Reds intend to perform with a different roster

CINCINNATI — A pair of Cincinnati Reds outfielders, Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker, started in the All-Star Game for the National League last year.

Third baseman Eugenio Suárez hit 129 home runs in the last four seasons and was well loved by the fans.

Tucker Barnhardt, a Gold Glove winner, also left, as did starting pitchers Sonny Gray and Wade Miley, and relievers Michael Lorenzen, Amir Garrett and Mychal Givens.

All were transferred as part of the Reds’ austerity policy after finishing third (83-79) in the NL Central in 2021.

Heading into 2022, the Reds will rely on an off-the-charts performance from those still on the roster to try to give the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals a run for their money in the division.

“Of course it’s frustrating,” said second baseman Jonathan India, the 2021 NL Rookie of the Year. “I think pretty much everyone on the team is frustrated, but this is business. Realizing that now makes me pretty sad. All I can do is do my part.”

With Suarez in Seattle, veteran Mike Moustakas, who missed 85 games last season due to injuries, will return to his natural position at third base.

“Mike earned it,” Reds manager David Bell said of the 33-year-old Moustakas. “We know what kind of player he is.”

Kyle Farmer, a brilliant defense at shortstop last year and who batted .263 with 16 home runs and 63, repeats later that Cuban José Barrero – seen as the shortstop of the future – will miss about six weeks after having surgery on his hand.

Castellanos and Winker will be missed. Score Nick Senzel in center field and Tyler Naquin in right after hitting .270 with 19 home runs last year.

Newcomer Tommy Pham, after two seasons with the San Diego Padres, will take over at left. Others who will have roles in the outfield and designated hitter are Aristides Aquino and Jake Fraley.

The Reds have been wary of Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo, two rookie pitchers with powerful fastballs. Greene will open the season in the starting rotation and Lodola — a lefty — could enter it as the fifth.

Tyler Mahle will start the opening game, followed by Colombian left-hander Reiver Sanmartin and Cuban right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez. Right-hander Luis Castillo and left-hander Mike Minor, both veterans, begin the year on the disabled list.

India and wide receiver Tyler Stephenson will be looking to solidify after terrific rookie seasons. India batted .269 with 21 home runs. Stephenson showed he can cover his position every day in the majors, hitting .286, convincing the Reds they could part with Barnhardt after eight years. The two alternated at catcher last year.

One of the nice surprises of 2021 for the Reds was the resurgence of first baseman Joey Votto. The 38-year-old veteran changed his stance at the plate and hit long balls again, totaling 36 homers with 119 RBIs, despite missing several games with the coronavirus and a broken thumb. He enters his 16th season just as the NL adopts the DH, which could extend his career.

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Reds intend to perform with a different roster