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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The Cincinnati Reds roster is one that is filled with more questions than answers heading into spring training. There are a lot of new faces and a number of key players returning from injury heading into the 2023 season.

One thing fans are unlikely to see this spring is a rash of trades. After the lockout was lifted in 2022, the Reds front office purged the roster of several veterans including Sonny Gray and Eugenio Suarez. Quite frankly, there are very few veterans remaining on Cincinnati's roster.

With pitchers and catchers reporting to Goodyear in less than two weeks, let's see what the Cincinnati Reds 2023 Opening Day roster might look like provided that everyone is healthy.

Reds 2023 Opening Day roster predictions: Starting pitchers (5)

Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Graham Ashcraft, Luis Cessa, Luke Weaver

The Cincinnati Reds 2023 starting rotation will undoubtedly feature three rookies from last season. Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo are bonafide starting pitchers in this league and will lead the charge heading into the upcoming season. Cincinnati's next window for contention should feature these two pitchers atop the rotation.

Graham Ashcraft will definitely be the No. 3 starter heading into spring training, and if things break his way during the season, don't be shocked if the right-hander is the Reds ace. Ashcraft will certainly have to improve in certain areas, but he's a competitor and has terrific stuff that relies on soft contact.

The battle for the final two spots in the Reds starting rotation will come down to a handful of pitchers who'll be competing until the bitter end of spring training. For now, the veterans get the nod. With three second-year starters leading the way in 2023, Reds manager David Bell will surely like to balance the rotation with some experience.

Look for Luis Cessa and Luke Weaver to emerge as the final two starters in Cincinnati's rotation prior to Opening Day. Obviously, Connor Overton and Justin Dunn will have something to say about it, as will young prospects Levi Stoudt and Brandon Williamson.

Reds 2023 Opening Day roster predictions: Starting lineup (9)

Joey Votto, Jonathan India, Jose Barrero, Spencer Steer, Tyler Stephenson, Wil Myers, Jake Fraley, Nick Senzel, Curt Casali

When it comes to the Cincinnati Reds 2023 Opening Day starting lineup, there are a lot of questions. The first of which is the health of both Joey Votto and Nick Senzel. If Votto is healthy, he'll be the Reds Opening Day first baseman for the 15th consecutive season. You have to imagine that's a streak he'd like to keep intact.

As for Senzel, he will be in a dog fight to retain his spot in center field. Senzel actually appeared in career-high 110 games last season for the Reds, but his numbers at the dish left a lot to be desired. If, and this is a big if, the former first-round pick is healthy, he'll be on the Opening Day roster. Whether or not he's a regular in next year's lineup has yet to be determined.

Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson will both be looking to bounce back from underwhelming sophomore campaigns. Injuries hindered both second-year players, and the duo will look to prove that last season's numbers were a fluke.

The Reds added Wil Myers in the offseason, and the former Padres star will take over for Aristides Aquino in right field. Curt Casali was another free agent signing this winter, and Reds fans should expect to see the veteran behind the plate at least three days a week in 2023.

The left side of the infield will have a giant question mark heading into spring training. Rookie Spencer Steer will look to solidify a spot in the starting lineup by taking over for Kyle Farmer at third base, and second-year shortstop Jose Barrero will be looking to show that his horrific performance in 2022 was an anomaly.

Whether it's as the team's designated hitter or left fielder, expect to see a lot of Jake Fraley in 2023. Of course, when the opposing team has a left-hander on the bump, Fraley will not be in the starting lineup. Fraley crushed right-handers in 2022, but posted an OPS of just .476 against southpaws.

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.

Reds 2023 Opening Day roster predictions: Bullpen (8)

Tejay Antone, Lucas Sims, Tony Santillan, Alexis Diaz, Justin Dunn, Reiver Sanmartin, Ian Gibaut, Buck Farmer

Again, these Opening Day roster predictions are predicated on every player being healthy. The bullpen was ravaged by injuries during the 2022 season, and a couple of these pitchers may begin the 2023 season on the injured list.

After undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2021, there's a huge question mark surrouding Tejay Antone's ability to pitch at the beginning of next season. If he's fully healthy, Antone could be one of the Reds best relievers.

Lucas Sims and Tony Santillan both spent the majority of last season on the IL as well. The right-handers were both thought to be in the imx to be Cincinnati's closer in 2022, but Sims pitched in just six games while Santillan threw less than 20 innings.

Speaking of closers, it's highly unlikely that anyone displaces Alexis Diaz in 2023. The brother of New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz, Alexis will be looking to build off a very successful rookie season that saw him lead the Reds in saves (10).

If Justin Dunn fails to land a spot in the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation, look for the former first-round pick to be the long man out of the bullpen. With Luis Cessa looking like a starter, Cincinnati will need a reliever who can go more than just one inning.

Ian Gibaut is out of options, and pitched better than expected after the joining the Reds midway through last season. Buck Farmer was nearly unhittable after returning from a stint with the Louisville Bats in 2022. And Reiver Sanmartin may be the only left-handed option Reds manager David Bell has to turn to during the early going of the 2023 season.

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