Roster Questions: Who is number 25? Or maybe 12?

bernadina - Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

And don't say "Skip Schumaker", ya dolt.

Fat Vegas Alan - who used to run things around here - asked who we think the final cuts will be. It's a good question! Let's debate it! For reference, the 40-man roster can be found here and the non-roster invitees are here.

There's only really three spots available here, which makes this whole roster prognostication kind of easy. But that doesn't mean we can't have fun with it. We will list the names -- italicizing the question marks --and mention the battles relevant.

Catchers:

Devin Mesoraco (R/R) -1

Brayan Pena (S/R) -2

Cuts of relevance: Corky Miller, Tucker Barnhart

Tucker has made his way onto the 40-man, so he's probably ahead of Corky in the pecking order now. And Corky can't be much longer for the tools of ignorance, in his defense. Rax Marimez is back there in case of glass, too.

Infielders:

Joey Votto (L/R) -3

Brandon Phillips (R/R) -4

Zack Cozart (R/R) -5

Todd Frazier (R/R) -6

Skip Schumaker (L/R) -7

Jack Hannahan (L/R) -8

Ramon Santiago (S/R)

Cuts of relevance: Chris Nelson

Ramon Santiago is the real question here. I may be reading too much into the augurs, but the fact that Skip is listed as an infielder leads me to believe that him and Hannahan are going to split the infield sub roles and that the Reds will try to stash Ramon in case Cozart goes down somewhat full-time. I'm not necessarily thrilled with this, though, since it basically relies on Phillips playing his way through a day-to-day as is his wont while Frazier and Votto never need a breather, but if the alternative is ~250 PAs for Santiago I gotta say I'm for it.

Outfielders:

Ryan Ludwick (R/L) -9

Billy Hamilton (S/R) -10

Jay Bruce (L/L) -11

Chris Heisey (R/R) -12

Ryan LaMarre (R/L)

Roger Bernadina (L/L)

Justin Bourgeois (R/R)

Cuts of relevance: Donald Lutz

It's really the outfield where there's the most interesting people fighting to impress, as LaMarre, Lutz, and Yorman are probably all looking to get the next call-up and Bernadina and Bourgeois want to get on a roster. I can't imagine that the Reds won't want a "true" backup CF on the 25-man, and I just don't know if it's a good idea to bump up LaMarre before giving him his 15th AAA plate appearance.

Starting Pitchers:

Johnny Cueto (R) -14

Homer Bailey (R) -15

Mike Leake (R) -16

Tony Cingrani (L) -17

Mat Latos (R)

Cuts of relevance: Dave Holmberg, Chien-Ming Wang, Jeff Francis...

Call me skeptical, but I think the Reds will start off with Latos on the DL retroactively, allowing him to be the #5 starter going on April 6. It's a bit too bad, since it gives the Cards a lot of face-time with a few fine fellows they're already quite familiar with. But I think Price is gonna play it conservatively with Latos' knee.

You can call me optimistic, though, because I have a feeling that Stephenson's gonna have a really fun spring. Corcino, too.

Relievers:

Chapman - L - 18

Marshall - L - 19

Parra - L - 20

Hoover - R - 21

LeCure - R - 22

Simon - R - 23

Ondrusek - R - 24

Broxton - R

Diaz - R

Cuts of relevance: Brett Marshall, Nick Christiani, Trevor Bell

I've never seen such a lefty-dominant bullpen before. And it's a pity, too, because there really aren't many tough lefties in the NL Central. Anyways, the bullpen is as usual overstuffed, and guys like Christiani, Marshall, et al are really gonna have a tough time squeezing in there without injuries. I bet that Jose "Jumbito" Diaz is the last guy cut and the first guy called up. I also bet that Broxton won't be ready to begin the season.

So who do we got in italics?

The last spot is going to go to Latos if he's healthy. If he's healthy and Broxton's healthy, then some other poor reliever (Ondrusek) is probably bumped, unless there's another injury in the bullpen.

Pitchers aside, the batter's battle seems to come down to what Skip's role is. If he's a utility player and Heisey's the backup CFer than Ramon Santiago gets to play with the big boys. If Skip is more of an infielder and bench lefty, than it probably comes down to Bernadina or Bourgeouis, and I think that Bernadina's lefty bat gives him the edge. On the other hand, maybe the Reds want another bench righty besides Heisey.

What do you think?

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