Reds Notes: Roster trimmed to 28 players

Major League Baseball intended for teams to cut their 30-man roster to 28 players after two weeks and then to 26 for the final month. That changed this week as baseball adapted to the many games that have been postponed because of positive COVID-19 tests.

Baseball stuck to the plan of teams trimming their rosters to 28 players by noon Thursday but will now will allow teams to keep that number on the roster the rest of the season.

“I think it’s appropriate,” said Reds President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams. “Major League Baseball sought the input from all the clubs. The feedback was pretty unanimous that everyone was in favor of it considering what we’re dealing with. It keeps a level playing field. It gives us a little more flexibility in dealing with uncertain situations. It allows us to be a little more careful with our players. It can work to our advantage. In our mind, we have a really strong roster all the way down to the last couple spots.”

ExploreWILLIAMS: 'Time is of the essence' for Reds

Roster moves: To cut the roster to 28 players Thursday, the Reds optioned pitcher Tejay Antone, who made his first big-league start Wednesday, and infielder Josh VanMeter to the alternate site at Prasco Park in Mason.

The Reds also recalled reliever Jose De Leon and designated for assignment reliever Brooks Raley.

Another loss: The Cleveland Indians handed the Reds their first shutout of the season Wednesday. Mike Clevinger and four relievers combined to limit the Reds to three hits in a 2-0 loss.

Through 11 games, the Reds ranked 14th out of 15 teams in the National League in team batting average (.206). They had not scored more than four runs in a game in their last six games.

Reds manager David Bell said there was a fine line between making adjustments and making too many changes, but the Reds know they have to start scoring runs so there’s less pressure on the pitching staff and the defense.

“We’ve got to get it all working,” Bell said. “They understand that. It’s more about staying confident and supporting the adjustments they’re making and also keeping in perspective we’ve faced two of the best pitchers in the league (Shane Bieber and Clevinger) the last couple nights. You don’t make an excuse for that, but it’s important to be aware of it.”

Looking ahead: Trevor Bauer, Anthony DeSclafani and Sonny Gray will start the three games in Milwaukee. The Reds and Brewers begin the series at 8:10 p.m. Friday.

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