Reds begin trip north for Opening Day

The Cincinnati Reds broke camp Sunday after the final Cactus League game against the Cleveland Indians.

The Reds have two bullpen spots to determine while visiting Dallas for two games against the Texas Rangers. The team has a day off then takes on the Washington Nationals on Thursday.

Roster Moves

The Reds released OF Ben Revere Sunday morning. Revere had a clause in his contract that allowed him to find another team if he didn’t make the Reds’ roster.

Vance Worley also has the same clause that takes effect Sunday but he could make the team depending on the health of David Hernandez and Kevin Shackelford.

The Reds optioned pitcher Cody Reed and infielder Alex Blandino to Louisville. They reassigned catcher Tony Cruz, IF/OF Brandon Dixon and IF/OF Sebastian Elizalde to minor league camp. They will likely end up on Louisville’s roster.

The Reds informed Phil Gosselin and Phillip Ervin that they won the final two bench positions. They were told they were on the team but were warned that last minute changes could be made.

“The caveat is that anything can happen with the waiver stuff,” Bryan Price said. “You hate to tell someone they’re on the team and come back later to say we made a claim and it will affect your spot on the roster.”

Todd Frazier left camp on the team one year but the Reds took his spot back when they signed Alfredo Simon. Two years ago the Reds got Dan Straily after they left Arizona. Last year, Scooter Gennett was claimed on waivers the day before the team broke camp.

The Reds chose Gosselin for his experience coming off the bench. They chose Ervin to give the bench a speed component.

“Ervin can be an early bench bat, steal a base, score from first on a double, that kind of thing,” Price said. “That in and of itself isn’t enough. There are not a lot of at bats for Phil (Ervin). I will do my best to get him enough at bats so he can be productive.”

“Gosselin was a guy we’ve been trying to get for the last two or three years because he was so good against us when he was with Atlanta,” Price said. “He fits the role. If you need him to play second or third or left field, I’m comfortable with that. He gives a good at bat against a left or right-handed pitcher. He hits the better guys late in the game.”

Bullpen help

Kevin Quackenbush made the team and will bolster the bullpen. The right-hander, who struggled last season in San Diego, made the team as a non-roster invitee. Quackenbush has four years of Major League experience but after appearances in at least 56 games from 2014-2016, made just 20 appearances last season. He was 0-2 with a 7.86 ERA.

Quackenbush did not give up an earned run until his last appearance this spring in which he allowed three. It was a relief to him that he made the team.

“I had a lot of help in the off season from a couple different guys,” Quackenbush said. “Steve Ontiveras was a big help with my curveball. The big thing I wasn’t trying to overthrow. It worked out pretty well. It was a relief when they told me yesterday. I was ecstatic. The last outing made the news very nice to hear. It was a tough walk off the mound. Knowing it was my last walk off the mound, made it harder. It was rewarding to hear, I made it.”

Amir Garrett will be on the Opening Day roster.

Brandon Finnegan, Michael Lorenzen and Anthony DeSclafani will start the season on the disabled list. The Reds won’t need a fifth starter until April 9 and Finnegan is most likely to do that but Garrett is on the same schedule.

“The ninth isn’t a drop dead date for Finnegan,” Price said. “We want him to be ready when he’s here. If he’s not we can send him to Pensacola or someplace to make a start. He is the guy that I’d like to see back up here in the rotation.”

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