justin

      I like Ervin, but is there a league need for a right handed platoon only player? If he was a good CF, maybe. Playing the corners and only really being useful against lefties, I think Ervin is the odd man out. I hate the idea of cutting a first round pick, but I’m not sure we’d even find a trade partner.

      My guess is that Payton and VanMeter grab the last two spots.

      • mudpuppie

        I with you on this…. I would like to see the Payton kid get a shot…. We all know what Ervin can do…. Hits only the southpaws and defense seem to always be an adventure. Payton has to be a better defensive center fielder and appears to not strike out much. Hope he has a good spring. Package Ervin in a trade if possible

      • Rod Andrews

        Payton is very intriguing with those numbers in AAA’s. He apparently doesn’t strike out much, which the Reds definitely need. If he’s good defensively with some speed, you may be right about him making the team. A definite dark horse.

  3. Scott C

    Unless things go disastrous for him in spring training I think that Reed makes the bullpen. The other two bullpen spots I believe are up in the air and unfortunately probably going to be based on ST performance. I am hoping that for the bench that this Reds Management team is interested in what is best for the team now and going forward, not just about who has options and who does not. I believe that VanMeter and Ervin make the team. Payton gets offered back to Oakland. Schebler gets DFA’d. Aquino is sent back to AAA as if Jankowski (If he has an option left.) as is Blandino.

      • doofus

        Whatever became of Finnegan?
        He came to Cincy to win agin.
        His fastball was sound.
        Then he grew to round.
        Now fans decry he should begin agin.

      • Doug Gray

        Injuries sapped his stuff. He’s still in the organization and will be in minor league camp.

      • TBD

        Oh my goodness. Finnegan. I TOTALLY forgot.

  4. Tom Reeves

    I think there’s a legit Winker / Ervin platoon option in one of the fields (the field Castellanos plays the worst).

    That puts Aquino in AAA to begin the season. Now, if Aquino turns into the second coming of Eric Davis, that changes things quite a bit.

    Payton is interesting to me. His AAA performance was amazing, but in the PCL. Is he better than Erwin?

    And, what happens if Schebler returns to form? Is he better than Erwin?

  5. Steve Schoenbaechler

    The only battles I see are:

    – How will the OF be played?

    – Who will be the bullpen arms on opening day?

    I was thinking about the OF the other day. Assuming Ervin and Winker will get platooned in right, if Bell can assure that Senzel, Shogo, and Nick will play 2 out of 3 days, for me, that’s still not enough for what we are paying the talent for.

    I mean, it’s sort of what I stated about platooning. A guy doesn’t want to sign a contract to platoon. He wants to sign a contract to play everyday. Especially if there are payoff markers to achieve. For example, if they get $50,000 for hitting 40 HR’s, but they are only playing in 2/3 of the games, they are going to look to go elsewhere where they can have the “full opportunity” to hit 40 HR’s.

    As for the bullpen, that’s always a crapshoot for me. You always do what you can and hope it works out.

    • Klugo

      I think Ervin is the odd man out. I mean he may make the roster but I think most of the playing time will be rotated between Winker, Senzel and Shogo. Ervin or Aquino will be late game sub. That’s another reason I think Aquino gets sent to the minors- regular at bats.

      • Justin

        Agreed. Aquino has work to do anyway. He (and the coaches) need to sort out what happened in September and make sure pitchers can’t exploit it against him in the future.

      • Rod Andrews

        You almost have to think a trade or sale has to be in the works. I can’t see how they’ll be able to keep all those OFs in Reds uniforms, or for that matter at Louisville.

      • Tom Reeves

        Erwin’s 1.000+ OPS versus LHP pitching can’t be ignored. Combined with Winker hitting RHP, the math favors a Winker/Erwin platoon over Aquino. Now, Aquino could prove to be the second coming of Eric Davis and if he plays anywhere close to how he played in August, he’s hands-down the winner. If he plays closer to his September performance, then it’s the Winker/Erwin show. My guess is that he regresses to a mean that’s slightly below the Winker/Erwin platoon and spends a good chunk of time in AAA getting ready for a full season of MLB.

  6. Jeffery Stroupe

    With the pieces we have it’s all on Bell as to how to manage them…not like putting Pete at 3rd and Foster in left.

  7. CI3J

    It seems like the Reds really, really need to make a trade or two. There are simply too many good options in the outfield and they are potentially going to lose some good players for nothing. Makes sense to trade them away instead of just letting them go, even if it’s for a B+ prospect. But I’m still holding out hope the Reds can swing a trade for an upgrade at SS, somehow. And maybe also a bullpen upgrade for one of the open spots.

    • Tom Reeves

      The best case would have been an equally blocked, out of options SS similar to Erwin or Schebler in ability. But if that option isn’t out there, not sure what the Reds do.

      Is Farmer really the backup SS? I know he said he’s a SS who also plays catcher. Is that true?

      • Klugo

        Holt!
        I’m sure they’ve explored that option. So, something must not be matchup up there.

      • RojoBenjy

        Brock Holt to sign with Brewers.

    • Klugo

      I think it’s a great problem to have. Jankowski, Payton, Ervin, VanMeter, Blandino, are not good players on contending teams. They are depth pieces. And even then, I honk they are just adequate to slight below adequate depth pieces for a anybtram really serious about contending. I mean most of those guys have been part of the problem over the last few years. Thus the off season moves.

  8. Marcia Stroupe

    Could be another 1990….or maybe not…..I’m not getting caught up into guess work….going to be a better year though.

  9. CFD3000

    I will be very surprised if Farmer, Reed and Lucas Sims aren’t on the opening day roster. There are so many possibilities for that last bullpen slot that it’s anyone’s guess, but I will say that for a roster where the bullpen looked like a weakness that’s a nice situation to be in. For my money the bullpen will actually be a major strength this year IF (and it’s no small if) Iglesias returns to form. I guarantee he won’t have 12 losses and an ERA over 4. Either he turns it around or he loses his job.

    As for the bench, I’m hoping that Blandino is in Cincinnati, because of his versatility and because he’s probably not a future starter. He can have a really nice career as a backup / utility guy, and he adds real depth. That leaves JVM in AAA pending injury in Cincinnati, but I think he needs to play every day. The same goes for Aquino in the outfield. The final outfield spot probably comes down to Schebler or Ervin. If healthy, either is a good option, but speaking of options that probably means the odd man out will be lost. If I’m guessing, Ervin stays and Schebler goes, just because that’s the “safe” choice based on 2019 results. Jankowski was always a long shot, and Payton looks really interesting but probably and unfortunately can’t be saved. Perhaps the Reds can work out a trade to keep him.

    So I’m very interested to see how it all plays out, but I’m guessing (and probably hoping) it’s Farmer, Ervin and Blandino on the bench, with Reed, Sims, and Nate Jones grabbing the last three bullpen slots. It’s a good sign that so many positions are locked down (assuming good health) AND that there are more good options for the last few slots than there are available roster spots. I’m excited for Reds 2020.

  10. Still a Red

    I agree with CI3J above, that a trade with some of the out-of-option people may be in order, and I think they may only garner lower level prospects with high ceilings. There are definite holes in the minors and an aging Votto to consider. Aquino and JVM, altho it would be disappointing for them to go back to AAA, they’ll need the playing time. Hope Cody makes the team and has a good 2020.

  11. Hotto4Votto

    I have thought both Farmer and Ervin should have done enough last season to be fairly secure in their roster spots. Essentially, for me it comes down to Blandino or VanMeter for the last bench role. VanMeter probably has an edge as a LH bat, since Ervin and Farmer hit right handed.

    This is the first I’ve seen of Jankowski having an option. Seems he’s been mentioned all offseason as being out of options.

    • Doug Gray

      Yeah, the Jankowski option is interesting. He qualifies for a 4th option year in the weirdest way possible. Guys who use their options before their 5th professional season can get a 4th one. Jankowski was drafted way back in 2012, though, so how on Earth does he qualify here? Well, “a season” only counts if you are active for 90 days. 2012 didn’t count because he only played after the draft and the season wasn’t 90 days. Then with all of the injuries he’s suffered through, from 2013-2019 he actually only got “four seasons” of 90-days, thus he qualifies for a 4th option year. Wild.

      • Rod Andrews

        I’d really like to learn more about Payton after the kind of season he had in triple a last year. How old, what kind of defense and speed, etc
        Doesn’t seem to strikeout much, which could really be a good thing for this team. I’m still curious why Oakland wouldn’t try to hold on to hom.

      • Optimist

        I wonder if this is a 50k/year front office analyst hire just making his salary by spotting this? Would all other teams have known this, or just those with front office depth?

        If so, impressive considering analysis is much cheaper than backup OFers.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Well I’m glad to find out that he has an option. That should really help with depth.

  12. Stock

    LF: Winker has a .906 career OPS vs. RHP, Ervin has a career .907 OPS vs. LHP. This is an awesome platoon.

    With Winkin in as the LF you better not be Blinkin because I give this the Nod as one of the best LF in baseball. (I know this is really bad)

    RF: Castellano’s sucked defensively in RF in 2018 when he moved there from 3B. However he was much better in RF in 2019 and I could see him being league average defensively in 2020. Offensively he will be a force. Solid in RF.

    CF: Senzel needs to play every day but so does Shogo. By July Senzel will either be traded for Lindor or Senzel will be playing SS or Shogo will be determined to be a bust.

    Two bench roles. ST will decide but I see options playing a huge role here. Why have Aquino on the roster in a bench role when he has options. Jankowski is just not that good. Blandino is behind VanMeter, Dietrich and Farmer.

    Payton, Farmer, Dietrich, VanMeter and Schebler. I would not be surprised if the Reds start with 7 arms in the bullpen until Senzel is ready to be the backup SS. Start the season with Payton, Schebler and Farmer. When Senzel is ready option Farmer and bring up an 8th arm. I could also see a trade of Schebler or Payton sometime in March.

    • VaRedsFan

      Senzel at SS??? Since when???
      The answer is…not in 2020.

      • Steve

        Yeah I really really wish the Senzel to SS stuff would just go away forever.

      • doofus

        Agree. Hearing Senzel to SS over and over is like watching Braves fans do the tomahawk chop. It is extremely boring and nonsensical.

    • Earmbrister

      Senzel will never be ready to backup SS, cause he’s not a SS. He needs to be the starter in CF. Shogo is the Reds fourth OFr.

      • Indy Red Man

        I don’t see it? I can’t see Shogo signing on unless the Reds told him he would start. I would trade Winker. He can hit RHP, but he’s bad in the field and worse on the bases. For some reason he thinks he’s got wheels? Bell really needs to straighten these guys on the basepaths. Its not a lack of speed as much as lack of baseball IQ.

      • earmbrister

        Indy — I can’t see any MLB team telling a potential (modest) signing that he’ll be the starter. Maybe a “currently we project you to be the starter in RF, but obviously you will have to compete for the job”. Hardly a guarantee. Particularly a guy who has never played in MLB, who’s soon to be 32 years old, and is making a modest $7MM/year.

        As for Winker, he’s the second best OBP guy on the team, even despite the injuries. The statement that “he’s bad in the field and worse on the bases” could be made about the best OBP guy on the team. I’m not comparing Winker to Votto but I’m not ditching a guy with this line:

        .285/.379/.845 who’s 26 (!) years old

        I’ll give Jesse time to show what he can do when he’s healthy. He’s not even eligible for arbitration yet. That production for $500-600k? He’s way to valuable to be trading away.

  13. SultanofSwaff

    Reed and Sims are big pieces to the success of the bullpen……hoping they both make the team.

    • doofus

      I agree that Reed and Sims could be key components to the BP.

    • doofus

      They are 2 pitchers with major league arms and stuff. Sims was the Braves #1 prospect for a couple of years in a row. These two could be flying under the radar into the regular season.

      • TBD

        doofus
        I like how you say these guys have major league arms and stuff. That could be a really good bullpen. Most ML bullpens have one or two guys that are just taking up a roster space. But, this year with the Reds with all the competition and the starters that may go an inning longer. The bullpen could be a strength of this team.

  14. J

    A team with too many outfielders and not enough infielders should trade an outfielder for an infielder. I ran a data analysis and cross-referenced my results against all existing statistical projections, and the numbers check out. The Reds should trade one outfielder for one infielder.

  15. BK

    (1) Ervin makes the team as Winker’s platoon partner in one of the corner outfield spots. (2) Casali is the backup catcher. (3) Akiyama is a lock as a backup outfielder. (4) Farmer makes the team as the primary backup in the infielder.

    Given Senzel’s ability to play infield and Castellanos ability to play 1B, I think the Reds keep either (5) Schebler or Payton on the last bench spot. Both are LH and their primary roles will be pinch hitter, defensive replacement or pinch runner. Both could make the team if Suarez starts on the IL.

    Aquino, VanMeter, Jankowski, Blandino and Tyler Stephenson play everyday at AAA and are ready to cover down on injuries.

    As for the relief pitchers I see (1) Iglesias, (2) Lorenzen, (3) Strop, (4) Garrett, (5) Stephenson, and (6) Sims as locks. As a LHP (7) Reed makes the team–aside from health issues, he’s been excellent over the last two years and there’s no way the Reds risk losing him out of the gate. I think (8) Nate Jones is the front runner for the final spot, but honestly, this spot could go to any number of players.

    • Nick in NKY

      As things stand now, I have to agree with this. With the glut of outfielders being a good problem to have, you have to think that everyone with options starts in AAA. Doubting they’ll expose Ervin to waivers means the final bench spot looks like a battle between Payton and Schebler. Schebler has a solid year on his resume, as well as a disastrous one. Payton is unproven, but seems to be showing a high ceiling. This is the pair to wach.

  16. VaRedsFan

    What is it about Blandino that has people wanting him on the MLB roster?

    Was it his .234 avg .289 slugging in 2018?
    or his .250/.361 in 2019?
    Stash him in AAA in case of emergency.

    • Doug Gray

      He can sort-of-kind-of play shortstop. He gets on base. But in an ideal world, until he shows something more with the bat, you’d think Triple-A would be a better fit.

  17. doofus

    I do not think we will find an intriguing spring training battle until at least two weeks into the ST games.

    • TBD

      agreed.
      We probably won’t know anything on these last few spots until the last few days of ST

  18. RedNat

    I hope Aquino gets a fair shot even though he does have an option left. What I like about him is that he can help you in other ways even if he isn’t hitting. he is a good fileder and good base runner as well. you can’t say that about Winker and Ervin. if they aren’t hitting then they are not contributing at all.

    What concerns me about Winker and Ervin is that they both had ample opportunities to be everyday players but they basically declined to “Take the bull by the horns” and grab the spotlight. basically settling for a platoon role. Aquino just seems to have more “fire in his belly” to be an everyday player.

    • Matt WI

      Should it come down to Aquino or Schebler, give me Aquino. I want that threat, even if it’s the 26th man on the roster. But… I totally understand the fact he has an option and certainly getting regular at bats never hurts.

      • TBD

        Matt WI
        In my book, if it’s a 26th man between Aquino an Schebler, give me Schebler. Aquino needs more seasoning and could potentially become a superstar, so he shouldn’t be sitting the bench anywhere. Whereas Schebler I think could do OK playing every so often.

  19. Eddie P.

    By the end of July, Senzel will either be traded for Seager/Lindor, will be our everyday SS (what I personally am hoping for), or he will be playing everyday in CF- with Shogo determined to be an expensive backup/role player.

    • doofus

      I do not believe that Lindor or Seager will be playing SS for the Reds in 2020.

      I do believe that Jose Garcia or a SS yet to be acquired will be the Red’s SS of the future.

      Book it, Danno!

  20. SteveO

    Would like to see Schebler have a good spring and then traded near the end of ST for a good AAA or AA prospect. His roster spot then goes to Davidson. Bench would consist of Casali, Davidson, Farmer, Winker and Ervin. Payton would be returned or traded for and his roster spot goes to one of the relievers signed to minor league contracts. That pushes DeLeon down to Louisville as a starter. Mahle, DeLeon, Antone, Santillan and Gutierrez or Naughton starting in Louisville is very solid. VanMeter, Aquino, Blandino and Jankowski all get max PT at Louisville, ready to be called up with any injuries.

  21. centerfield

    Why does Windows Defender say:
    This website has been reported as unsafe
    Hosted by redlegnation.com

    We recommend that you do not continue to this website. It has been reported to Microsoft for containing threats to your computer that might reveal personal or financial information.

    I had to browse via Google.

    • Doug Gray

      Probably because it was a bad ad that got through. That happens sometimes – people submit their ad code to google, then after it’s approved, they change it to be a little more nefarious because people are evil monsters. But unless you decided to install something there’s no way it revealed any information to anyone.

  22. AirborneJayJay

    I think Ervin and Payton will get those last 2 roster spots. Aquino and Jankowski will go to AAA as easy choices because of the options. Around March 18 the Reds will release a couplevof guys to give them a chance to hook on with another team. A couple of others are going to get the axe on the final cuts. This year the Reds may be cutting a Scooter or Dan Straily type instead of picking one up at the end of spring training.
    Welcome the world of baseball relevance.

  23. Redsvol

    Wonder why Van Meter been mentioned as a backup shortstop? I remember watching him play a couple games in Chattanooga when he played for Pensacola and remember being impressed. I think he plays a better shortstop than Blandino personally. I assume Ervin makes it based on 2019 results. I also don’t think Farmer makes it because he has an option and he plays less positions than VanMeter – therefore I deliver JVM makes it. We have plenty of players that can play 1st, 2nd, and 3rd – Farmer’s most likely role.
    Its interesting that the outfield battle also impacts the infield position flexibility. For me, last position player comes down to Schebler or Payton. I assume Aquino is slated for AAA since he has an option. If Schebler is healthy and has a good spring, I think he makes it. If not, my money is on Payton.

    • Indy Red Man

      Personally I really like JVMs approach at the plate and don’t see him as a utility guy. Not when he’s only 24 (til March) and did pretty well for a rookie. I’d make sure he’s getting everyday atbats at Louisville for now. We’ll see if the Reds see it that way?

  24. Kevin Patrick

    Obviously, choosing a roster in the vacuum world of no injuries is kind of strange… especially when injuries always happen to some degree. I also question the legitimacy of some of the injuries I’ve seen around spring training. Those injuries provide some time to make difficult decisions. That said, there really has to be a trade that is created. I think this Spring Training will be a showcase of Reds outfielders and pitchers for potentially interested MLB teams with trade worthy shortstops. Some of these teams may become more desperate should their rosters suffer injuries. I’m very curious how things will shake down in Boston. I think Xander Bogaerts would look pretty good in a wishbone c. In a deal of that sort, only Akiyama and Castellanos from the outfield…and Castillo, Gray, and Miley from the pitching would be off the table I think. All that said, I’m not as sold as others here on trying to develop Aquino. I would have no problem at all with having him come off the bench to bat and having occasional starts… especially if a guy like Castellanos can be brought in to play some first or third.

  25. MBS

    Aquino is not going to start in AAA. Not going to happen. I am so tired of hearing about options. The 2020 Reds better be about winning, not worrying about losing a fringe outfielder. AQUINO is a stud, or has that stud potential. Does Ervin, Schebler, Jankowski, Peyton have that? Nope.

    • RedNat

      I agree 100%> his upside is so much higher than these other players.

    • Indy Red Man

      I don’t know where AA starts? Castellanos, Senzel, Shogo, and Winker are pretty much penciled in unless something happens. I love the guy’s potential too! He’s got alot of tools and having a big arm in RF is important imo! They could platoon him, but at this point in their career its much more important for AA and JVM to get daily at-bats!

      • Kevin Patrick

        I certainly understand this perspective. It makes sense… What if the holes in Aquino’s swing are easily exploited? I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Aquino has already proven he isn’t a premiere major league player, but isn’t there at least some evidence of that? I would love to ambush an unprepared relief pitcher that has to throw to 3 batters with a bat like Aquino’s.

    • Jefferson Green

      A lot of guys with stud potential never make it in the majors. With the starting spots taken, the question becomes whether Aquino is a better bench option than the others on a win-now team. As for realizing his stud potential, everyday playing time is better for him, so AAA at-bats may be the best option.

      • MBS

        Right, that happens all of the time. But, when a player puts up the numbers Aquino put up last year, every organization will give him every opportunity to prove it’s was not a fluke. I think fans in general are underestimating the mixing and matching that will be done by the Reds in 2020. They didn’t accidentally sign redundant players.

        Akiyama can play RF, CF, LF
        Moustakes can play 1B, 2B, 3B
        Castellanos can play RF, 3B

        Senzel can play CF, 2B, 3B
        Winker can play RF, CF, LF
        Aquino can play RF, but I bet CF as well
        Votto 1B
        Galvis 2B, SS
        Suarez 3B
        Barnhart C, 1B
        Casali C, 1B

        That is with out taking players out of their comfort zones. They have been building a team that has flexibility ever since Dicky W took over.

    • Redsvol

      As Scott Rolen used to say, “its about the big 162”. Just because Aquino starts in AAA doesn’t mean he won’t wind up getting significant at bats in 2020. Injuries happen, sub-par performance happen. I’d like to see him get every dat at-bats in AAA but I see the argument of letting him start with the big league club to see if he can repeat 2019.