The picture above is of prized Cincinnati Reds lefty Nick Lodolo, who is not among the players listed on what’s likely to be the team’s Opening Day roster. Yes, this is a post about the team’s Opening Day roster, and I’ve led with a guy who’s not yet on it.
The emphasis, though, is on yet, as Lodolo’s status is one of the linchpins of how the banged-up Reds have set things up. They’re down Luis Castillo, Mike Minor, and Justin Dunn on the starting pitching front, but with an off-day after the opening four-game set in Atlanta, they won’t need a fifth starter until April 13th. As a result, it appears they’ll roll with just four to begin, with a ten-man bullpen flanking them as rosters expand to 28 through the end of April.
The Enquirer’s Charlie Goldsmith relayed that news from manager David Bell earlier on Monday.
David Bell says Nick Lodolo will travel with the Reds to Atlanta.— Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) April 4, 2022
The Reds will begin the year with four starters, but it’s looking like Lodolo will start the Wednesday game versus Cleveland.
Goldsmith also relayed the nature of the team’s bullpen, for now, noting that all of the arms still in camp at the moment are going to make the club. That was undoubtedly some positive news around camp on the day, though The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans did fill us in on an unfortunate detail:
Oh, sorry, lost in all that. They think it'll be 4-6 weeks for Max Schrock. Tough break for him at the end of spring for the second year in a row— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) April 4, 2022
Max Schrock will join the walking wounded in camp, with each of Castillo, Minor, Dunn, Donovan Solano, Lucas Sims, Tejay Antone, and Jose Barrero all hurt with varying injuries. From a 40-man roster perspective, each of Antone (already there), Dunn, and perhaps Barrero could be slated for 60-day IL stints - each move freeing up a roster spot - though Barrero’s timeline is similar to that of Schrock’s. But with each of Aramis Garcia, Brandon Drury, and Buck Farmer in need of 40-man roster spots and the roster currently full, the Reds are going to need to make some roster moves to make this work (beyond just the DFA of Shogo Akiyama, who was informed yesterday he’d not make the team.)
Then, by the 13th, they’ll need another 40-man move to free up space for Lodolo.
It’s effectively a creative way to stretch the roster to its maximum until each piece is needed, with Lodolo being the addendum for the time being (and not in a ‘service time manipulation’ way, either). With that pertinent point made, here’s the roster the Reds will take to Atlanta to begin the season.
Tyler Stephenson, Aramis Garcia
Joey Votto, Jonathan India, Kyle Farmer, Mike Moustakas, Brandon Drury, Colin Moran for some reason
Tommy Pham, Nick Senzel, Tyler Naquin, Aristides Aquino, Jake Fraley
Hunter Strickland, Art Warren, Justin Wilson, Luis Cessa, Tony Santillan, Dauri Moreta, Ryan Hendrix, Buck Farmer, Jeff Hoffman, Daniel Duarte, Alexis Diaz
Starting Rotation (4)
Tyler Mahle, Vladimir Gutierrez, Reiver Sanmartin, Hunter Greene
For the record, that means that not a single reliever who was on the Opening Day roster in 2021 is on the Opening Day 2022 roster. Tejay Antone and Lucas Sims are out hurt, while each of Cam Bedrosian, Sean Doolittle, Cionel Perez, Sal Romano, Carson Fulmer, and Amir Garrett are on to other pastures. All told, just 10 of the 28 members of this Opening Day roster were on it last year.