Reds news: Jose Garcia and Mark Payton headline alternate site roster

MESA, ARIZONA - MARCH 01: Jose Garcia #38 of the Cincinnati Reds in action during a preseason game. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
MESA, ARIZONA - MARCH 01: Jose Garcia #38 of the Cincinnati Reds in action during a preseason game. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds have released their alternate training site roster, with Jose Garcia and Mark Payton headlining the names headed to Louisville. With the minor league season pushed back until early May, the group of players will play several exhibition games in the coming weeks.

Payton was one of the last players removed from the 26-man roster. He, along with Max Schrock, Mike Freeman, and Braden Shipley will all be part of Cincinnati’s alternate site roster. When the Reds begin their first road trip of the season, up to five players from the team’s alternate site will be permitted to join the club and return to the alternate site when the road trip is concluded.

Several familiar faces among those at the Reds alternate site.

Most of the players who’ll be competing at the Cincinnati Reds alternate training site are names you already know. In addition to Garcia, Payton, Schrock, Freeman, and Shipley, Brandon Finnegan, Scott Heineman, Deivy Grullon, and Alfredo Rodriguez will set up shop at Louisville Slugger Field for the next few weeks.

In all, there are 31 players currently slated to see time at the alternate training site in the Derby City. You’ll remember in 2020, Mason, Ohio was home to Reds’ alternate training site. That’s where Jonathan India, Cincinnati’s Opening Day shortstop, proved that he was ready for the big leagues.

A few of the Reds’ top prospects will open the season at the alternate site.

In addition to Jose Garcia, Cincinnati has a few other top prospects who’ll be working out at the alternate site. Among them are right-handed pitchers Tony Santillan, Vladimir Gutierrez, Riley O’Brien, and Ryan Hendrix, and outfielder TJ Friedl. All five players are listed among the team’s top 30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline.

Unless an injury befalls one the Reds starters between now and the start of the minor league season, it’s highly likely that the overwhelming majority of players at the alternate training site will begin the season in Triple-A Louisville.

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With the recent injury to Nick Senzel, there’s a chance that Heineman or Payton could be called up to the bigs. When Michael Lorenzen and Sonny Gray return from injury, a few more players could be headed for Louisville as well.