3 Reds players who have no business being on the playoff roster

If the Reds make the playoffs, which three players should be left off the postseason roster?

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Martini
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Martini / Chris Coduto/GettyImages
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Certain rules govern MLB playoff roster. Any player who wasn't on the 40-man roster or 60-day IL at the September 1st deadline is ineligible to play in the postseason.

That will definitely hurt the Cincinnati Reds, as players like Carson Spiers and Connor Phillips will be unable to be part of the team's playoff roster if David Bell's squad is able to secure that final NL Wild Card spot.

But even with a few players ineligible to be part of the festivities this postseason, there's also a few players who have no business being on the Reds playoff roster. Teams are limited to just 26 players, so how should Bell go about trimming the fat?

1. Stuart Fairchild has no business being on the Reds playoff roster.

Sorry, Stu, but there's just not enough room. Stuart Fairchild found his way back to the Cincinnati Reds roster in 2022 after being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2020 as part of the deal that brough Archie Bradley to Cincinnati.

While Fairchild is a fine player, the Reds will have to be incredibly picky when it comes to selecting who will be part of a potential playoff roster. Fairchild is a versatile defender with an average arm who has plenty of speed, but his best role on a potential playoff team is that of a pinch runner. Fairchild's bat has let him down of late.

When looking at the depth the Reds have in the outfield, Fairchild is probably No. 5 on the list, slotting behind TJ Friedl, Will Benson, Spencer Steer, and Nick Senzel. If Jake Fraley were completely healthy, Fairchild would be even further down on the list.

If the Cincinnati Reds were to play in the Wild Card Series, the most likely opponent will be the Milwaukee Brewers. With a starting rotation of all right-handed pitchers (Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta), Stuart Fairchild's at-bats would be very limited.

2. Nick Martini has no business being on the Reds playoff roster.

You're going to laugh, but Nick Martini has an outside chance to be part of the Cincinnati Reds playoff roster. Quite frankly, there might not be a better left-handed hitting bench option, but it all comes down to the numbers.

If the Cincinnati faithful have an understanding that Joey Votto, Jonathan India, Luke Maile, Tyler Stephenson, Elly De La Cruz, Jake Fraley, TJ Friedl, Will Benson, Spencer Steer, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand are locks to be part of a potential Reds playoff roster, that would account for 10 of the 13 position players.

It feels as if Noelvi Marte has done enough over the past few weeks to warrant inclusion on a potential playoff roster, and Nick Senzel has absolutely crushed left-handed pitching this season. So that leaves just one more position up for grabs.

If Matt McLain is healthy, the position is his. If he's not, the Reds have two choices - Nick Martini and, perhaps, Harrison Bader. Seeing as how the Reds would already have four left-handed bats, plus the switch-hitting De La Cruz, there's not really a need for another left-handed bat.

However, it sounds as if Bader will be shutdown for the season. So if McLain is still not back from his oblique injury, perhaps Martini could sneak onto the roster. It just doesn't seem very likely.

3. Ben Lively has no business being on the Reds playoff roster.

Ben Lively's inclusion comes with a caveat - who will be the Cincinnati Reds three starting pitchers in a potential Wild Card Series matchup? If Hunter Greene has two more starts in him this season, that presents a dilemma.

The way the Reds four-man rotation lays out, Greene would pitch in the final game of the 2023 season against the St. Louis Cardinals. If, the Reds have already locked up a postseason berth at that point, Greene will undoubtedly get the game off.

If Greene does that pitch in the final game of the season, Games 1 and 2 of a potential Wild Card Series would likely go to Andrew Abbott and Brandon Williamson. As mentioned earlier, Connor Phillips is ineligible to be part of the Reds playoff roster.

Should there be a potential Game 3 of the NL Wild Card Series, that game would take place on Friday, October 5th, meaning Greene would be on just three-days rest. That said, I think most Reds fans would take Greene on three-days rest versus a fresh Ben Lively.

The opportunity for Lively to be part of the bullpen exists, but Cincinnati might prefer to go with Alexis Diaz, Ian Gibaut, Lucas Sims, Daniel Duarte, Buck Farmer, Derek Law, Alex Young, Sam Moll, and Fernando Cruz.

That's nine, and if Tejay Antone is healthy, he'd make 10. Lively would appear to be on the outisde looking in, and after his struggles since returning from a pectoral injury, it might behoove the Reds to keep the right-hander off a potential playoff roster.