Fay: How do the Reds fill the 25-man roster?

Posted at 12:35 PM, Feb 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-25 12:35:34-05

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds have a lot of 25-man roster spots open this spring: two for starting pitchers, two or three for relievers and all four bench spots.

The easiest way to fill those spots is with players on the 40-man, but the Reds will not be able to do that -- not by a long shot.

Consider: Ryan Raburn, Desmond Jennings, Tony Renda and Herman Iribarren all are non-roster invites. Three of four are likely to make the team as bench players. It will make for tough choices.

“Every guy that we add, we have a chance to lose a player in the process, right? It’s kind of a two-for-one,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “You add a player to your roster, you risk losing one. We like our 40 guys, I know that.”

The Reds filled out the 40-man after camp open by claiming right-handers Lisalverto Bonilla and Nefi Ogando off waivers from Pittsburgh.

The club had to move Homer Bailey to the 60-day disabled list to open a spot for Bonilla.

“When we had Bonilla and Ogando coming into the 39th and 40th spots on our roster, it was like, ‘Hey, we like these guys a lot,’ to the point where we had to make a decision on Homer,” Price said. “We did our math and realized Homer wasn’t going to be back until June 1, most likely. But to put him on the 60-day DL, that’s a big deal. It’s a decision we made so we could accommodate one of these guys because we don’t want to lose them.”

MORE: A prediction on Reds' opening day roster

It’s less critical with pitching. Bronson Arroyo is the only non-roster pitcher with a good shot to make the club. But the squeeze for the bench is one of the things to watch this spring.

“Someone that’s non-roster is going to make that club,” Price said.  “I don’t think there’s any question about that. Then we have to make a tough decision. Maybe more than one, as it looks.”

INJURY REPORT: Right-hander Louis Coleman is not scheduled to pitch in game yet. He’s dealing with some biceps tendonitis.

“We’re trying to get the inflammation out of there,” Price said. “It’s something he said he was familiar with from past spring trainings. It hasn’t really relented to the point where it makes sense for him to continue to throw through it. We’re going to give him some time to let it cool off and get the inflammation out of there. We don’t think it’s going to be a long-term issue at all.”

Nick Travieso is another pitcher being held out. He’s dealing with a sore shoulder.

“I don’t have him scheduled for a bullpen yet,” Price said. “But his throwing progressions have been increasing, and there hasn’t been any interruption to that.”

FIRST LOOK: Price got his first look at Zach Vincej on Friday. Vincej, 25, won the Gold Glove for minor league shortstops.

“First of all, for me and the major-league staff, we just want to get familiar with him,” Price said. “Everyone in the organization says the kid can play short. He can play short. He had his first truly productive season as an offensive player, both in Double-A and that translated to the Arizona Fall League. He had a great year. Our player development really likes him. He’s a nice-looking player. He really could be one of our first lines of defense if we had any issues at shortstop.”

Vincej hit .281 with three home runs and 47 RBI at Double-A Pensacola last year.