Re: Gonzalez healthy
I apologize if this is the wrong thread to be discussing this, but the good health of Gonzalez, the indications of a Dickerson/Gomes platoon, and the recent signing of Hairston pretty much set the opening day roster.
Infielders: Votto, Phillips, Gonzalez, EE, Keppinger
Outfielders: Bruce, Taveras, Dickerson, Gomes, Hairston
Catchers: Hanigan, Hernandez
SP: Harang, Arroyo, Volquez, Cueto, Owings
RP: Cordero, Bray, Burton, Rhodes, Masset, Lincoln, Ramirez
That leaves one position player spot open. Castillo would be the odds choice because he can catch in an emergency. The versatility of Hairston and Castillo is helpful. I can see everyone getting enough playing time to stay sharp. Pinch hitting from (Gomes or Dickerson), (Hanigan or Hernandez), Keppinger, Hairston, and possibly Owings between starts would be good.
Unfortunately, barring injuries to the above, the spring training invitees must be spectacular to dislodge any of the above. Gomes is probably the most at risk, followed by Dickerson. Veteran players will undoubtedly get the nod unless their spring is several degress below the Mendoza line. I think the biggest losers in this are Hopper, Rosales, Janish, Herrera, Roenicke, Richar, and possibly Bailey.
This means that the Louisville roster is set. The outfield will be so crowded that it may be difficult for deserving AA players like Dorn and Henry to move up. The pitching will be among the best AAA staffs. IMO, many of these players would be getting a shot at the ML in other systems. The Reds system may lack spectacular players, but it is certainly deep.