Predicting the Cincinnati Reds’ Opening Day 25-Man Roster

Predicting the Cincinnati Reds’ Opening Day 25-Man Roster

Johnny Cueto Cincinnati Reds
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Opening Day for MLB and the Cincinnati Reds is right around the corner. A great deal of their final 25-man roster is going to be fairly easy to figure out. There are a few minor injuries that will make the roster on day one different than the roster at the first of May. One thing for sure is that anyone who is ready to hand the NL Central to the St. Louis Cardinals has not looked at this roster for the Reds. Why don’t we do that right now?

Ryan Ludwick – LF

Ryan Ludwick Cincinnati Reds
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Ryan Ludwick – LF

Ryan Ludwick Cincinnati Reds
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Ludwick is off to a good start this spring with a homer and a few RBI already. If he is able to remain healthy all season he is likely to be capable of 25 home runs and around 80 RBI. This is only the beginning. This should be one of the strongest teams in MLB. Keep going to find out why.

Billy Hamilton – CF

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Billy Hamilton – CF

Billy Hamilton Cincinnati Reds
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There is no questioning the fact that Hamilton will steal a ton of bases once he is on the bases. Right now he is trying to get better at finding ways to get on base. If he is able to do that the way he did when given the chance last year, he’ll be giving pitchers gray hairs all year.

Jay Bruce – RF

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Jay Bruce – RF

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The fact that Bruce was not really mentioned often in the MVP voting last season is about ridiculous. He posted 30 home runs and 109 RBI. His spring numbers look to guarantee a very productive 2014. All total these three make up quite the potent outfield on paper at the very least.

Todd Frazier – 3B

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Todd Frazier – 3B

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Frazier might not be the leading third baseman in all of MLB but he does have 19 home runs in two years running and is capable of driving in plenty of runs. He is a big reason this team could be an offensive powerhouse if he hits like he can.

Zack Cozart – SS

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Zack Cozart – SS

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Shortstop is the sweet spot of MLB right now both in the majors with several big storylines surrounding that position and in the minors. The Reds have a solid man for the job in Cosart. He can through double-digit homers and 60 plus RBI each year.

Brandon Phillips – 2B

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Brandon Phillips – 2B

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As long as Phillips can keep his mind on baseball he is very likely the best offensive second baseman in the national league and even all of MLB with all due respect to Robinson Cano. Last season he had all kinds of drama messing things up so his numbers slipped way down to 18 home runs and 103 RBI. If he can stay focused he should do fine and the spring suggests he is plenty focused.

Joey Votto – 1B

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Joey Votto – 1B

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Votto had a bit of an off year last year in the RBI department as he didn’t reach 80 but he is one of a few MVP candidates this team will field on Opening Day. Another 20 plus home run guy in this batting order as long as all goes to plan and you are looking at a very strong team.

Devin Mesoraco – C

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Devin Mesoraco – C

Devin Mesoraco Cincinnati Reds
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This season Mesoraco should have no problem handling the everyday catching duties and should produce plenty of runs as well. His 9 home runs and 42 RBI in limited AB’s last year certainly suggest he is capable of a big offensive year from behind the plate.

Skip Schumaker – IF/OF Bench

Skip Schumaker Cincinnati Reds
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Skip Schumaker – IF/OF Bench

Skip Schumaker Cincinnati Reds
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The reserves or bench players begin with one of the biggest pick-ups of the offseason for anyone. Schumaker has made a habit of playing on teams that make the postseason. Coincidence or not, the guy knows how to play this role as well as anyone in the game.

Brayan Pena – C Bench

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Brayan Pena – C Bench

Brayan Pena Cincinnati Reds
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Pena will handle back-up catching duties quite well. He can handle a bat as well so it makes for a good tandem behind the plate that will be solid at least. His postseason experiences with the Tigers don't hurt either.

Chris Heisey – OF Bench

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Chris Heisey – OF Bench

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If there was any doubt of whether Heisey was going to be all out for a roster spot this spring, his .333 average, 3 home runs and 6 RBI so far pretty well confirm it. He is a pretty sure thing to be a solid fourth outfielder along with Schumaker all year long.

Jack Hannahan – IF Bench

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Jack Hannahan – IF Bench

Jack Hannahan Cincinnati Reds
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Hannahan is making his way back from an injury that keeps him from playing defense. While the manger would love to see how versatile he is, the tools that Hannahan bring on defense are as solid and guaranteed as they come. He might be slow getting into the field this spring but look for him to make the roster anyway right out of the gate.

Neftali Soto – IF Bench

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Neftali Soto – IF Bench

Neftali Soto Cincinnati Reds
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Nothing is guaranteed but Soto will probably get the nod out of spring training because he can play infield positions and Hannahan’s defense might be slow getting up to speed from the bench. It is possible that Roger Bernadina could win this final spot but the ability of Schumaker to play both the infield and outfield creates space for another infielder to be brought on.

Nick Christiani – RHP Bullpen

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Nick Christiani – RHP Bullpen

Nick Christiani Cincinnati Reds
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Christiani is likely to get a spot out of spring training for the same reason the following gentleman should. Sean Marshall, a valuable left-hander and Jonathan Broxton are likely to hit the DL for a short period of time to start the season. They will be on the roster in all likelihood when they are healthy. Maybe Christiani can make the most of any chance he gets. His spring looks strong so far.

Logan Ondrusek – RHP Bullpen

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Logan Ondrusek – RHP Bullpen

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Like a few others in the early bullpen of the Reds, Ondrusek will be trying to prove he deserves a spot when Marshall and Broxton make it back to the roster. He will need to improve on past numbers in all probability if he is going to do that.

Manny Parra – LHP Bullpen

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Manny Parra – LHP Bullpen

Manny Parra Cincinnati Reds
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Until Marshall returns Parra will carry the important load of being the only lefty in the Reds’ ‘pen. If there is a weakness in this team it could be the long and middle bullpen guys. Parra will have a very critical job early.

Alfredo Simon – RHP Bullpen

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Alfredo Simon – RHP Bullpen

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Last season Simon was able to silence many bats with a 2.87 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. The Reds are going to need him to come through like that this season as well.

Sam LeCure – RHP Bullpen

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Sam LeCure – RHP Bullpen

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Another solid right hander out of the Reds pen from one year ago was LeCure. His ERA was better than that of Simon at 2.66 with a slightly higher WHIP. All in all the Reds are going to need him to step up as well to help get the team through the long middle innings whenever a starter fails to go seven strong.

J.J. Hoover – RHP Bullpen

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J.J. Hoover – RHP Bullpen

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Hoover’s career ERA and WHIP of 2.61 and 1.07 mark him as a very important man in the bullpen. His could be the set-up role consistently if he proves again to be that effective.

Aroldis Chapman – RHP Closer

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Aroldis Chapman – RHP Closer

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The Reds made the best choice they have made in recent memory by keeping Chapman as the closer. They have a lot of promising pitching on the way but a dominant or at least potentially dominant closer is a rare find. They have one in Chapman who has two consecutive 38 save seasons.

Tony Cingrani – LHP Starter

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Tony Cingrani – LHP Starter

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A great deal of potential can be seen in Cingrani and the Reds expect big things from him this season. His slotting as the fifth starter has a lot to do with tenure but does not mean he does not have the potential to be the best pitcher on this team. He absolutely does.

Mike Leake – RHP Starter

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Mike Leake – RHP Starter

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Leake probably had the quietest 14 win season last season of anyone who earned the honor. He also got very close to the 200 innings mark. He is very capable of putting up double-digit wins every single season.

Homer Bailey – RHP Starter

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Homer Bailey – RHP Starter

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Bailey is not always on one-hundred percent but when he is, someone is likely to get no-hitters thrown in their direction. He is a great inning eater and will put up a decent wins total as well keep the Reds in ballgames.

Matt Latos – RHP Starter

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Matt Latos – RHP Starter

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Latos has dealt with elbow and knee issues but reportedly both should allow him to be ready to go for the Opening Day roster. They have an off day between their first and second games of the season so Latos could easily be skipped over during the first turn through the rotation if need be. Look for more double-digit wins from him as well.

Johnny Cueto – RHP Ace Starter

Johnny Cueto Cincinnati Reds
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Johnny Cueto – RHP Ace Starter

Johnny Cueto Cincinnati Reds
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This team is going to be good. I don’t care who you are, you cannot look at this roster and tell me they will not compete even with the mighty Cardinals. If they are healthy they certainly will. Cueto could be the component that pushes them over the top. They need their ace to be the ace this season once again. Whether he is or not could be a world of difference.

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