Let’s take a look at the final Reds Opening Day roster prediction:
Catcher (2): Tyler Stephenson, Aramis Garcia
After a strong rookie year working with veteran Tucker Barnhart, the starting job now belongs to Stephenson. His right-handed bat will be in the middle of the order. Garcia, who enjoyed a two-homer game with five RBIs vs. Oakland on March 19, previously played for the Giants while manager David Bell was running player development there.
First base (1): Joey Votto
No debating this. Votto is back for his 16th season and is coming off a resurgent year with 36 homers and 99 RBIs. Numerous players can fill in for him on days off, including Stephenson.
Second base (1): Jonathan India
The reigning National League Rookie of the Year Award winner, India slugged 21 homers with 69 RBIs in 150 games in 2021. He will be back at the top of the lineup in 2022.
Shortstop (1): Kyle Farmer
Farmer emerged during last season from a utility player to a steady shortstop and came to camp with the regular shortstop job being his to lose. But with young José Barrero out for six weeks after hamate surgery on his left wrist, there was no competition and there is no other true shortstop on the 40-man roster.
Third base (1): Mike Moustakas
When Suárez was traded to the Mariners, it cleared the way for Moustakas to take third base for himself. Signed to a four-year, $64 million contract before the 2020 season, he and the club badly need a rebound type of season. Over his first two years in Cincinnati, Moustakas is batting .217 and has missed significant time with injuries.
Mike Moustakas’ solo home run
Mar 21, 2022 · 0:13
Mike Moustakas’ solo home run
Outfield (5): Nick Senzel, Tommy Pham, Tyler Naquin, Jake Fraley, Aristides Aquino
The situation appears more fluid here with the only lock being Senzel in center field if he continues to stay healthy during what’s been a strong spring. Naquin is the likely right fielder and Fraley is the best defensive option in left field. But Pham — who agreed to terms on a one-year contract Wednesday pending a physical — could be a right-handed power bat in either corner spot.
Utility/DH/bench (2): Colin Moran, Brandon Drury
Moran was signed to a one-year, $1 million contract on March 17 and can man third base, first base or DH as a lefty hitter with some power. Injuries to Donovan Solano and Max Schrock during Cactus League play have paved the way for Drury, a non-roster invitee, to break camp with the club. With no other true backup middle-infield options, the 29-year-old Drury figures to provide valuable depth after an impressive spring.
Rotation (4): Tyler Mahle, Vladimir Gutierrez, Hunter Greene, Reiver Sanmartin
Sore shoulders early in camp for ace Luis Castillo and recently acquired veteran Mike Minor are preventing them from being ready in time for the regular season. Mahle has been named both the team’s Opening Day starter vs. Atlanta on Thursday and the man on the hill for the home opener against the Guardians on April 12. Lodolo, Cincinnati’s No. 2 prospect, will travel with the club to begin the season, but a fifth starter will not be needed until April 13 due to an off-day. Sanmartin made two superb big league starts at the end of the 2021 season. Greene, the club’s No. 1 prospect, is set to make his Major League debut on April 10, bringing his triple-digit heat to a big league mound for the first time.