Hunter Greene's injury offers temporary relief from Reds impending roster crunch

The Cincinnati Reds front office will be tasked with making some unpopular moves in the coming days as the roster crunch continues.

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages
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Joey Votto was activated from the 60-day IL on Monday, and in order to make room, the Cincinnati Reds placed Hunter Greene on the 15-day IL (hip) and designated Kevin Herget for assignment.

This is a temporary solution to a bigger problem. Not a bad problem, but a problem none the less. Quite frankly, the Reds have a lot of depth up and down the roster. Perhaps more depth than the 26-man roster can handle.

Greene will eventually need to be replaced in the starting rotation, and despite what some Reds fans may desire, Wil Myers can't stay in Louisville forever. There's also a certain prospect playing at Triple-A who's begging to be called up. The roster crunch isn't over.

Hunter Greene's injury offers temporary relief from Reds impending roster crunch.

Over the past week, the Cincinnati Reds have designated both Kevin Herget and Joel Kuhnel for assignment. Kuhnel was then traded to the Houston Astros, and you have to assume that the Reds would prefer to outright Herget back to Triple-A Louisville if he passes through waivers.

It's a good bet that Graham Ashcraft will replace Hunter Greene in the Cincinnati rotation, but that means that the Reds current crop of 14 position players will be cut down to 13. Even with Greene in the rotation, there's no way the Redlegs are running with a relief corps of only seven pitchers.

So while Luke Weaver and Brandon Williamson are currently set to go on Saturday and Sunday respectively, that may change with the upcoming off day on Thursday. Weaver could get the ball on Friday, but by the weekend, the Reds will have to make another decision as the roster crunch intensifies.

And we haven't even talked about Wil Myers impending return. Myers was sent on a rehab assignment earlier this month, but was in the Reds dugout on Monday night. Myers last played for the Louisville Bats on June 17th, so his return could be any day now.

Many of the Cincinnati faithful are ready to see the team move on from carrying three catchers, but the front office may have other ideas. The trio of Curt Casali, Luke Maile, and Tyler Stephenson have formed quite the combination this season with each player succeeding in different areas.

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The Reds have several players with minor league options remaining as well. This list includes Kevin Newman, Nick Senzel, Will Benson, and Stuart Fairchild. Newman and Senzel have crushed left-handed pitching, there may not be a hotter player on the roster than Benson, and Fairchild provides speed on the base paths, defensive versatility, and some pop from the right side.

Look for the Cincinnati Reds to maintain as much roster depth as possible until it's no longer justifiable. In other words, those four players just mentioned are the most likely to be removed from the 26-man roster as move begin to be made.

This isn't to say that the quartet of Newman, Senzel, Benson, and Fairchild don't offer value, but the Reds will have to make some unpopular moves in the coming days as veterans like Joey Votto and Wil Myers return from the IL.

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