In a weird announcement at 2:30pm the Cincinnati Reds announced that they’ve optioned right-handed pitcher Jose De Leon and catcher Tyler Stephenson to Triple-A Louisville. Those moves leave the Reds with 48 players “in big league camp”. Of course, those last four words are weird, because spring training is shut down and it has been for several days now. And no one has the slightest clue as to when things will resume, either.
For Tyler Stephenson, who is the Reds #3 prospect and was added to the 40-man roster this past offseason, he wasn’t competing for a spot on the roster unless someone got hurt. With Tucker Barnhart, Curt Casali, and Kyle Farmer providing a third option – Stephenson was slated to head to Triple-A at some point if everyone remained healthy. But that didn’t stop the 23-year-old from going out on the field in the 12 games he saw action in and try to change someone’s mind. The catcher hit .375/.500/.750 with three doubles, a home run, four walks, and just one strikeout in 22 plate appearances.
Jose De Leon only pitched in three games this spring with Cincinnati. One of the newer Reds, the 27-year-old was looking to grab onto a spot in the bullpen, or perhaps the rotation if a spot opened up. But he only threw 2.2 innings, allowing two runs on two hits, a hit batter, two walks, and he struck out four batters.