4. Harrison Bader still has to prove he deserves to be on the Reds playoff roster.
Just like Hunter Renfroe, Harrison Bader arrived to Cincinnati earlier this month on waivers. The New York Yankees made the Bronx native available, and with so many injured position players at the time, the Reds added Bader to the roster.
Bader feels like more of lock to me than Renfroe simply because of his defensive ability. Bader is arguably one of the best defensive centerfielders in the game. With the left-handed hitting TJ Friedl as David Bell's other option, you know the Reds skipper would love to have the right-handed hitting Bader on the bench.
But again, the Reds are unlikely to see a left-handed starter in a potential matchup with the Milwaukee Brewers. Bader has hit lefties (.317/.380/.610) well this season, but has an OPS of just .507 against right-handers. That brings Bader's spot on the Reds playoff roster into question.
If it's assumed that Matt McLain is still on the injured list when postseason play begins, Friedl, Elly De La Cruz, Nick Senzel, Joey Votto, Luke Maile, Tyler Stephenson, Jonathan India, Jake Fraley, Will Benson, Noelvi Marte, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and Spencer Steer will occupy 12 of the 13 available spots.
That means that the trio of Harrison Bader, Hunter Renfroe, and Nick Martini are likely to be jockeying for that final spot on a potential Cincinnati Reds playoff roster. If Bader performs well over the next couple of weeks, he may lock up that final spot.