25-man roster predictions
The Reds’ 25-man roster is less easier to predict than I would have expected when I landed in Arizona on Feb. 13. I certainly didn’t expect Spring Training to be incident-free and I was keenly aware that anything could happen at any time. On the other hand, who expects Aroldis Chapman to be struck in the face by a line drive? Who can expect Skip Schumaker’s glove to get caught in the grass and dislocate his shoulder?
Predicting the 25-man roster is somewhat easier than the ramifications of what happens to the 40-man roster if/when non-roster players make the club. With one week to go before Opening Day vs. the Cardinals, I am taking my best shot at picking the 25-man roster you will see lined up at Great American Ball Park before the game.
Catchers (2): Devin Mesoraco*, Brayan Pena (*if his strained oblique is OK)
Infielders (6): 1B Joey Votto, 2B Brandon Phillips, SS Zack Cozart, 3B Todd Frazier, 1B/3B Neftali Soto, INF Kristopher Negron*
(*I picked Negron over Santiago and Nelson not only because he had a strong finish to spring, but also because of the fact he is the most versatile of the three contenders. He can play almost every position, including shortstop and center field. Nelson would be my very close second choice.)
Outfielders (5): LF Ryan Ludwick, CF Billy Hamilton, RF Jay Bruce, OF Chris Heisey, OF Roger Bernadina
Rotation (5): Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, Mike Leake, Tony Cingrani, Alfredo Simon
Bullpen (7): Sam LeCure, J.J. Hoover, Manny Parra, Logan Ondrusek, Nick Christiani, Brett Marshall*, Pedro Beato*
(*Cases could easily be made for Jumbo Diaz and Trevor Bell to get the final two spots. Roster issues come into play, especially if they already add non-roster players like Negron and Bernadina. It would be tough to add two more non-roster pitchers like Diaz and Bell, especially if Jonathan Broxton and Mat Latos are going to be ready sooner than later. Brett Marshall gets a spot also for his good spring and because he can be a long reliever in the early part of the season.)
Disabled list (6): Chapman, Latos, Broxton, Sean Marshall, Skip Schumaker, Jack Hannahan.