3 Reds rookies who will have a surprisingly decreased role in 2023

Cincinnati Reds infielder Alejo Lopez
Cincinnati Reds infielder Alejo Lopez / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages
1 of 3

The Cincinnati Reds had a huge number of first-year players on last year's roster. As the team traded away longtime favorites like Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker, several rookies made their major league debut.

Jose Barrero was a rookie in 2021, but failed to live up to the lofty expectations heaped upon him during his second major league season. Barrero's future with the team is now in question as he approaches his third year in the big leagues.

The sophomore slump can be a real thing, as we saw with both Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson last season. Which three Cincinnati Reds rookies will take on a surprisingly lesser role in 2023?

1. Reds rookie Fernando Cruz will have a surprisingly decreased role in 2023.

It's a little hard to say that Fernando Cruz will have a decreased role heading into 2023 as the longtime minor league pitcher only made it to the big leagues last September after spending the entire year at Triple-A Louisville.

Cruz was actually drafted by the Kansas City Royals back in 2007 as a position. His unconventional route to major leagues included stops in independent baseball leagues and the Mexican League as well. All of his hard work paid off with his debut coming late last season.

But Cruz, who was the Louisville Bats closer in 2022, will have far more competition among the Reds relief corps to begin the 2023 season season than he did after arriving for the home stretch last season.

The Cincinnati Reds will be having Tony Santillan, Lucas Sims, and Tejay Antone return from injury in 2023 and all three are likely to be part of the backend of the bullpen. That said, Art Warren and Jeff Hoffman will not be part of Cincinnati's roster in 2023, so while Cruz's role will likely be as a midle reliever, he should still expect to be part of next year's team.