Ian Gibaut's rehab assignment threatens this Reds player's roster spot

Somebody has to go.
Cincinnati Reds reliever Ian Gibaut
Cincinnati Reds reliever Ian Gibaut / Emilee Chinn/Cincinnati Reds/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds have a good problem on their hands; this year's team has a lot of pitching depth. That was never more obvious than after the Reds released the Opening Day roster without players like Tony Santillan and Connor Phillips in the mix.

Both Santillan and Phillips, who are currently in the minor leagues, will have some company for the next few weeks. Reliever Ian Gibaut was sent on a rehab assignment to High-A Dayton this past Friday and quickly made a statement with three strikeouts in his one inning of work. The right-hander will be gearing up for a return to the big leagues after dealing with a forearm injury during spring training.

Once he's full-go, Gibaut will be recalled and another reliever will be sent down to Triple-A in his place. Based on how the Reds roster is constructed, that pitcher will likely be Tejay Antone.

Reds RHP Ian Gibaut's rehab assignment threatens Tejay Antone's roster spot

This isn't based on anything Antone has or hasn't done so far this season; it's about options. Among the relievers currently on the Reds roster, only Antone, Fernando Cruz, and Alexis Diaz can be sent down to the minor leagues without being exposed to waivers. Diaz isn't going anywhere, and despite walking the bases loaded on Friday, Cruz is staying put as well.

Antone has made three appearances this season and has two strikeouts and four walks while maintaining a 4.50 ERA. The free passes have been an issue for Antone in the early-going, and as he continues to adjust his game post-surgery, additional time at Triple-A could certainly help improve his command.

Unless an injury befalls one of the Reds relievers between now and the time Gibaut is ready to return, it's a virtual guarantee that Antone will be the odd-man out. Gibaut, unlike Antone, Cruz, and Diaz does not have any minor-league options remaining.

Cincinnati has another pitcher rehabbing in the minors at the moment. Left-hander Sam Moll needed some extra time to get ready for the 2024 season and is currently on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville. Adding Moll back to the roster brings added intrigue to this whole process, but the southpaw has minor-league options of his own and could stay in the Derby City until he's needed.

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