3 players who won't make the Reds Opening Day roster, but still have an impact in 2023

Cincinnati Reds center fielder Michael Siani.
Cincinnati Reds center fielder Michael Siani. / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
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The Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster is loaded with talent, albeit very young talent. In fact, many of the players currently on the roster are unlikely to be part of the Reds Opening Day lineup.

Prospects like Elly De La Cruz, Noelvi Marte, and Levi Stout are more than likely going to begin the 2023 season in the minor leagues. However, there are others who may be more major league-ready, and yet will still be left off the Opening Day roster.

Let's look at three players, currently on Cincinnati's 40-man roster, who won't make the Opening Day roster, but still have an impact in 2023.

1. Nick Solak won't make the Reds Opening Day roster, but still have an impact in 2023.

One of the Cincinnati Reds' more underrated acquisitions of the offseason was trading for former Texas Rangers utility player Nick Solak. The Reds have identified Solak as an outfielder heading into spring training, but the University of Louisville alum can also play several spots on the infield as well.

Solak might well be in direct competition with former first-round draft pick Nick Senzel throughout spring training and even into the 2023 season. Senzel, however, has a penchant for spening more time on the IL than the field, so Solak may win that battle by default.

Solak has a minor league option remaining, so if the Reds decide to add a player like Stuart Fairchild or Alejo Lopez to the Opening Day roster, the former second-round pick may well begin his 2023 campaign at Triple-A Louisville.

Nick Solak's versatility will help him find his way to the big leagues in 2023. The Cincinnati Reds outfield depth, even with the acquisition of Wil Myers, is questionable at best. If any one of Fairchild, Senzel, or TJ Friedl struggle to get going in the right direction, Solak could be promoted to the majors rather quickly.

2. Michael Siani won't make the Reds Opening Day roster, but still have an impact in 2023.

As athletically-gifted as Michael Siani is, he'll find his way onto the Cincinnati Reds roster sooner rather than later in 2023. However, it seems unlikely that Siani will play his way onto the Reds Opening Day roster.

Siani's contract was selected by the Reds shortly after Nick Senzel ended up on the 60-day IL with a broken toe. Siani had a cup or coffee in the big leagues late last season and will be looking to get back to The Show in 2023.

Siani's overriding skill is his defense. The day he was drafted, one could make the case that Siani's glove was major league-ready. The Pennsylvania native gets great jumps once the ball comes off the bat and has the speed to track down several balls that many would deem uncatchable. Siani is a freak-athlete.

However, hitting has never been Siani's strong point and it may hold him back once camp begins next month. Siani made strides in 2022 while slashing .252/.345/.405 between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville.

Michael Siani's glove will be what gets him to the major leagues, but his bat will be what keeps him there. With so many borderline outfielders on the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster, Siani might find himself out of luck when the 2023 season begins, but a strong showing at Triple-A could vault him onto the 26-man roster before the All-Star break.

3. Brandon Williamson won't make the Reds Opening Day roster, but still have an impact in 2023.

The Cincinnati Reds 2023 starting rotation is almost set. Nick Lodolo, Hunter Greene, and Graham Ashcraft are almost assuredly going to represent 60% of next year's rotation. The other two starting spots are up for grabs.

Players like Luis Cessa, Justin Dunn, and Connor Overton may have the inside track to such a role, and the recently signed Luke Weaver will be given an opportunity to lock down one of the starting spots as well.

However, the Reds have two young prospects (Brandon Williamson and Levi Stoudt) who will also be given a chance to secure spot on Cincinnati's Opening Day roster as well. Williamson has a few more Triple-A starts under his belt than the former Seattle Mariners farmhand.

Williamson was part of the Reds return for Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez last spring. Along with Williamson, the Redlegs also landed Dunn, outfielder Jake Fraley, and pitching prospect Connor Phillips. But Williamson was the centerpiece of that deal.

The left-hander struggled a bit with control last season in the minors, but still has the look of a potential backend rotation piece. A former teammate of Lodolo at Texas Christian University, Williamson took a step back in 2022, and will be looking to return to that 2021 form that saw him ranked as a borderline Top 100 prospect.

Brandon Williamson will face some tough competition this spring and will most likely be optioned to Triple-A Louisville. But a strong showing in the Derby City combined with struggles from any of the aforementioned pitchers could easily result in Williamson's promotion to The Show.

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