Score Stream
The Press Box Sports

Cincinnati Reds nearing finalized 2018 MLB Opening Day roster

2018 Cincinnati Reds opening day roster

The Cincinnati Reds are close to finalizing their MLB Opening Day roster. The Reds made another round of cuts on Sunday and now have their position players in order. Outfielder Phil Ervin has been told that he has made the team. Ervin played in 28 games last year and hit .259/.317/.448 along with three home runs. Non-roster invitee Phil Gosselin also made the final cut. The utility infielder will add depth coming off the bench. Ervin and Gosselin will join Devin Mesoraco, Cliff Pennington, and Jesse Winker as the position-player reserves. Although Winker may start depending on the performance of the starting outfield. If somebody struggles, expect Winker to fill in and compete for starting time.

The Reds optioned Alex Blandino to Triple-A Louisville. They also reassigned Tony Cruz, Brandon Dixon, and Sebastian Elizalde to minor league camp. Ben Revere was cut on Thursday and opted for his release. With their current moves, Cincinnati has their position players set. Manager Bryan Price was debating on keeping Cruz on the 25-man roster as a third catcher but ultimately decided against the idea. Mesoraco has had plenty of health concerns now for a couple of years. However, the Reds will roll the dice in hopes that the former all-star is healthy and ready to go. Top prospect Nick Senzel was sent down last week to master playing second base.

With the starting rotation in order, Cincinnati has a few more decisions to make in the bullpen. Homer Bailey, Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, Sal Romano, and Brandon Finnegan will man the rotation. Amir Garrett will be in the pen but should see some spot starts. Especially with Finnegan suffering a bicep injury. Finnegan will stay behind in Arizona for a week to work with the minor leaguers. That could give Garrett the nod as the Reds No. 5 starter. Garrett started the 2017 season off to a great start before being sent down to Louisville for an extra year of team control. After returning to the rotation, he struggled the rest of the season to find his groove. It looks like he found it this spring, going 2-1 with a 3.18 era.

Kevin Quackenbush has made the roster and will serve in the bullpen. He will join the likes of Jared Hughes, Wandy Peralta, and closer Raisel Iglesias. RelieverĀ Michael Lorenzen will be out for a little while with a shoulder injury. That leaves Austin Brice, Zack Weiss, and Vance Worley competing for the last couple of spots. None of those three guys have impressive numbers this spring. The Reds claimed Justin Nicolino off waivers from the Marlins in hopes of making a push to fill a spot in the bullpen. Cody Reed was optioned to Louisville but may get an early call-up if the relievers cannot get it done.

The offense seems to be set for the 2018 season, but there’s a lot of doubt and uncertainty among the pitching staff. There’s a good possibility that the Reds make another waiver claim before the start of the season. The same way they did with Scooter Gennett last year and Dan Straily two years ago. Cincinnati still has to make some moves to get Quackenbush, Gosselin, and Pennington on the 40-man roster. So more cuts are coming. The pitching staff will look significantly different in 2018, but it’s unclear if that is a good or bad thing yet. If the pitchers perform better this year, theĀ  Cincinnati Reds may be a dark horse contender in the NL Central.