Reds mulling multitude of roster possibilities

Reds mulling multitude of roster possibilities

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- With exactly two weeks remaining before Opening Day, the Reds are faced with numerous roster questions -- in part because of injuries. Manager Bryan Price, the coaches and front office have to consider who fits the club's needs, and also how some could be added to the big league roster.

"It's really important to get a better understanding of what our roster could look like if guys like [Jack] Hannahan, [Sean] Marshall, [Jonathan] Broxton and [Mat] Latos aren't ready for the season," Price said. "Some of those that I mentioned, we aren't confident they will start the year with us."

If Latos isn't able to return from left knee surgery in time for Opening Day, Alfredo Simon would shift from the bullpen to take his place in the rotation. Broxton (forearm) and Marshall (shoulder) not being ready would mean three open bullpen spots for five leading contenders -- Pedro Beato, Trevor Bell, Nick Christiani, Jose Diaz and Lee Hyde.

Hannahan was slow to return from shoulder surgery and resumed playing this week. Ramon Santiago, Chris Nelson, Kris Negron, Neftali Soto are seeking infield spots. Non-roster invites Roger Bernadina and Jason Bourgeois are vying for outfield spots.

"We have to take a hard look at the guys that are ... and where our depth is," Price said. "Are we better served with having another outfielder? There are guys out there that have really been impressive. The question will be what are our needs breaking camp? If Hannahan isn't ready to go, do we need somebody that can spell [Todd] Frazier? Do we need somebody that gives us a stronger bench bat, pinch-hitting? Someone that can steal a base for us? Those will be some of the questions we try to answer these next two weeks."

Also complicating matters are contracts. For example, Bernadina can opt-out of his Minor League contract on Tuesday if he doesn't think he will make the team.

"You don't want to be held hostage by those situations," Price said. "Guys we have in camp we like, we like that they're here. We like the depth they provide. We feel like many of them could help our club this year either on Opening Day or at some point during the year. That's why we got these guys. We got them to provide support if we had injuries, No. 1, and support for depth over the course of the season."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.