3 players who will sneak onto the Reds Opening Day roster by the skin of their teeth

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Justin Dunn
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Justin Dunn / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Reds will enter spring training with several players looking to establish themselves in the big leagues. After purging most of the veteran from their roster last season, Cincinnati will be entertaining a number of first and second-year players in Goodyear, Arizona this month.

The increase in competition will make for some interesting roster decisions once spring training gets underway. The Reds have already signed players like Chad Pinder and Daniel Duarte to minor league contracts, and both received invites to big league camp.

With so many players looking to land on the Opening Day roster and only 26 spots available, there will be a few players sweating it out until the bitter end. Which three players will sneak onto the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster by the skin of their teeth?

1. Ian Gibaut will sneak onto the Reds Opening Day roster by the skin of his teeth.

One player who very few Reds fans have talked about this offseason is right-handed pitcher Ian Gibaut. The reliever was an 11th-round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays, pitched in just one game for the Cleveland Guardians, and was claimed off waiver by the Reds from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Gibaut has a nice mix of pitches, including a cutter, changeup, and slider. But Gibaut's bread and butter is his fastball that routinely sit in the mid-90s. Gibaut was striking out opposing batters at a 30% clip in 2022, however, he did post a walk-rate of 11.3% according to FanGraphs.

Gibaut is out of minor league options, which is a big reason why the Cincinnati Reds will likely keep the 29-year-old on the active roster heading into 2023. While other relievers may eventually displace Ian Gibaut, he showed enough last season to warrant a spot on the Opening Day roster.