The Cincinnati Reds made a series of moves on Sunday to finalize their active roster for Monday’s Opening Day contest against the Philadelphia Phillies. Chief among them were the moves of catcher Devin Mesoraco and Anthony DeSclafani to the 10-day DL, as The Enquirer’s Zach Buchanan reported, since they’ll begin the season rehabbing (albeit on significantly different schedules).
Reds transactions. Upshot - they avoid putting Disco on the 60-day, but have to pay Nick Travieso a big-league salary to do it. pic.twitter.com/CwNvJ1w6FZ— Zach Buchanan (@ZachENQ) April 2, 2017
The lone real surprise here is the activation of Nick Travieso and subsequent placing of him on the MLB 60-day DL. The reality here, though, is that it's as much a procedural move as part of the roster numbers game as it is an endorsement of him being ready for big league action. Travieso missed most all of Spring Training action with a shoulder issue that will obviously sideline him for the bulk of the 2017 season, but simply placing him on the minor league DL wouldn't have freed up a 40-man roster spot at the big league level despite him already being on the 40-man roster. Activating him will start his service clock, but it will also allow the Reds to add a non-roster guy to their 40-man without having to designate another player for assignment.
In essence, the Reds chose to pay Travieso a big league salary and allow him to accrue 60 days of big league service time in order to preserve every other player on the roster, which while odd is not necessarily that bad of a strategy.
The driving force behind that move was likely the decision to place DeSclafani just on the 10-day DL instead of the 60-day DL despite most signs pointing towards Disco's return not being until just about 60 days from Opening Day. This will allow for him to return before that point, if possible, which apparently is enough of a possibility for the Reds to make this choice. That could still mean mid-May, but for a team whose rotation looks shaky at best, that extra 2-3 weeks of having Disco in the rotation could be the right boost at that point of the season.
As for the other moves, Mesoraco will be brought back cautiously, I'm sure. 'Ulnar neuritis' sounds disgusting, which is unfortunate for Austin Brice, but hopefully it's nothing that'll sideline him for too long. A sprain to Nefi Ogando's pitching hand will surely make it hard to pitch, which makes his DL stint inevitable. And the addition of Bronson Arroyo to Louisville's roster is a rather clear sign that he'll join the big league roster for April 8th's start against the St. Louis Cardinals at the expense of someone currently on the 25-man roster.
With those moves out of the way, all that's left is for the rain to stay away so the Reds can do their Opening Day work tomorrow. It's here!