We're inching closer to the start of the regular season, and that means there have been no fewer than three days for players to injure themselves in spectacular - or mundane - fashion since the last time we looked at the potential roster. The attrition seen in Reds' camp this Spring has been unprecedented, and if you happen to be a nurse or physical therapist by trade, I'd suggest getting your resume ready. The Reds' current staff will need your help.
Trying to make a feasible 25 man roster out of the existing pool of players both on and off the 40 man roster was AB Calculus level complicated a few days ago. With the announcements that Ramon Santiago will make the team, that Brett Marshall has a tendon injury in his finger and will start on the DL, and that Devin Mesoraco may miss the start of the season, this exercise has now become
Opening Day DL
These players are guys currently listed as part of the 40 man roster who the Reds have confirmed will start the season on the Disabled List:
Infield: Jack Hannahan, Skip Schumaker
Starting Rotation: RHP Mat Latos, RHP Brett Marshall
Bullpen: LHP Aroldis Chapman, LHP Sean Marshall, RHP Jonathan Broxton
Opening Day Question Mark
There's currently only one player listed on the 40 man roster whose health status is up in the air for Opening Day:
Catcher: Devin Mesoraco
Opening Day Locks
These fine fellows are sure-things for the first game of the season (provided, of course, that they don't break an ankle getting milk from the fridge between now and Game 1):
Catcher: Brayan Pena
Infield: 1B Joey Votto, 2B Brandon Phillips, SS Zack Cozart, 3B Todd Frazier, SS/2B Ramon Santiago
Outfield: RF Jay Bruce, CF Billy Hamilton, LF Ryan Ludwick, OF Chris Heisey
Starting Rotation: RHP Jonny Cueto, LHP Tony Cingrani, RHP Homer Bailey, RHP Mike Leake, RHP Alfredo Simon
Bullpen: RHP J.J. Hoover, RHP Sam LeCure, RHP Logan Ondrusek, LHP Manny Parra
Potential 25 Man Roster Members
The list of Opening Day Locks needs an additional 6 players to round out a full 25-man roster. If Devin Mesoraco breaks camp and sits injured in the dugout for a few days instead of being placed on the 15 Day DL, that would leave 5 open spots, but let's assume that his injured oblique will have him on the DL to begin the season. If the Reds choose to go with a conventional squad, there's one infield position, one outfield position, the backup catcher, and three spots in the bullpen that need to be filled.
Neftali Soto, I think, has the inside track for the last infield position (thanks to his strong Spring and being on the 40-man roster). That's a near no-brainer
Roger Bernadina deserves the last OF spot (thanks to his torrid Spring and track record of having performed in the majors). He's not on the 40-man, though, so someone will need to get cut.
Tucker Barnhart will likely get the backup catcher role (thanks to his continued progression, solid Spring, and the fact that he, too, is on the 40-man roster).
As for the bullpen, that's a jumbled mess. Nick Christiani and Pedro Beato would seem to have the lead for spots right now, since both are on the 40-man roster and have pitched continuously in Major League camp. Curtis Partch has big-league experience and a 40-man spot, but he's already been optioned to Minor League camp (not that he couldn't be recalled, of course). Jumbo Diaz may have pitched the best of any of the relievers this Spring, but he's never thrown a pitch in the majors and isn't on the 40-man roster currently. Trevor Bell has big league experience, but he, too, doesn't have a spot on the 40-man. Lee Hyde is a lefty, and since Manny Parra is the only other lefty the pen can boast right now, I'm certain the Reds would like to find a way to accomodate Hyde, but he, too, isn't on the 40-man roster.
Also, Ramon Santiago has been confirmed as having a spot on the 25-man roster, but since he's not yet on the 40-man roster, that's another player who will have to be cut.
Basically, if you're Chad Rogers, Carlos Contreras, Ismael Guillon, or Daniel Corcino and you really, really like the Reds organization, you're hoping like heck that the Reds decide to place one or more of Aroldis Chapman, Jack Hannahan, Sean Marshall, Skip Schumaker, Brett Marshall, or Jonathan Broxton on the 60-Day DL; otherwise, at least two of you are getting Designated For Assignment.