Cincinnati Reds: Predicting an expanded 30-man Opening Day roster

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 18: Aristides Aquino #44, Eugenio Suarez #7 and Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 18: Aristides Aquino #44, Eugenio Suarez #7 and Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
CINCINNATI, OH – JULY 28: Michael Lorenzen #21 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Relief pitchers (10)

Amir Garrett, Michael Lorenzen, Raisel Iglesias, Robert Stephenson, Pedro Strop, Lucas Sims, Nate Jones, Cody Reed, Tyler Thornburg and Jesse Biddle

The bullpen may the one aspect of the 2020 Reds team that will most affected by the delayed start. There’s a few players that have their names cemented heading into the season, but there’ll be a great deal of competition if the league allows the roster to expand to 30. The newly instituted rule requiring pitchers to face at least three batters will definitely have an impact on the bullpen.

Last year, the Reds brought in Zach Duke to be the team’s LOOGY, likely called upon to only face one or two left-handed hitters. Those types of players will likely be tossed aside, as Major League Baseball is now requiring a pitcher to face a three-batter minimum or finish the half inning in which they entered the game.

Amir Garrett is the lone lefty in the Reds bullpen guaranteed a spot on the Opening Day roster. However, the likelihood of expanded rosters greatly increases the chances that Cody Reed will have a spot among the Reds relief corps. Reed is out of minor-league options, as is Lucas Sims, who’ll likely find a spot in the Reds pen as well.

The non-roster invitees will have a knock-down-drag-out affair before the start of the season. Nate Jones is the most likely player to make the team, but don’t rule out Brooks Raley, Tyler Thornburg or Jesse Biddle.

The addition of Pedro Strop cannot be overstated. Though he didn’t have the most successful 2019 season, Strop brings a sorely needed veteran presence to a bullpen that lost David Hernandez and Jared Hughes last season.