With spring training now firmly in full swing and Opening Day looming, it was inevitable that we’d begin to see some roster shuffling from the Cincinnati Reds at their complex in Goodyear, Arizona. The first major round of moves came Friday, with the team trimming several notable names from their big league camp.
The club announced said moves themselves on Twitter.
Perhaps the biggest subtractions from big league camp were RHPs Edgar Garcia and Ryan Hendrix. Garcia was one of the very few actual free agents added to the Reds on a major league contract this winter, but with an option remaining, it appears he’s on-track to begin the year in the minors. Hendrix, meanwhile, has long been one of the more electric arms in the Reds minors, but a strained intercostal muscle has set him back in camp so far.
I’d wager we’ll still see both firmly in the bullpen mix at the big league level at some point this season, however. And as an administrative note, the players listed as ‘optioned to Triple-A Louisville’ are the ones currently on the 40-man roster, while those ‘Reassigned to minor league camp’ were in Goodyear as non-roster invitees.
There’s a third category listed on this press release, though, and it’s one that’s perhaps the most exciting. Both Brandon Finnegan and Jonathan India have been officially added to big league camp as non-roster invitees, a pair of former 1st round draftees who are at very different stages in their careers. India, of course, has been making waves both with the bat and on the infield in various roles all camp so far, though he had merely been doing so as a player used in big league games while technically in minor league camp. Finnegan, though, has been touching 94 mph repeatedly while finally looking fully healthy again after numerous shoulder issues, and his return would absolutely be one of the better stories in Reds camp should he continue on this track.
Service time manipulation might be the only thing holding India off the Opening Day roster at this rate, but this move clearly indicates the Reds think he’s very much in the picture for big league action at this juncture of his career. As for Finnegan, a lefty with that kind of stuff and track record is always, always a valuable part of a roster, and he’s firmly in the mix for a bullpen spot again if his progress continues.