The Cincinnati Reds opened up their Thursday knowing that they wouldn’t be playing baseball due to the weather. Despite that, though, they did have to have their official roster set for the start of the season by 11am ET. And it took a lot of moves to make that happen.

Some of the moves we knew were coming. Some of them, one in particular, comes as a surprise. The Reds placed five players on the disabled list:

  • Anthony DeSclafani went to the 60-day disabled list (oblique strain)
  • Brandon Finnegan to the 10-day disabled list (biceps strain)
  • David Hernandez to the 10-day disabled list (shoulder inflammation)
  • Michael Lorenzen to the 10-day disabled list (shoulder strain)
  • Kevin Shackelford to the 10-day disabled list (forearm strain)

David Hernandez was the only one of those moves that we weren’t completely sure of. The rest of the moves seemed like they were out there, but just not official yet. It’s the next move that was announced that was surprising – though perhaps I simply missed it somewhere: Raisel Iglesias was placed on the 3-day paternity leave list. Big congratulations out to him and his family.

The roster additions also had a few surprises. The team purchased the contract of Cliff Pennington, though we already knew that one was coming. The moves that we didn’t see coming were that the team chose to recall from the Minor Leagues Cody Reed and Jackson Stephens. Both had been optioned to the minors earlier this spring. But, even more surprising is that Cody Reed is going to get the start for the Reds on Tuesday as the #5 starter, as first reported by C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic.

The stated plan had seemed to be that when the final spot in the rotation was needed that if Brandon Finnegan weren’t quite ready to make that start, that it would go to Amir Garrett. And then once Finnegan was ready, presumably just the next time through, Garrett would slide back into the bullpen. With opening day causing a change in what day it was that would be needed for that fifth spot, and potentially Raisel Iglesias missing out the first few days, it seems that Bryan Price would rather have Garrett in the bullpen for the first week.

Here’s the full Opening Day roster

Pitchers B/T  Pos
Homer Bailey R/R SP
Austin Brice R/R RP
Luis Castillo R/R SP
Amir Garrett R/L RP
Jared Hughes R/R RP
Tyler Mahle R/R SP
Wandy Peralta L/L RP
Kevin Quackenbush R/R RP
Cody Reed L/L SP
Sal Romano L/R SP
Jackson Stephens R/R RP
Zack Weiss R/R RP
Infielders B/T  Pos
Tucker Barnhart S/R C
Devin Mesoraco R/R C
Scooter Gennett L/R 2B
Phil Gosselin R/R INF
Cliff Pennington S/R INF
Jose Peraza R/R SS
Eugenio Suarez R/R 3B
Joey Votto L/R 1B
Outfielders B/T  Pos
Adam Duvall R/R LF
Phillip Ervin R/R OF
Billy Hamilton S/R CF
Scott Schebler L/R OF
Jesse Winker L/L OF


42 Responses

  1. Ghettotrout1

    I hope Garrett is not permanently stuck in the pen. Hopefully this is just because our bullpen is so depleted and not indicative of the future use of AG.

      • Billy

        I’ve been thinking this too… I think Garrett is likely our next closer, and if Iglesias is moved mid-season, they’ll want to make it easy for him to slide into that role.

      • AndyBado

        I just think they want to give Garrett and Reed defined roles to start the year. Tuesday is just a spot start; Reed will return to the minors when Finnegan gets back. I still think if one of the 5 starters sustains a long term injury, Garrett will jump into the rotation (after maybe another spot start).
        For now, he’s a good pitcher with great stuff, he’s almost 26, and he’s accepting of any role they have for him; he needs to be in the majors.
        The closer talk seems premature.

  2. Billy

    Are we thinking that Stephens will be the one sent down when Iglesias returns? If the plan was to send Reed down, it would have made more sense to start him on Sunday. Who else would be a candidate?

  3. Krozley

    Hopefully they will get back the injured bullpen guys very soon because this temporary crew may be the worst collection of relievers I can remember. I hate to be a pessimist, but I fear an 0-5 start.

    • Kap

      Not even close to how the bullpen looked in the first part of 2016

    • AndyBado

      There are 5 solid relievers in the pen: Peralta, Hughes, Quackenbush, Weiss, and Garrett. Brice and Stephens are probably last resort options. They’ll be fine with that crew for a week or so.

  4. Cincy Kid

    Cody Reed is about to get hit and Price fired. Putting Cody Reed on display will only hurt his trade value because he is still a work in progress and putting him in MLB situation when he is only a minor league pitcher will not help him. Here we go again!

    • Fish

      That’s a catch 22. If he’s only a minor league pitcher, he has no trade value.

    • citizen54

      I don’t get all the hate for Reed. He has better stuff and a higher ceiling than Garrett and his walks last year were probably due to working on a new grip. People seem to forget that Garrett was pretty bad last year outside of his first three starts and his fastball got pounded.

      Granted, Garrett is throwing harder this year which could be due to him recovering from a hip injury but it could also be due to him knowing he only has to go 2-3 innings.

      • Jeff Sessions

        Lol. What are you smoking? Better than Garrett? Lol

        Garrett was your number 1 pitching prospect last year. Number two this year. Wow.

      • North Bergen Red

        Cody only pitches 1 to 3 innings because he gets hit. There is no hate against Cody he just gets hit often. I prefer Garrett over Reed any day, but Bryan Price has his own bright ideals.

      • citizen54

        LOLZ are you for real? No man you’re right. There’s no way Cody Reed could be better than a guy who had a 7.39 ERA and a 7.39 FIP last year. Nope, Garret was the number one pitching prospect according to you so he’s even better than Castillo who was only the 5th best pitching at the beginning of 2017. Who cares how they actually perform? Obviously, prospect ranking is most important thing.

    • Ghettotrout1

      I would prefer to have Reed to start against a weaker lineup than the Cubs.

      • Doug Gray

        I’d prefer every pitcher we have to start against a weaker lineup than the Cubs. But, you’ve got to play the Cubs a lot, so it’s going to be real tough to get around that.

  5. Bill

    Are there any DFA candidates that you think the Reds should pursue? The best options I have seen are righty Josh Lucas and infielder Breyvic Valera, both from the Cards. Both would have to take the spot of someone on the roster, but I think that case could be made.

  6. Tony

    Hey Doug is Jake Buchanan available? They need someone to eat up innings after Reed goes 3.1 innings allows 7 runs.

    • Doug Gray

      Go eat a Snickers, Tony. You’re less fun when you’re hungry.

      • Tony

        Lol, I’m rarely accused of being fun hungry or not. Unfortunately, I’m usually very accurate but maybe Reed will make a liar out of me and go 3.2.

  7. Brad

    I don’t remember hearing anything about Austin Brice during spring training…went and made Opening Day roster (with help) completely understand the radar

  8. Choo Choo Coleman

    This organization is a disaster. Period. Dixon & Blandino deserves to make this team. The two guys the Cardinals just cut are better than anyone on the bench & 89% of bullpen. And Price can’t figure out who to start from one day to the next! Joke!

      • Choo Choo Coleman

        Thanks my man… Drafted out of the Reds organization in the expansion draft by the New York Mets! Along with Roy McMillan & Jay Hook!

  9. MK

    It has often been discussed here that eventually some of the plethora of young starters are going to need to move to the bullpen. Looks like the decision has been made to start the process with Amir.

    • AndyBado

      Garrett beginning the year in the bullpen doesn’t preclude him from starting later this year or in the future. And it doesn’t indicate the Reds see him as a reliever long-term.

  10. Greg Toebbe

    We are supposed to be re-building but we take two replacement level infielders who could not make it on other teams and short-change all of the young guys are supposed to be the future. Shades of last year with the pitching staff.

    • jbonireland

      Thanks Greg, I just don’t get it. How will we know if Blandino and Dixon can play in the majors. Price just doesn’t really want young players and if it is Williams decision I really don’t understand.

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t mind filling out the bench with those types if you can’t find sort-of-regular time for the young guys. But the Reds should have gone with at least one of Blandino/Dixon and used them in a platoon with Gennett and a pinch hitter the other days. I don’t think it’s like the pitching last year, though. There were times when the young pitching simply wasn’t ready for the roles that were needed. I don’t think that’s the case with bench situation, though.

      • Chris


        Seriously, help me out here: I read Price’s statements on both Amir and Reed. “Last line of defense as starter?” “Based on their spring training Cody has earned this.” Why is BP seemingly so obtuse?? His numbers and the anecdotals clearly point to Amir having better spring. I don’t get this guy.

      • Doug Gray

        I didn’t read that, so I can’t comment on it. What I did read, though, was Price saying that he wants to be able to use Garrett against the left handed heavy lineups of the Nationals and Cubs out of the bullpen.

  11. Jake Y.

    While it’s relatively insignificant, I do not understand the Austin Brice situation at all. He had a miserable spring, his track record is far from dominant, and his position is one of the most replaceable in baseball. I’m stunned he made the opening day roster. I thought for sure he would be DFA’d and go unclaimed. What am I missing?

    • Kong

      You are stunned by the Reds keeping Brice. The organization that started last year with B A 14 games last year and this move is move that makes you ‘
      “Stunned”. This group of morons would put Kershaw in the pen and play Trout behind Hamilton.

  12. Kong

    Lol the Reds what a joke of a roster. No team places more value in signing players who can’t hit then the Reds. Take young promising starting pitchers and throw them in the pen. Thata.a boy Price. Brilliant.

    • Jeff Sessions

      Lol. Absolutely right. Been saying it for years. The bench has been atrocious. Some people think the bench is not important. This organization is stupid.

  13. Michael B. Green


    Here is what i think the rationale is for Reed over Garrett on Tue. Reed will pitch and then get sent to AAA. I believe that you then have to stay in the minors for at least 10 days.

    I don’t think Cinci wants to take that approach with Garrett and if Garrett turns into the #5, he’ll get skipped in April when Cinci could use him in relief more than just every 5th day.

    I imagine that Finnegan will get an opportunity to slide back into the #5 spot after missing a turn but we’ll have to see. If could always slide to the pen and Garrett could take his turn. For now though, with a need for a good deal of arms, we’ll see Garrett work out of the pen a la Chad Green last year for NYY. Hopefully with the same results.

  14. Choo Choo Coleman

    Cingrani in for LA Dodgers now in 1-0 game, and looks nasty…struck out first guy on 3 pitches! We have a pitching coach for a manager & he screwed this guy up so badly he couldn’t get anyone out! Why keep this guy as manager! Really!

    • Doug Gray

      The manager is not the pitching coach. So, let’s start off with that. But, let’s get to the real thing here: For YEARS the Reds publicly told Cingrani to throw more than just his fastball. He didn’t do it. He wouldn’t do it. They asked. Over and over. Heck, the Reds even supported Cingrani when he went to Driveline in Seattle two winters ago to work on his slider/cutter. Then the season started and he just didn’t throw it. Then he went to LA and they somehow convinced him to throw something other than the fastball. Maybe it was finally to the point where someone gave up on him that put him in the mindset to finally listen to someone telling him to do something, and listening and doing that.

      • North Bergen Red

        This manager was the pitching coach and was the pitching coach when Leake was coming up. What is Prices resume? Did he play in the league? Was he ever a pitcher? The Reds have some players that can help them with a winning record. The Reds just need a skipper that can motivate the young talent that have. They need someone who has played in the league and who can relate with the younger players.

      • Doug Gray

        So, to be clear, you believe that professional players won’t respond unless the manager, or coach, was a player in the league? Because I will tell you right now, that’s crazy talk.

        Bryan Price never made the Majors. He topped out in AAA. Yes, he was a pitcher. Before he joined Cincinnati as the pitching coach, he was one of the most well renowned pitching coaches in all of baseball.

        What the Reds need, and what every team needs, is more talent than the other team. Then they need to stay healthy. The rest of the stuff takes care of itself. Great managers can’t make good decisions if they can’t choose between good options. Likewise, bad managers can’t make bad decisions when they only get to choose from good options. I don’t necessarily think that Bryan Price is some great manager. But I do know this much: He’s never had a team with a whole bunch of talent for one reason (injuries) or another (just a flat out bad roster). The odds are that Bryan Price isn’t the reason, or even remotely close to the reason that the Reds have lost 90+ games for eleventy-billion years running. No manager was going to win with the rosters he had. That’s not to say I’d bring him back after this season. But it is me saying that he’s far from the reason they’ve lost a whole lot of baseball games the last few seasons.

      • North Bergen Red

        The season starts today and we shall see. Everyone is undefeated. Homer Bailey has a lot to prove no more excuses it’s time to earn your pay. Number 2 thru 4 on the pitching staff appear to be solid , it’s the number 5 that concerns me. Cody Reed will have his chance to cash in the golden ticket that was given to him against the Cubs and he can state his case on why he belongs in the rotation. Just think if Price was able to get thru to Rob Steve, we would have a hell ova rotation. Castillo, Romano, Mahle , Stephenson, and Finny that would save some jobs.