2 roster moves the Reds must make when Noelvi Marte returns from PED suspension

When Noelvi Marte is deemed ready to return, how will the Reds squeeze him in?

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Noelvi Marte (16) runs to first base
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Noelvi Marte (16) runs to first base / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Noelvi Marte began his rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville and should be eligible to return from his 80-game suspension later this month. The Cincinnati Reds could choose to keep Marte in the Derby City past June 27th, but given the number of injuries this team has incurred, that would seem unwise.

Marte is getting up to speed while playing for the Louisville Bats before making his 2024 debut with the Reds. But before Marte can return to the active roster, the Reds will have to make a few personnel decisions.

Once Marte is reinstated, the Reds will need to make a corresponding roster move. At the moment, the Reds 40-man roster is full, meaning at least one player will lose his spot. How might president of baseball operations Nick Krall reshuffle the Reds roster upon Marte's return?

The Reds should DFA Conner Capel when Noelvi Marte is reinstated

When a player is suspended, he no longer counts towards the team's 40-man roster. But once Marte's 80-game suspension is lifted, he'll once again be included among the 40 players on Cincinnati's roster.

The most likely scenario will see the Reds designate outfielder Conner Capel for assignment. Cincinnati can attempt to pass Capel through waivers and outright him to Triple-A Louisville.

This would allow Marte to rejoin the 40-man roster, but another roster move is required in order to get the 22-year-old's bat into the Reds lineup. Given how the Reds have used him of late, look for infielder Santiago Espinal to be optioned to Triple-A. These two roster moves will effectively improve the Reds' hitting and defense while also allowing Espinal to remain in the organization.

In the absence of Christian Encarncacion-Strand, which may extend through the remainder of the 2024 season, Spencer Steer has logged a number of starts at first base. Cincinnati could continue to utilize Steer on the infield dirt while Jake Fraley, Jacob Hurtubise, TJ Friedl, Will Benson, and Blake Dunn patrol the outfield grass.

The Reds need Marte back on the field. If he's firing on all cylinders upon the time he's eligible to return from his PED suspension, look for the Reds to make a flurry of moves in order to get Marte back into the lineup.

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