3 Reds players in danger of losing their 40-man roster spot by the end of the week

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Joel Kuhnel
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Joel Kuhnel / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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With so many injuries occurring as the Cincinnati Reds are readying to leave Arizona, the fallout from the handful of roster decisions remaining may not be so bad.

Lucas Sims and Luke Weaver have been limited due to injuries of late, and that could have a major impact on who the Reds take north for Opening Day. But there's also several non-roster invitees who could be joining the party, and they're going to need a place to park.

Tejay Antone and Justin Dunn will begin the 2023 season on the 60-day IL, but that may not offer the Reds enough flexibility to fit Chad Pinder, Alex Young, and a few others onto the 40-man roster. Who could lose that coveted spot by the end of the week?

1. Bennett Sousa could lose his spot on the Reds 40-man roster.

Bennett Sousa was a late-arrival to Reds spring training after spending the majority of the offseason with the Chicago White Sox. But, the South Siders decided Sousa was expendable, and the Redlegs, desperate for a left-handed reliever, jumped at the opportunity to being Sousa into the fold.

Sousa has been battling with fellow southpaw Alex Young since his setting foot inside the Reds complex in Goodyear, Arizona. Manager David Bell is looking to pair Reiver Sanmartin with another left-hander, and after releasing Daniel Norris earlier this week, only two options remain.

By the numbers, Sousa has been outperformed by Young. The former San Francisco Giants reliever has excelled since joining the Reds on a minor-league deal and will need a 40-man roster spot if Cincinnati intends to select his contract prior to Opening Day.

Bennett Sousa does have minor-league options remaining, but as was mentioned earlier, the injuries to the Reds pitching staff may necessitate some less than desirable decisions. Sousa is certainly in danger of losing his spot on the Reds 40-man roster.

2. Joel Kuhnel could lose his spot on the Reds 40-man roster.

Joel Kuhnel has made it this far, but it may be the end of the road for the Cincinnati Reds reliever despite the fact he has minor-league options remaining. Kuhnel, just like Bennett Sousa, could be a roster casualty because of the influx of injuries.

Unless a player is placed on the 60-day Injured List, he remains part of the 40-man roster. Vladimir Gutierrez was already placed on the 60-day IL, but after adding Sousa, the Reds roster is still stuck at 40.

It sounds as if Tejay Antone and Justin Dunn will sidelined long enough that a 60-day designation will be appropriate, but the same cannot be said for Tony Santillan, Luke Weaver, Lucas Sims, and Nick Senzel.

That means the Reds have some difficult decisions to make, because in addition to those four injured players, Cincinnati also has Casey Legumina, Noelvi Marte, Elly De La Cruz, Michael Siani, Lyon Richardson, and Levi Stoudt occupying spots on the 40-man roster. The Reds have no intention of those six prospects opening the season in the major leagues.

Joel Kuhnel, who hasn't pitched poorly this spring, also hasn't pitched well enough to warrant inclusion on the Opening Day roster. It may just be unfortunate circumstances rather than poor performance, but Kuhnel could be pushed off the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster by the end of the week.

3. Stuart Fairchild could lose his spot on the Reds 40-man roster.

This would be a calculated risk on the part of the Cincinnati Reds. But seeing as how Stuart Fairchild was designated for assignment twice last season, it wouldn't be a stretch to think the Reds would try to pass him through waivers and outright the outfielder to Triple-A.

Fairchild appeared in 38 games for the Reds in 2022 and showed plenty of pop and speed. Though it wasn't enough to keep him in major league camp as the 26-year-old was optioned to minor-league camp earlier this week.

That is sign that Fairchild will not be part of the Reds Opening Day roster, and it could foreshadow his absence from the 40-man roster as well. Fairchild's standing with the team may depend on who Cincinnati selects from the group of non-roster invitees to join them in the Queen City on March 30th.

Chad Pinder seems like all but lock to break camp with the big league club, but what about switch-hitting outfielder Henry Ramos. After jetting off to the World Baseball Classic earlier this month, Ramos returned from the WBC and promptly hit a home run in his first game back.

If Ramos is included among the group that the Reds take north, then Fairchild's 40-man roster may be in jeopardy. While Nick Solak's could be on the line as well, his ability to play multiple positions may work in his favor with the Reds looking to carry three catchers this season.

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