Cincinnati Reds trim roster to 28 with some surprising transactions

The Reds cuts included Josh VanMeter.

Rosters will be trimmed across Major League Baseball. Every team must cut two players from their 30-man rosters. The Cincinnati Reds optioned Josh VanMeter and Tejay Antone to the alternate site, recalled right-hander José De León and designated left-handed pitcher Brooks Raley for assignment.

By far the most surprising move is optioning Josh VanMeter to Prasco Park. The left-handed slugger showed flashes of potential last season at Triple-A Louisville and played 95 games with the big league club in 2019. VanMeter slashed .237/.327/.408 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs.

However, this season has been anything but positive for the second-year utility player. VanMeter hasn’t had a hit in 17 plate appearances this season. The Indiana-native is 0-for-14 with two walks. He filled in at second base last night for the injured Mike Moustakas.

For fans who are screaming about Tejay Antone being optioned after putting up fantastic numbers during his first major league start last night, just relax. I’m sure we’ll see Antone again this season, but Wade Miley is expected back very soon and will likely return to the Reds rotation. However, if Miley struggles or the Reds need an additional starter for a doubleheader, Antone’s their guy.

Antone has nine strikeouts in 8.2 innings this season. He came in relief of Miley during the left-hander’s first start of the season. Antone drew the start against the Cleveland Indians last night, striking out four batters and allowed just one earned run.

The Cincinnati Reds also designated left-hander Brooks Raley for assignment. Taking his place will be former Tampa Bay Rays pitcher José De León. De León was, at one time, one of the top prospects in the Rays organization.

Raley, who’d previously played professionally for the Lotte Giants of the KBO, has a 9.00 ERA on the season, and had looked shaky outside his appearance against the Detroit Tigers on Opening Day.

This is likely not the end of roster shuffling on behalf of the Reds. When Wade Miley returns from the injured list, a corresponding move must be made. Matt Davidson, Christian Colón and Travis Jankowski are all likely on the bubble.