Reds 2024 Opening Day roster projection 1.0: Unexpected shakeup in starting rotation

Which 26 players will leave Goodyear bound for Cincinnati?

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz catches a throw
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz catches a throw / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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Reds Opening Day bullpen (8)

  • Alexis Diaz
  • Buck Farmer
  • Ian Gibaut
  • Emilio Pagán
  • Sam Moll
  • Lucas Sims
  • Brent Suter
  • Fernando Cruz

If Nick Martinez opens the 2024 season in the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation, it makes the team's bullpen a bit easier to predict. Alexis Diaz is the Reds' unquestioned closer heading into the upcoming season, and should be one of the many young players the front office is looking to extend this spring.

The Reds also added a couple of relievers during free agency. Brent Suter finally came home this offseason, and will give the Cincinnati faithful a hometown hero to cheer for when he emerges from the bullpen. Sam Moll will likely be the other left-handed reliever David Bell can turn to late in games. Fellow southpaw Alex Young still has a minor-league option remaining.

Buck Farmer re-signed with the Reds this offseason and will once again pair up with Ian Gibaut. That duo, plus Lucas Sims, showed tremendous grit and determination last season after all three logged over 65 appearances. Expect to see Sims maintain his late-game status, while Farmer and Gibaut are more likely to take the mound earlier than they did a season ago.

Emilio Pagán was another one of the Reds offseason acquisitions. The right-hander posted a sub-3.00 ERA last season with the Minnesota Twins along with a 0.952 WHIP. It remains unclear when Pagán will be called upon, but the 32-year-old will likely fill the same role that was occupied by Derek Law last season.

Finally, the last spot in the Reds bullpen will come down to a choice between Fernando Cruz and Tejay Antone. If there are any injuries, and Martinez breaks camp as a starter, both pitchers will likely be part of the Reds Opening Day roster. If not, look for the two right-handers to be jockeying all spring with only one vacancy left in the bullpen.