The only thing murkier than the Cincinnati Reds outfield situation on the cusp of Opening Day was their bullpen fiasco, and with rosters needing to be set by Sunday, moves were undoubtedly on the horizon. The Reds called time on Wednesday, making a series of decisions that shed much more light on which players will break camp with the big league team for Monday's opener against the Philadelphia Phillies.
#reds option OF Holt to AAA, reassign Hayes, Matteus, Ramirez, Villarreal to minor-league camp— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) March 30, 2016
Tyler Holt was almost always thought to be getting the squeeze in the crowded Reds OF, as he was facing long odds due to the Rule 5 status of Jake Cave and Yorman Rodriguez being out of options. As for the bevy of relievers sent packing, only Chris O'Grady should come with any real shock value. Like Cave, he was a Rule 5 selection of the Reds this offseason, meaning he either had to break camp on the 25-man roster or must be offered back to his former team, the Los Angeles Angels. Considering O'Grady had only thrown 8.2 career innings above AA prior to being selected, he was always considered a longshot to make the team despite being one of the few lefties angling for a spot, and his 9.31 Cactus League ERA certainly didn't help his case. Both Ryan Mattheus and Pedro Villarreal had been previously cut from the Reds' 40-man roster within the last calendar year - making their omissions not terribly surprising - and neither Drew Hayes nor JC Ramirez did enough this spring to slide into the front part of the Opening Day bullpen.
O'Grady's failure to make the team also opens a spot on the 40-man roster.
Reading the tea leaves, it appears that J.J. Hoover, Jumbo Diaz, Tony Cingrani, and Ross Ohlendorf seem to be locks for bullpen roles, with Dayan Diaz, Caleb Cotham, Blake Wood, and Keyvius Sampson in line to make the squad, too. That, of course, presumes the team will carry eight relievers to begin the season, which is something that Bryan Price has alluded to given the rotation's injury issues and early season off-days.
Finally, on a less surprising note, it appears that both Adam Duvall and Ivan De Jesus, Jr. have made the Opening Day roster, too. Both have impressed this spring, but their Cactus League stats aren't why they'll be in the GABP dugout on Monday - given their previous performances and roster overhaul, you probably could've written both of their names in pen months ago.
That leaves 35 players still in camp, and 38 on the 40-man roster. Yes, that means there will still be surprises over the next four days.