4 biggest surprises on the Cincinnati Reds 2022 Opening Day roster

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene (21) delivers during a spring training game.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene (21) delivers during a spring training game. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Ryan Hendrix (68) delivers during the eighth inning.
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Ryan Hendrix (68) delivers during the eighth inning. / Kareem Elgazzar via Imagn Content

2. Ryan Hendrix, Reds right-handed pitcher

It's very surprising to see Ryan Hendrix's name among the group of relievers on the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster. Hendrix had a tumultuous rookie campaign in 2021, and I thought for sure that he'd lose his spot on the 40-man roster prior to the start of the 2022 season.

Hendrix went 5-1 with a 5.97 ERA in 36 appearances for the Reds last season. The right-hander had 35 punch outs in 31.2 innings of work, but his 1.547 WHIP was not a very attractive stat. Hendrix also gave up eight home runs and walked 16 batters.

Hendrix was optioned to Triple-A Louisville in late-July and never returned to the active roster. You're supposed to get better with a trip back to the minors, but Hendrix got worse. In 15.2 innings of work, Hendrix posted an ERA of 8.62 and an unsightly 12.3% walk-rate.

But Ryan Hendrix entered spring training with a chip on his shoulder and has been dominant in Cactus League play. The 27-year-old hasn't allowed a run all spring and has eight strikeouts in five innings pitched. If that carries over to the regular season, Hendrix could wind up as one of David Bell's high-leverage relievers.