The Cincinnati Reds secured their third trip to the postseason in three years last night with a late-inning victory and a Washington Nationals loss.

While the chances of winning the NL Central are becoming harder each day—the Reds will likely battle the Pittsburgh Pirates for home-field advantage in the last five games.

The Reds can start to plan their postseason roster, which comes with a few not-so-secret weapons this year.

The city of Cincinnati would riot if prized base-stealing Billy Hamilton didn’t make the final cut. However, who are the other 24 players we can expect to see in October?

Let’s go ahead and predict which Reds players we will see on the full playoff roster.


Projected Lineup 

1 Shin-Soo Choo, CF

2 Brandon Phillips, 2B

3 Joey Votto, 1B

4 Ryan Ludwick, LF

5 Jay Bruce, RF

6 Todd Frazier, 3B

7 Zack Cozart, SS

8 Ryan Hanigan, C


It’s pretty simple to guess what lineup manager Dusty Baker will use in the postseason. Even with Ryan Ludwick missing a large portion of the season, Baker will be happy to keep the power hitter in the cleanup spot.

The only argument could be whether or not Jay Bruce bats cleanup. Bruce has hit well in the fourth spot with a .283 average, 11 extra-base hits and 23 RBI in 92 at-bats.

However, with Ludwick finding his rhythm after returning from the disabled list, it’s doubtful Baker toys with his lineup.


Projected Bench

Chris Heisey, OF

Xavier Paul, OF

Billy Hamilton, OF

Jack Hannahan, IF

Cesar Izturis, IF

Devin Mesoraco, C


For those who have been living under a rock for about the last month—you’ve missed the most exciting rookie this season since Yasiel Puig.

Billy Hamilton has become an absolute force when he’s on base and holds a perfect 13-for-13 stolen-base record too. Hamilton has been stealing second base primarily on the first pitch to the plate. Pitchers know he’s going. Catchers know he’s going. Everyone in the stadium knows Hamilton is going on the first pitch.

With that kind of speed, the Reds could seriously benefit off his talents during any close game.

The main player left off the postseason bench will likely be outfielder Derrick Robinson. While he’s shown decent play for the Reds this season, Baker will stick to Xavier Paul for his power.


Projected Starting Rotation

1 Mat Latos, RHP

2 Homer Bailey, RHP

3 Bronson Arroyo, RHP

4 Johnny Cueto, RHP


The Reds are still chasing their most important goal of winning the NL Central title. It’s getting a little tricky with the amount of games left and with the importance of winning against the Pirates in the final three games of the season.

Soon enough, the Reds are going to have to choose. The club might have to hold off starting Mat Latos this weekend if they want him to have a full five days rest for the possible wild card game next Tuesday.

The Reds might also need to use their current ace of the rotation to beat the Pirates for home-field advantage.

The best news for the likely rotation is Johnny Cueto’s return. Cueto gives the Reds an outstanding fourth pitcher (if the club makes it to the NLDS).

While Mike Leake has been great this year, Cueto is a Cy Young candidate when he’s healthy. Cueto has given up only seven hits and one earned run in the 12 innings pitched since returning from the DL.

Homer Bailey could be an option for the wild card game if the Reds face the Pirates. His career numbers certainly make a case. He has an 8-4 record with a 2.69 ERA and 8.1 K/9 rating against the Pirates (per

If the Pirates win home-field advantage, the Reds could start Bailey. He seems to pitch his best at PNC Park with a 5-1 record with a career 1.60 ERA.


Projected Bullpen

CL Aroldis Chapman, LHP

SU J.J. Hoover, RHP

SU Sean Marshall, LHP

MID Sam LeCure, RHP

MID Manny Parra, LHP

MID Alfredo Simon, RHP

LR Mike Leake, RHP


The biggest uncertainty for the Reds’ postseason roster is who makes the bullpen. The question depends on how fast Tony Cingrani can recover from his back spasms.

Cingrani recently threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session and felt no pain (per The rookie has earned a spot on the roster this year. Cingrani collected 120 strikeouts in 104.2 innings pitched. He held opposing hitters to a .196 average, which is the best for Reds starters this year.

The dilemma is between a pitcher who still might be injured during the postseason or on a reliever who has been outstanding lately.

Alfredo Simon is often a Reds pitcher whose great work goes unnoticed. Simon only gave up two earned runs and five walks through his last 10 appearances. Simon had three crucial scoreless innings against the Pirates this weekend with just one hit.

Cingrani might not be as valuable since the Reds will have long-reliever Mike Leake in their bullpen. With Cueto’s dominant return, Leake will likely be sent to the bullpen.

Leake has been a big surprise this year in the rotation. He has a 14-6 record with a 3.21 ERA and 120 strikeouts. Leake is about to reach 200 innings for the first time in his career as well.

However, the Reds’ rotation is good enough to move him to the bullpen for any postseason series.

The Reds are getting great momentum from their roster heading into October and hope this year’s crew can take them deeper into the playoffs.



All statistics courtesy of, unless otherwise noted.


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