Cincinnati Reds: Predicting the 30-man roster to begin 2020 season

GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 23: Shogo Akiyama #4 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 23: Shogo Akiyama #4 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 10: Kyle Farmer #52 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

Reds role players (6)

Phillip Ervin (OF), Kyle Farmer (IF), Josh VanMeter (IF), Mark Payton (OF), Curt Casali (C), Alex Blandino (IF)

For now, the decision not to include Derek Dietrich among the 60-man player pool brings clarity to the Cincinnati Reds bench. I thought for sure that Dietz would be among the 60 players brought to summer camp, and he still may. However, the decision not to put him immediately among the group at Great American Ball Park signals that he may not be part of the team’s plans.

You can put Curt Casali and Phillip Ervin among the locks to land a spot on the Reds bench. Even with the addition of thee universal DH, Ervin will struggle to get some regular at-bats. However, after hitting .349/.411/.628 off left-handers in 2019, it’s a safe bet to assume that Ervin will get his ABs when a southpaw is on the bump.

Kyle Farmer was slated to be the backup to Freddy Galvis at shortstop, and still may be. But, with the additional roster slots, it’s quite possible for Alex Blandino to snag on the final spots on the team. Blandino offers a better glove and owned a 1.327 in Cactus League play before the coronavirus halted spring training.

Josh VanMeter is a versatile, left-handed power bat the Reds can add to the lineup and the 25-year-old can play all over the infield and even in the outfield. As a Rule 5 draftee, Mark Payton must be on the Reds roster all season in order to stay within the organization.