When you look up and down the Cincinnati Reds 2022 Opening Day roster, you'll struggle to find some familiar names. In fact, going back just three years, only three players from the team's 2019 Opening Day roster will take the field on April 7th at Truist Park in Atlanta.
Had Luis Castillo been healthy the number would have been four, but La Piedra will be starting his 2022 campaign on the Injured List. Only Joey Votto, Kyle Farmer, and Tyler Mahle remain from the Reds squad that took the field on March 28, 2019 versus the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In case you forgot, that was Derek Dietrich's coming out party in which his three-run home run broke a 2-2 tie and put the Redlegs on top for good. As the Ohio native rounded the bases, he pumped his fist and upon stepping on home plate, excitedly gestured to the sold-out crowd at Great American Ball Park.
The Reds have just 3 players remaining from their 2019 Opening Day roster.
Will one of the unknowns make a Derek Dietrich-type of impression on the fanbase this week? Perhaps it'll be Brandon Drury or Jake Fraley that comes up big for the Reds on Opening Day. Maybe it'll be Hunter Strickland or Dauri Moreta punching out Austin Riley in ninth inning to seal the victory. Regardless, they're be a bunch of unfamiliar players wearing a Reds jersey on Thursday night.
While Votto, Farmer, and Mahle are the only three players remaining from the 2019 Reds Opening Day roster, there are still plenty of players from that year's team that are still on the roster. Castillo was already mentioned, but Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, and Lucas Sims were all part of the 2019 Reds as well.
Senzel did not debut until early-May of that year due to an ankle injury. Aquino did not become a regular in the Cincinnati lineup until Yasiel Puig was dealt to the Cleveland Indians, now Guardians. And Lucas Sims was a midseason call-up, coming over from the Atlanta Braves the season before.
The Reds are hopeful that Castillo will return to the rotation by mid-to-late April. A healthy Senzel appears ready to be Cincinnati's centerfielder in 2022. Aquino will likely platoon with Tyler Naquin in right field and also fill in as the Reds designated hitter on occasion. Once Sims is fully heathy, he'll be a key piece in the Redlegs bullpen during the upcoming season.
Heading into the 2019 season, few Reds fans knew about the likes of Derek Dietrich, José Iglesias, or Tanner Roark. But all three were key contributors to the team's success that season. The Cincinnati faithful are sure to flock to the likes of Hunter Greene, Tommy Pham, and Nick Lodolo; all of whom will be counted upon in 2022 if the Reds are to be successful.