Cincinnati Reds 2023 Opening Day roster predictions 1.0

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene / Joe Puetz/GettyImages
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Reds 2023 Opening Day roster predictions: Bench (4)

Luke Maile, Kevin Newman, Chad Pinder, TJ Friedl

This is where things could get rather interesting during spring training. The battle for the final four spots on the Cincinnati Reds bench heading into 2023 will feature some very exciting competition.

Let's get this out of the way first - Elly De La Cruz will not break camp with the Reds. While it would be fun to see the team's top prospect step onto the field at Great American Ball Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates on March 30th, it's not happening. Look for De La Cruz to make his major league debut later this summer.

TJ Friedl is almost a lock to make the Opening Day roster, if for no other reason, because he'll give Reds manager David Bell a left-handed bat off the bench. Looking at the starting lineup, only Joey Votto and Jake Fraley hit from the left side. There's no way Cincinnati heads into the upcoming season with just two left-handed hitters.

Luke Maile, a University of Kentucky product, may have to fight off the likes of Chuckie Robinson and Austin Romine during camp. But the Reds inked Maile to a major league contract, while Robinson and Romine were signed to minor league deals. No matter who it is, look for the team to break camp with three catchers on the Opening Day roster.

Kevin Newman is on the roster in the event that Jose Barrero crashes and burns in 2023. The Reds will surely give the former top prospect every chance to win the starting shortstop job during camp, but having a veteran like Newman in camp gives Cincinnati a nice insurance policy untli Matt McLain or Elly De La Cruz are ready for the big leagues.

Finally, Chad Pinder will be part of the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster. In the past, players like Tyler Naquin and Brandon Drury have flourished in the Queen City after signing minor league deals. Pinder will be looking to do the same.