Reds’ playoff roster will likely look like this

The Reds have announced their starting rotation for the best-of-five National League Divisional Series against the Philadelphia Phillies – and they announced they would carry a total of 11 pitchers – but they have not yet named their 25-man roster.

In a surprise decision Edinson Volquez will get the start in Game One against Roy Halladay on Wednesday in Philly. Then Bronson Arroyo will go against Roy Oswalt in Game Two, and Johnny Cueto is scheduled against Cole Hamels in what will be the first playoff game ever at Great American Ball Park in Game Three.

We also know what the starting lineup will look like:

  1. Brandon Phillips – 2B
  2. Orlando Cabrera – SS
  3. Joey Votto – 1B
  4. Scott Rolen – 3B
  5. Jonny Gomes – LF
  6. Jay Bruce – RF
  7. Drew Stubbs – CF
  8. Ramon Hernandez – C

That leaves six bench spots and again I think it’s fairly obvious who the choices will be:

  1. Ryan Hanigan – C (who is basically a co-starter and has formed an excellent tandem with Hernandez)
  2. Miguel Cairo – INF
  3. Paul Janish – SS
  4. Jim Edmonds – OF
  5. Laynce Nix – OF
  6. Chris Heisey – OF

That leaves eight pitchers to round out the roster. At least six of them will be bullpen guys all the way, while one or two of them might end up as starters if the Reds are able to go deep in the Phillies series and further. I think this group will include:

  1. Francisco Cordero
  2. Arthur Rhodes
  3. Nick Masset
  4. Aroldis Chapman
  5. Logan Ondrusek
  6. Bill Bray
  7. Travis Wood
  8. Homer Bailey

Wood and Bailey would be the ones who would be used as starters if needed. But they will begin in the bullpen and see where things go from there.

As for how the Reds match up against the Phillies, not good of course. But anything can happen in a five-game series and hopefully the Reds can shock the baseball world and upset the two-time defending National League champions.

But at this point, it’s house money. The Reds finished the regular season 91-71 — which is the same record they had in 1990 if you’re into omens — and capured the NL Central championship which is by far more than anyone expected entering the year. They’re off to the postseason for the first time in 15 years and I’m going to enjoy it. It won’t be easy against Philadelphia, but hopefully the Phils will take the Reds lightly and live to regret it.

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