When the Cincinnati Reds signed Brandon Drury to a minor league deal prior to the 2022 season, most fans, myself included, didn't foresee him making the Opening Day roster. Drury was a part-time player with the New York Mets last season, seeing action in 51 games.
But after watching the 29-year-old come on in relief of the injured Jonathan India during last night's 9-3 loss in Los Angeles, I think we're going to see Drury find a permanent spot on the Reds roster.
Drury came in to pinch run for India after the reigning Rookie of the Year came up lame while legging out a single in the fifth inning. After Aristides Aquino brought the Reds within one run following his two-run shot in the sixth inning, Drury tied the game with a round tripper of his own in the seventh.
Brandon Drury is off the Reds roster bubble.
Brandon Drury is 4-for-10 in five games with the Cincinnati Reds and has two home runs, a double, and four RBIs. It may be a mild overstatement, but Drury has been the best hitter in the Reds lineup during the first week of the season.
Drury's spot on the roster was only secured once the Reds lost infielders Max Schrock, Donovan Solano and Jose Barrero to injury. Solano is working his way back to game shape following a hamstring injury, but Barrero is still about a month away from returning. Schrock is currently on the 60-day IL.
With the roster being squeezed from 28 to 26 players in the next couple of weeks, those players who are on the roster bubble will begin feeling the heat. But to be honest, I don't know that Brandon Drury has anything to worry about.
While he's not an outfielder by trade, Drury did suit up for 12 games in the Mets outfield last season, including nine starts. In those 56 innings, Drury was even worth 1 defensive run saved. That versatility might help the former 13th-round pick remain on the roster.
Drury, at this moment, is a better option than Colin Moran and Aristides Aquino. Moran has a minor league option remaining, but Aquino does not. It may come down to those two when roster decisions have to be made. For my money, I'm taking Brandon Drury.