Cincinnati Reds: Who loses their spot on the 40-man roster?

GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - MARCH 19: Yasiel Puig #66 and Derek Dietrich #22 of the Cincinnati Reds walk to the dugout prior a spring training game against the Chicago White Sox at Goodyear Ballpark on March 19, 2019 in Goodyear, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - MARCH 19: Yasiel Puig #66 and Derek Dietrich #22 of the Cincinnati Reds walk to the dugout prior a spring training game against the Chicago White Sox at Goodyear Ballpark on March 19, 2019 in Goodyear, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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With José Iglesias and Derek Dietrich likely to make the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster, who will lose their spot on the 40-man roster?

We’re getting down to the nitty-gritty now folks. There are just a few until Opening Day and the Cincinnati Reds roster is almost set. Two players, perhaps one more, who are not part of the Reds’ 40-man roster will need a spot in before the season kicks off on March 28th. Who’s most likely to lose their spot on the team’s 40-man roster?

Okay, before we dive too deep into this, let’s be sure to get the facts right. Each team has a combination of players who are on the 25-man active roster, the 7-day and 10-day injured lists, and some minor leaguers that make up their 40-man roster. In order for a player to be on the 25-man active roster, they must be part of the 40-man roster.

With that said, both José Iglesias and Derek Dietrich were non-roster invitees which means neither is part of the 40-man roster. Nick Senzel, had he survived the roster cuts, would have been in the same situation, but the Reds reassigned him to minor league camp yesterday.

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Let’s look at the injured list first. Both Alex Blandino and Alex Wood are likely to begin the season on the10-day injured list. Tyler Mahle has already drawn the start on April 2nd against the Milwaukee Brewers, so there’s no need to rush Wood back.

With Robert Stephenson and Matt Wisler being out of minor league options, there’s a lot of merit to them taking the final two spots in the Reds’ bullpen. Anthony Bass, a non-roster invitee himself, has also worked his way into the discussion for one of the final spots. However, just like Iglesias and Dietrich, if Bass makes the roster, there’s another spot the Reds must create on the 40-man roster.

So, when you look at the remainder of the 40-man roster, who looks to be the most expendable? Well, Jimmy Herget, Sal Romano, Cody Reed, and Keury Mella will, no doubt, be part of the 40-man roster. Herget and Mella are two of the Reds’ Top 15 prospects according to MLB Pipeline, while Romano and Reed are sure to get opportunities with the big league club throughout the season.

Jose Siri and Phillip Ervin are the only outfielders who are not part of the active roster. Ervin had a fantastic spring and was a bit of a surprise cut yesterday and Siri is one of the team’s top prospects. Neither one of those players will be removed from the 40-man roster.

Matt Bowman, who was plucked off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals still has two minor league options left. The right-hander has had a solid spring appearing in four games, Bowman has pitched in five innings, struck out five batters and walked only one. In his major league career, Bowman has an ERA of 2.28 in 35 appearances.

Brandon Finnegan and Lucas Sims, both of whom are projected starters, are part of the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster. David Bell spoke highly of Finnegan last week after he was reassigned to minor league camp, so it’s hard to see the Reds letting him go. As for Sims, he was just acquired during a trade with the Atlanta Braves last year and will likely keep his spot on the 40-man roster.

This likely comes down to three players; Blake Trahan, Jackson Stephens, and Jesus Reyes. None of those three players are ranked highly in the Cincinnati Reds minor league system. Trahan hit only .238 this spring in 42 at-bats and is viewed as more of defensive shortstop. Iglesias fits that same mold.

The other two are pitchers. Stephens struggled mightily last season during his time with the Reds. The reliever played in 29 games and owned a 4.93 ERA in 38.1 innings pitched. In 5 games this spring, Stephens has allowed opposing batters to hit .300 and he has an ERA of 6.00. While spring statistics are not always a reflection of the player’s true ability, a guy like Stephens needed to have a good spring.

Reyes, in 7 innings of work this spring, has an ERA of 10.29. The right-hander has struck out 8 batters but also walked 4 while allowing 7 hits, 8 earned runs and a home run. Reyes had brief stint with the Reds last season and had a 3.18 ERA in the 5 games he pitched.

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If I had to guess, I’d say that Stephens and Trahan will be the casualties from the 40-man roster unless Robert Stephenson or Matt Wisler don’t make the team, as they’d fall off the roster once they were designated for assignment. It’ll be an interesting few days leading up to Opening Day and the recent injury to Scooter Gennett throws another monkey wrench into the equation.