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Cincinnati Reds

Who Will be the Reds 26th Player?

With rosters expanding in 2020, it’s fair to start wondering who will nab the last spot on the active roster.

Clay Snowden



Every March, fans study the spring roster and predict the 25 lucky players who will wear the Reds logo on Opening Day. This season, that bubble guy you want to add but can’t? Add him. In 2020 the MLB has expanded active rosters to 26. September rosters will shrink from 40 to 28. How each team will manage the additional spot will be interesting, but how will the Reds utilize the 26th slot?

An additional spot allows for 30 more people to have their MLB dream while also providing some flexibility for the manager. Also, it will allow players who are slightly dinged up to avoid the injury list (IL) for a few days without hamstringing the manager’s bench options. Using the spot for an additional starting pitcher doesn’t make much sense. Five days of rest is enough, and you want Ace pitching as much as possible. A bullpen arm? I wouldn’t think so. You wouldn’t want arms to go a week (or more) without action. The new three batter minimum rule will eliminate the lefty pitcher who comes in for one batter, which could be a “26th man” type of player. No starter, no pen, leaving us with a fielder.

Who will claim the 26th spot is far from known. The roster alone is far from known. But it’s December 18th and we’re starving for Reds content so here we go. An MLB bench usually consists of some combination of: utility player , a backup catcher, back up outfielder, a glove guy, and some pop for pinch hitting. A list of *potential* bench players from the 40 man roster:

(Positions played in order of most to least innings)

Curt Casali (C/1B)

Tyler Stephenson (C)

Alex Blandino (2B/ 3B/1B)

Kyle Farmer (2B/C/1B/3B/PITCHER!/SS)

Phillip Ervin (LF/CF/RF)

Travis Jankowski (CF/RF/LF)

Nick Martini (LF/PICHER)

Mark Payton (LF/RF) AAA

Scott Schebler (CF/LF/RF)

Jose Siri (CF/RF) AA/AAA

Josh VanMeter (LF/2B/1B/3B/RF)

Michael Lorenzen** (CF/LF/RF)

Let’s get some obvious things out of the way. Stephenson will be in AAA to start and carrying 3 catchers is strange (Remember Stuart Turner? Let’s not) Schebler seems to be off the roster come Opening Day, Martini/Payton are somewhat unknown. Payton had pop in the PCL last year, but who didn’t? Being a Rule 5 guy if not on Opening Day roster he gets offered back. Farmer and VanMeter can fill the utility role(s). Casali remains the back up catcher. Ervin is in and out of the lineup.

Siri is headed to AAA to hopefully fix his hitting woes. But, Siri also could get a look this season. His top notch defense in CF and speed is interesting off the bench. Being able to insert Siri late in the game while kicking Senzel to left and moving Winker to the bench sure would give the Reds a better defense. Senzel hasn’t played left yet, but he has to be better than Winker out there right? Lorenzen helps make this less of a need in 2020. His ability to play the field well will allow Siri to develop in Louisville.

Blandino’s career has been hampered by injuries but came on late in 2019 to show he still is an interesting “prospect”. He isn’t a glove guy, but his bat has shown some promise at times.

At the end of the day I think the 26th spot will be filled by a more situational player than just a “back up xyz”. The Reds will bring players to spring training hoping to earn a spot. Jose Iglesias and Derek Dietrich earned spots last season. Personally, I would love to see a plus defensive infielder (2B?) with plus speed. Moose is not going to be known for his glove, and the Reds lack a plus defensive back up in the middle infield. I probably overrate the defensive replacement for late game situations, but if you have the “extra” player, why not use it?

Go Reds!

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Cincinnati Reds

Predicting the Final Stretch

Let’s take a look at what’s left for the Reds in the 2020 Regular Season and what they need to do to make it to the Playoffs

Clay Snowden



September 18th, the weather is cooling down, football is starting (Bengals 0-2), every restaurant is putting pumpkin in everything, and the Reds have playoff hopes……wait what?! Yes, that’s right. The Reds are alive in September. Usually, these are the days of expanded roster players eating up innings as the season drags to the end. Not this year. Your Cincinnati Reds are playing for postseason baseball.

We all knew the Reds needed to get the four-game sweep of the Pirates. 4 games against one of the worst teams with so much on the line. Well, the Reds got it done. A clean sweep. This sweep, combined with the Cardinals losing a few games, leaves the Reds in sole possession of second place in the central. Now, I wouldn’t assume they will be there come September 27th. The Cardinals do have doubleheaders today (Friday) and next Friday and we know it can be hard to win twice in a day. They also play the Pirates (15-34), Royals (23-26), and Brewers (21-29) to finish the season. Favorable to say the least. The Reds have the White Sox (33-17), Brewers (21-29), and Twins (31-21).

The White Sox might be my favorite team to watch this year. A mixture of young studs and all-star vets, this team has a ton of offense. Tim Anderson might win back to back batting titles. I don’t want to sound like a southside fan, but let’s be honest, this team is likable. It’s going to be tough to win this series. They did recently clinch a playoff spot, but don’t confuse that with them “resting” starters. Reds pitching will have to be damn near flawless and the offense probably needs to give them 4 runs for a win. Prediction: Take 1 of 3 (Reds: 26-28)

We all know the Brewers. A team that has been solid the past few years lost some key players and Yelich is hitting .208. They aren’t what they thought they would be, but they won’t just fold. They will not give up on their postseason hopes until they are officially eliminated. The Reds are 4-3 vs the Brew Crew this year. An important 3 game series, the Reds could pick up ground here. We have seen how they have played the Brewers to a nearly .500 record this year, so I doubt a sweep happens. Prediction: Take 2 of 3. (Reds 28-29)

The Twins are right behind the White Sox. 1 and 2 in their division. However, I don’t find them as “scary” as the White Sox. Like the White Sox, the Twins are in the same division as the Indians, who Trevor Bauer pitched for before the Reds. Bauer will know some of these Batters and that alone could help him steal a win (assuming he pitches in the series.) The Reds will have their backs against the wall with their playoff hopes on the line. However, the Twins have a better lineup. Prediction: Take 1 of 3 (Reds 29-31).

*Keep in mind I do not have pitching matchups*

Will that be good enough to make the playoffs? Hard to tell. Many have said 30 wins gets you in. Maybe another team falls apart down the stretch. We are in the time of scoreboard watching. In that time of year where we stay up late to watch a west coast game and cheer hard for a Diamondbacks win (or some other “random” team). I love it. I love the intensity and game on the line feeling. Each win feels monumental.

Enjoy the ride.

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Cincinnati Reds

Dugout Mugs Chat with Pete Rose September 15 at 9 PM

Join our friends from Dugout Mugs Tuesday night as they chat with Pete Rose





Our friends from Dugout Mugs are having a chat with Reds legend Pete Rose tomorrow night, September 15th, at 9:00 PM EST. They will be promoting their new line of mugs which feature the Hit King (and look good, too) as well as holding an “ask me anything” type segment where fans are encouraged to submit questions here.

Though embroiled in controversy off the field, Rose was one of the best to ever play on the field. I’m not sure we will ever see anyone approach 4256 career hits mostly because I’m not sure we will ever see a player put together a 24-year career with a 162-game average of 194 hits. It’s not just longevity but also the consistency with which Rose played for the length that he played.

Most Reds fans would agree he is one of the best to ever wear a Reds uniform and you will have a chance to drop Rose a question that they will talk about on the Dugout Mugs Facebook live event. Make sure to also tune in at 9:00 PM!

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Cincinnati Reds

Analyzing Moustakas: Now and in the Future

So far there has been very little production from Moose, but should the Reds consider shaking it up with him?

Clay Snowden



Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

MOOOOOSSSEEEE. December 5th, 2019 the Reds surprised many with a splash signing. And by big, I mean BIG. The largest free agent deal in club history. 4 years at $64 million for Moose to come in and fill the hole at second. When he signed, many in the baseball world thought the Reds were making a mistake. A 32 year old player who doesn’t hit for a high average but hits for power coming in to solidify the middle of the Reds lineup.

So far, the deal has not worked out for the Reds. He has battled injuries and has been limited to 84 at bats through 23 games the slugger has struggled to find his grove. A career .214/.310/.439 hitter, Moose is hitting .214/.333/.314 so far this season. After hitting 35 homers last season, his total sits at 2 in 2020. No one expected him to be a gold glove fielder at second, but he hasn’t made an error so far this season.

So what should the Reds do with Moose in 2020?

The short answer, nothing. You don’t invest this much money into a free agent and make drastic decisions on him after 84 at bats. I don’t think anyone is calling for him to get benched, but frustration and worry is growing. Moose simply needs to get in a rhythm. The options to fill in for Moose at second are not exactly upgrades. Farmer, Galvis, Blandino, and Robel Garcia are the 40 man roster options. What about Nick Senzel?!?!? Senzel was thought to be the 2B of the future, but to the surprise of many made the change to CF last season. In spring training he saw time in CF and nowhere else. He is currently injured, again, but moving him to second would leave a huge hole in center, as we are seeing right now.

The future for Moose?
Let’s start with the contract
2021- 32 yrs old – $14 mil
2022- 33 – $16 mil
2023- 34 – $18 mil
2024- 35 $20 mil ($20 mil is a team option, $4 mil is the buyout)

One thing we all know is that Reds fans get UPSET when older players are making big money. I would be beyond surprised if we see Moose playing second into his mid 30’s. I see two likely scenarios; DH or 1B. Votto turns 37 on September 10th and his days are numbered. He too has a $20 mil team option in 2024 and a $7 mil buyout but I find it hard to believe he is still around then. Moose could easily slide to first. He’s already seen time there in 2020 and has logged 65 innings at first in his career. The Reds lack first base depth and it’s common to see subpar defenders make the move there.

Will the Reds regret the deal?

Too early to tell. However, Cincy had to overpay on the back end for this deal. We all knew that from day 1. Moose was tired of taking one year deals. Cincy hasn’t been a good team recently. Want to know how to attract players to teams that are unproven? Giv3e them money and term. Being in a win now mode means making moves that make sense for the current team life cycle, but might hurt in the long run. That’s the cost of winning. The issue with this right now is…..well….the Reds aren’t doing much of that “winning” thing.

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