Reds' roster takes shape after injuries, cuts

With Mesoraco starting season on DL, Barnhart assuming backstop duties

Reds' roster takes shape after injuries, cuts

CINCINNATI -- Just before Spring Training, and again on March 16, we took a couple of swings at trying to predict the 25-man roster the Reds will open with on Monday vs. the Phillies. Like the game itself, there were some hits and a few misses. Let's take a final look at how it will shake out.

Starting lineup (8): Catcher Tucker Barnhart, first baseman Joey Votto, second baseman Jose Peraza, shortstop Zack Cozart, third baseman Eugenio Suarez, left fielder Adam Duvall, center fielder Billy Hamilton and right fielder Scott Schebler.

Seven of the eight were right in both attempts. Devin Mesoraco had no setbacks all spring, but he didn't build up enough of a workload to open the season as the backstop. Mesoraco, who had right hip and left shoulder surgeries this past year and another left hip surgery two years ago, will open the season on the 10-day disabled list until he's ready.

Bench (4): Catcher Stuart Turner, utility player Arismendy Alcantara, infielder Scooter Gennett and infielder/outfielder Patrick Kivlehan.

Before camp started and in the update, only Alcantara was correctly projected to make the club. A few factors changed the outcome dramatically. First, the Reds went from an expected five-man bench to four. Barnhart moved into a starting role, which helped Rule 5 pick Turner make the team. Ryan Raburn, who was signed on Feb. 17 after camp opened, was a surprise release on Sunday. Desmond Jennings was all set to make the club, manager Bryan Price said, until Tuesday when Gennett was claimed off waivers from the Brewers. Kivlehan had a nice spring at the plate and showed better defensive skills than Hernan Iribarren to earn a spot.

Rotation (5): Scott Feldman, Brandon Finnegan, Rookie Davis, Amir Garrett and Cody Reed.

The pre-camp prediction had Finnegan, Feldman and Reed. The update had Finnegan, Feldman, Reed, Garrett and Bronson ArroyoAnthony DeSclafani went down early with an ulnar collateral ligament sprain in his right elbow and will open the season on the disabled list. His absence, combined with the pre-camp news that Homer Bailey had bone chips removed from his elbow, created three open rotation spots in a competition that went until the end of camp.

Technically, the updated prediction wasn't totally wrong. Reed is considered part of the rotation and bullpen for the time being. And although Arroyo won't be on the Opening Day roster, he will be slated to start on April 8 at St. Louis if he gets through Sunday's Minor League game in Arizona without issues.

The one real omission was Rookie Davis, a talented prospect who was considered to be on the second tier of contenders by Price entering camp. Davis, who struggled with injuries this past season mostly at Double-A Pensacola, impressed in just about every spring outing and earned an opportunity to be in the big leagues.

Bullpen (8): Raisel Iglesias, Drew Storen, Michael Lorenzen, Blake Wood, Tony Cingrani, Wandy Peralta, Robert Stephenson and Barrett Astin.

The pre-camp and updated picks had the first five relievers listed, which were locked in from the get-go. In the update, we had Stephenson -- a starting pitcher -- making the bullpen.

The pre-camp list also had Sal Romano and Austin Brice making the club. Romano was impressive in his bid to make the rotation, but he was part of the last wave of cuts. Brice dealt with a sore elbow and did not pitch well. The updated prediction had starter Tim Adleman joining Stephenson as a long man in the bullpen, but the right-hander was hit hard. Astin will get to skip Triple-A after a nice spring and, in part because it's an eight-man bullpen, there was room for a second lefty in Peralta.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.