While the 25-man roster has yet to be officially announced, one player who definitely knows he'll be suiting up for the Reds on Opening Day is 34-year-old veteran Ramon Santiago. On Wednesday, the non-roster invite was informed of the club's decision to include him on its roster.
"They gave me the news. I'm very happy," Santiago told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. "I'm looking forward now to help somehow. I will try to do my best to help the team win some ballgames."
Santiago gives the club a bonafide shortstop to backup Zack Cozart. However, what he doesn't give the Reds is a ton of offense. He entered Wednesday hitting just .225 (9-40) in spring training. His career average in 12 big league seasons is not too far off from that at .243. Still, Santiago is eager to contribute in any way that he can.
"I know this Spring Training hasn't been my best one. At the same time, I've been battling, trying to play different positions and working hard. I never stop working, no matter the situation," Santiago said.
Santiago's inclusion on the roster could spell bad news for the likes of Roger Bernadina, Kristopher Negron, and infielder Neftali Soto, who like Santiago, also earned invites to spring camp as non-roster players. Give Bernadina's stellar spring season, coupled with mounting injuries, he still seems like a good bet to make the team. The same cannot be said for Negron and Soto.