17 Days To Go Until Opening Day... Who is your 25-Man Roster?

Hard to believe that just two weeks from this coming Monday is Opening Day against the Cardinals at Great American Ball Park.  I sure hope the nice, warm weather we have enjoyed in Reds land this week is here for Opening Day as well.  While many of the positions on the team are set, there are a few battles for roster spots before the team breaks camp and head northeast to start the year.

Will the Reds decide to keep Aaron Miles because the money he is owed?  Or will they go younger with more speed, offense, and versatility and keep a guy like Paul Janish or Drew Sutton?  Who wins the 5th starter job?  Will there be a need for cuban food in the Reds clubhouse?  Is it possible Drew Stubbs starts the year in AAA?  My predictions are below.


Starting Pitchers (5):

1- 39 Aaron Harang

2- 47 Johnny Cueto

3- 61 Bronson Arroyo

4- 34 Homer Bailey

5 / Bullpen - 56 Matt Maloney

Actually if they really wanted to, the Reds only need a 5th starter twice in the whole month.  I can see where an extra day would be good for Cueto and Bailey, but usually they like to keep Harang & Arroyo on their regular 5-Day rotation.  Obviously, I think the Reds prefer Chapman starts the year in the minors for at least 5-10 starts, if not 15.  This spot could easily belong to Micah Owings as well.  Travis Wood, could be a dark horse candidate for this 5th spot, but I think for now I'm going with Maloney.

Bullpen (7)

1-  48 Francisco Cordero

2-  40 Nick Massett

3-  53 Arthur Rhodes

4-  51 Jared Burton

5-  52 Daniel Ray Herrera

6-  33 Micah Owings

7-  57 Mike Lincoln

Carlos Fisher and his tight elbow may mean a start at AAA or the DL if he can't get back to game action in the next 7 days. I guess you could say Ondrusek or Wood could start with the big club in the bullpen, but not likely.  The Reds really don't have room on the 40-Man roster for someone like Kip Wells or Justin Lehr, and they haven't performed this well in their late inning appearances anyway..

Starting Position Players (8)

1-  55 Ramon Hernandez (C)

2- 19 Joey Votto (1B)

3-   4 Brandon Phillips (2B)

4-  27 Scott Rolen (3B)

5-    2 Orlando Cabrera (SS)

6-  31 Jonny Gomes (LF)

7-  21 Chris Dickerson (CF)

8-  32 Jay Bruce (RF)


Bench - (5)

1-   29  Ryan Hanigan

2-     6  Drew Stubbs

3-   15  Drew Sutton

4-   25  Wladmir Balentien

5-     7  Paul Janish


Again, the 40-Man roster is full, but in my scenario, Aaron Miles is a goner, and that would open a spot.  I still don't see how any of the non-roster guys (Cairo, Burke) are clear upgrades over Drew Sutton or Paul Janish.   Wilkin Castillo is the NRI who has had the best spring, and his ability to play 5 Positions (C, LF, RF, 2b, 3b), along with his speed could be an asset on a 25-Man Roster.  He would have to bump Sutton or Janish though.  Juan Francisco could be an intriguing option as well, but it sounds like he still has some plate discipline issues to overcome.  If he can become decent in left field, he could share time with Gomes, and also spell Rolen at 3rd base, while keeping a power bat in the lineup.  When he didn't start, he would be by far our big threat off the bench.

In the Outfield, you could argue Laynce Nix might make sense over Balentien, but Balentien has had a good spring, and is out of options.  Personally, I feel the Reds would be better served leaving Nix as insurance at AAA. I guess he could be the LH bench bat as well.



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