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Another look at the Reds' playoff roster

Joe Robbins - Getty Images

There are a number of ways to look at a team's playoff roster, but - as with all opinion - they fall generally into two buckets:

1. What will happen

2. What should happen

Luckily, after an exhaustive and wildly-successful 162-game season, there's a lot of cross-over on these two lists. The overwhelming majority of the playoff roster, in fact, is non-controversial. You may not have agreed with some of the moves made over the season and the 40-man roster composition, but these are the players the Reds have. Especially with a pretty thin upper minors, there's not a lot to decide.

Here's how I've sorted it out. To add a little bit of texture, I've ranked the players arbitrarily on how "in" they are.

We can all agree that they should be in (20):

Joey Votto, 1B
Johnny Cueto, SP
Jay Bruce, RF
Brandon Phillips, 2B
Ryan Ludwick, LF
Mat Latos, SP
Bronson Arroyo, SP
Ryan Hanigan, C
Aroldis Chapman, RP
Todd Frazier, 3B/LF
Zack Cozart, SS
Homer Bailey, SP
Scott Rolen, 3B
Jonathan Broxton, RP
Chris Heisey, OF
Sean Marshall, RP
Drew Stubbs OF
Sam LeCure, RP
Alfredo Simon, RP
Dioner Navarro, C

In, but someone else might be more deserving of his spot, depending of course on what you think, feel and the relative virtues of a smaller bullpen in the playoffs (1):

Jose Arredondo, RP

In, but we may not like it (2):

Miguel Cairo, IF
Wilson Valdez
, SS

Should also be in and probably will be (1):

Xavier Paul, OF

That's 24 right there. 10 pitchers, 13 position players. Paul is almost certainly in, given the way he's hit and his left-handed bat. So it comes down to a handful of bubble players for the very last spot.

Bubble players (ranked by likeliest to be taken):

  1. Mike Leake
  2. J.J. Hoover
  3. Devin Mesoraco
  4. Henry Rodriguez
  5. Didi Gregorius
  6. Logan Ondrusek
  7. Tony Cingrani
  8. Denis Phipps

I see Leake as the most likely because he increases the number PHers and arms available. He's also the "status quo" pick, which can't be underestimated - though the Reds did leave Aaron Harang off the roster in '10 (partly due to injury history).

Things could easily break another way, but it would surprise me if there aren't 24 spots already firmed up.