Cincinnati Reds Roster
- NL Central
- Great American Ball Park
Cincinnati Reds reliever Matt Bowman (elbow) threw a 35-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday. He dealt with some elbow soreness earlier in camp but is working toward being ready for Opening Day. Bowman posted a 3.66 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 27 games for the Reds in 2019. He is likely ticketed for a middle-relief spot in the Cincy bullpen when the regular season opens.
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Derek Dietrich was recently added to the team's 60-man player pool. He told reporters on Wednesday that he tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the offseason, which indicates why the team left him out of their player pool at first. Dietrich mentioned that he had few symptoms and that he is in the best shape of his life. The veteran utility man will compete for playing time with Cincy after smacking 19 home runs in 2019.
Cincinnati Reds infielder Mike Moustakas used his time during the baseball shutdown to get himself in excellent shape. There were plenty of concerns when the Reds signed Moustakas to a four-year, $64 million contract in the offseason. The team did so with the intention to shift him from third base to the everyday second base job, a spot that would require much more defensive range and mobility than Moustakas has exhibited during his career. The veteran told reporters, That was one of the benefits that I saw during quarantine was being able to hang out with my kids and get my body into better shape, I'd say, to play second base. Being over there in the middle of the infield, I'm a little bit bigger of a guy, so any extra steps I can get, I feel, would be a huge advantage for me." Moustakas' bat will be a big plus in fantasy, especially with him playing half of his games at hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark.
Cincinnati Reds right-hander Robert Stephenson (wrist) returned to action Thursday after having missed the past few days with a sore wrist. Stephenson should be fine going forward, as long as he doesn't experience any setbacks with his wrist. Stephenson appeared in 57 games as a reliever last season, posting a 3.76 ERA and an impressive 11.27 strikeouts per nine innings. He is worth a look as a middle-relief piece in deeper, NL-only formats this season.
Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell said that starting pitcher Tyler Mahle will be set up as a piggyback or long-relief option in the back end of the starting rotation. Pitchers Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, Trevor Bauer, Wade Miley and Anthony DeSclafani make up the five-man rotation, so Mahle will begin the 2020 season as the odd man out for now. The 25-year-old right-hander had a 5.14 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 9.0 K/9 in 25 starts (129 2/3 innings) for the Reds last year. He wasn't much better in 23 starts in 2018, posting a 4.98 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in 112 frames. Mahle only has minimal DFS and NL-only value if he's making starts at some point, but even then there are likely better options to choose from.