What fans need to know about Reds 2024 Opening Day roster

Reds open season Thursday against Nationals

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

The Cincinnati Reds begin the 2024 season with the longest drought in the major professional sports leagues when it comes to advancing in the playoffs. The Detroit Lions ended their drought in January. Now the Reds are on the clock — they haven’t won a postseason series since 1995.

Not even that sad fact can dim optimism on Opening Day in Cincinnati, however. Fans will fill Great American Ball Park on Thursday as they always do, hoping for the best in a 4:10 p.m. game against the Washington Nationals and in the 161 games that follow.

“Opening day is as special to Cincinnati as probably any other franchise in baseball,” said reliever Brent Suter, a Moeller High School graduate pitching for the Reds for the first time. “It’s just such a celebration of spring coming around and baseball coming back to the city. Everything Cincinnatians do is with a lot of passion. I can’t wait to see that passion turn out on Opening Day. I think it’s going to be absolutely lit. I think it’s going be awesome.”

Those comments by Suter came in a video shared by the Reds on Monday. The caption with the video read, “There’s no city that does Opening Day like Cincinnati.”

This will be the 148th home Opening Day for the Reds. They are 70-76-1 in home openers following a 5-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. That was their third straight Opening Day loss. Not counting the 2020 opener, which was played in an empty stadium, the Reds have lost six of their last seven home openers.

Here’s what else fans should know about the Opening Day roster:

Oldest player: Joey Votto filled this spot for many years. He turned 40 last September during his last season with the Reds. Now he’s in extended spring training with the Toronto Blue Jays, trying to work his way to the big leagues for an 18th season.

Entering the 2024 season, the oldest player on Opening Day for the Reds is reliever Justin Wilson, who will turn 37 in August. Wilson signed a one-year contract with the Reds on March 15.

The only other player on the active roster born in the 1980s is Suter, who was born in 1989 and will turn 35 in August.

Youngest player: Last year, Opening Day starter Hunter Greene, 23, became the youngest pitcher to start the opener for the Reds since 22-year-old Frank Pastore in 1980.

A year later, Greene, now 24, is tied with Matt McLain, who will start the season on the injured list, as the third-youngest Red. Greene and McLain were both born on Aug. 6, 1999. Greene will start the second game of the season Saturday.

Shortstop Elly De La Cruz, who turned 22 in January, is now the youngest Red. First baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand is four months younger than Greene and McLain. Starting pitcher Andrew Abbott, who’s scheduled to make his first start of the season Monday, is two months older than Greene and McLain.

Noelvi Marte, who’s suspended for the first half of the season, is 22 and three months older than De La Cruz.

Longest-tenured position player: Catcher Tyler Stephenson made his Reds debut on July 27, 2020, during the 60-game season played during the pandemic. This is his fifth season with the Reds. He has appeared in 332 games over the last four seasons.

Longest-tenured pitcher: Lucas Sims has been with the Reds since being traded by the Braves on July 30, 2018. He has made 167 relief appearances in six seasons.

First-time Reds: Opening Day starter Frankie Montas, pitcher Nick Martinez, who will start Sunday for the Reds, reliever Emilio Pagán and infielders Jeimer Candelario and Santiago Espinal will make their Reds debuts when they play.

Opening Day streaks: If Stephenson starts Thursday, it will be his third straight Opening Day start at catcher. Jonathan India is expected to start at second base for the fourth straight year.

This will be manager David Bell’s sixth straight Opening Day. Dusty Baker was the last Reds manager to have the job in six straight seasons. The last Reds manager last longer than six seasons was Sparky Anderson, who managed the team for nine seasons (1970-78).


Nationals at Reds, 4:10 p.m., Bally Sports Ohio, 700, 1410

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