Re: 40-man--Rule V
I think that the protected player choices follow the trend in baseball toward filling the pen with guys who can throw 95+ for an inning, thereby further shortening the game to six innings. Nothing in the minor league stats of Partch, Ravin, or Contreras suggests that they would be selected in rule 5. Lately, however, teams in a building mode are likely to incur the penalty of carrying a still raw, slightly strike challenged pitcher for a year in the pen in order to reap the benefits of a big arm farther down the road. As few as five years ago, these choices would have shocked this board. Now, they seem to be universally accepted.
It would not surprise me if the Reds selected a bullpen arm in Rule 5 to fill out the 40.