We could see a lot of unfamiliar faces in the Cincinnati Reds dugout once the 2020 Major League Baseball season gets underway.
While Major League Baseball continues to navigate its way through the delayed-start to the 2020 season, nothing has been deemed off the table. The Cincinnati Reds roster might be similar in size to that of the Cincinnati Bengals once the 2020 season begins. According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, major league rosters may have as many as 50 players on the roster.
Passan says that multiple executives throughout MLB have suggested that rosters could be as large as 50 with up to 30 active players available for each game. From a logistical standpoint, this makes a lot of sense, as multiple doubleheaders per week have been floated as a possible idea.
An increased workload for pitchers and the potential for injury would be two reasons MLB may expand rosters. If doubleheaders are a consistent part of the 2020 schedule, one should surmise that a sixth starter will be a necessity for the Reds and every other major league team.
Thankfully, in that regard, Cincinnati has the services of Tyler Mahle, who started 25 games for the Reds in 2019. While some fans may not be excited about the prospects of Mahle being part of a six-man starting rotation, according to FanGraphs, the young right-hander saw a slight uptick in his strikeout-rate and a dramatic reduction in his walk-rate during the 2019 season.
In addition to Tyler Mahle, several other Reds players may benefit from a 50-man roster. Fans would almost assuredly see Aristides Aquino, Mark Payton and Derek Dietrich make the expanded roster. Even Jose Garcia and Tyler Stephenson might see the field in 2020, especially if the minor league season is cancelled.
An increased number of pitchers, even more so than position players, would be necessary in a condensed season. Players like Brooks Raley, Ryan Hendrix and even Tony Santillan could get the call to be part of an expanded Cincinnati Reds roster.
Passan also reports that MLB is expected submit a return-to-play proposal to the player’s association this week. If all goes well, Reds fans could see their favorite team return to Great American Ball Park in early-July.