Cincinnati Reds ‘embracing the uncertainy’ of odd season

Reds finalize 30-man roster before opener vs. Tigers

The oddest Opening Day in Cincinnati Reds history did not include a parade, or fans lining up at the gate hours before first pitch or even any fans at all.

However, in a year stained by a pandemic, the sight of baseball of any sort — even if it’s on television for the entire fan base — provided a boost for many fans. Second-year manager David Bell, the grandson and son of a Red and no stranger to the pageantry of normal Opening Days, did his best to revel in the unique nature of this 2020 season and the first game Friday. The Reds started the 60-game season against the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.

“It’s kind of like embracing the uncertainty of not really knowing,” Bell said. “There’s something great about that. Being able to maintain focus and keep your eye on what’s important, that’s a great challenge. All we can do is prepare ourselves. We feel great going into it. We feel we’ve done everything we can. We’ve tried to think of everything. There’s been a lot to think about, a lot to consider, a lot of trying to respond to situations and things we’ve never been a part of. Hopefully, we’ll all become stronger, and I’m sure the next three weeks will bring out, I believe, the best in all of us.”

The Reds finalized their 30-man roster Friday by adding infielders Christian Colon and Matt Davidson to the roster. Here’s a rundown of the Opening Day roster.

Oldest player: Joey Votto is 36. He was born on Sept. 10, 1983. He’s one of 11 Reds born in the 1980s.

Youngest player: Outfielder Nick Senzel, entering his second season in the big leagues, was born on June 29, 1995. He’s 25.

Josh VanMeter is also 25 and was born on March 10, 1995.

Longest-tenured player: Votto made his Reds debut on Sept. 4, 2007. This will be his 14th season. He ranks seventh in franchise history, counting players since 1900, in games played (1,717).

Catcher Tucker Barnhart, who debuted in 2014, has the second-longest tenure. This will be his seventh season. Third baseman Eugenio Suarez begins his sixth season with the Reds.

First-time Reds: Outfielder Shogo Akiyama will be the first Japanese player to wear a Reds uniform when he debuts. Among the other first-time Reds are: outfielder Nick Castellanos; starting pitcher Wade Miley; second baseman Mike Moustakas; Davidson; and relief pitchers Nate Jones, Pedro Strop and Brooks Raley.

The Reds spent $164 million in the offseason signing Akiyama, Castellanos, Miley and Moustakas.

Opening Day streak: Votto will make his 12th straight start on Opening Day. Suarez will be in the lineup for the fifth straight year.

New starter: Sonny Gray will be the sixth different pitcher to start Opening Day in the last six years, following Johnny Cueto, Raisel Iglesias, Scott Feldman, Homer Bailey and Luis Castillo.

Tallest Reds: Relief pitchers Cody Reed, Jones and Amir Garrett are all 6-feet-5.

Shortest Reds: Gray, outfielder Phillip Ervin and shortstop Freddy Galvis are all 5-10.

Past stars: Seven players on the roster have made All-Star teams in the past: Votto; Castillo; Suarez; Moustakas; and starting pitchers Gray, Miley and Trevor Bauer.

Opening Day roster

Starting pitchers: Sonny Gray; Trevor Bauer; Luis Castillo; and Wade Miley.

Relief pitchers: Amir Garrett; Raisel Iglesias; Nate Jones; Michael Lorenzen; Tyler Mahle; Lucas Sims; Robert Stephenson; Pedro Strop; Cody Reed; and Brooks Raley.

Catchers: Tucker Barnhart; and Curt Casali.

Catcher/infielder: Kyle Farmer.

Infielders: Freddy Galvis; Mike Moustakas; Eugenio Suárez; Josh VanMeter; Joey Votto; Christian Colon; and Matt Davidson.

Outfielders: Shogo Akiyama; Nick Castellanos; Phillip Ervin; Nick Senzel; Jesse Winker; and Travis Jankowski.


Tigers at Reds, 5:10 p.m., FS Ohio, 700


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