After the exhibition game on Saturday afternoon between the Cincinnati Reds and their Triple-A affiliate Louisville Bats, manager Bryan Price addressed the media and announced that four players have been added to the 25-man roster. Those players were infielder Neftali Soto, outfielder Roger Bernadina, catcher Tucker Barnhart and right handed reliever Trevor Bell.
Barnhart is the only player without Major League experience, though Soto only has a handful of at-bats under his belt in the big leagues. Barnhart’s addition to the roster is a sign that the Reds will place catcher Devin Mesoraco on the disabled list to begin the season. Mesoraco can be retroactively placed on the disabled list, so he may only miss a few games before being eligible to return once he is healthy.
Trevor Bell is a huge surprise addition to the roster in the sense that he was not employed last April and was signed by the Reds in May of 2013 to bolster their Double-A bullpen as a veteran to add some stability and mentor the younger pitchers. Fast forward 10 months and he goes an entire spring training without allowing a run and returns to the big leagues for the first time since the 2011 season.
Neftali Soto had a strong spring training where he hit .383 with eight extra-base hits. His versatility probably sealed the roster spot for him as he can play first base, third base and catcher. With the position flexibility it allows the Reds to use their roster in ways that no other player brings.
Roger Bernadina had a very strong spring as well, hitting .413/.518/.739 with seven extra-base hits. The outfielder drew seven walks and had 10 strikeouts in the spring, showing good plate discipline to go along with power.
Both Bell and Bernadina need to be added to the 40-man roster, which means that two players will need to be removed from the 40-man in addition to a third player to make room for Ramon Santiago. Those roster moves have not been announced yet.
Non-roster invitee Chris Nelson had an opt-out clause in his contract and he chose to use it and became a free agent and is no longer in the Reds organization.