Things haven’t exactly gone well for the Cincinnati Reds in the last 28 hours. Saturday morning the team announced that Matt Davidson tested positive for COVID-19 and was placed on the injured list. He played the night before. Then the Reds got a great start from Luis Castillo only to see the bullpen give up five runs in the last three innings to lose to the Tigers. This morning Mike Moustakas was scratched from the lineup because he wasn’t feeling well and didn’t come to the ballpark. Shortly after 12:30pm it was announced he was placed on the injured list. Taking his place on the roster will be catcher Tyler Stephenson, who will be making his Major League debut if and when he gets into a game.

This is a big blow for the Cincinnati Reds, who were counting on Mike Moustakas as a staple in the middle of their lineup. Hopefully he’s going to recover quickly and be fine. Until he is able to return, though, we may see a lot of Josh VanMeter at second base for the Reds. VanMeter, like Moustakas, is a left-handed hitter. Unlike Moustakas, though, the Reds in the past have been a little more willing to sit him against left-handed pitching. We’ll have to see how that plays out moving forward – perhaps Kyle Farmer or Christian Colon can fill in there as the right-handed hitting option on those days.

With all of that said, we do not know yet if Mike Moustakas has tested positive for COVID-19. A player does not require a positive test to be placed on that injured list, only needing to show symptoms. This could be valuable if it’s something else that Moustakas is dealing with as this injured list has no length required to stay on it. We’re all going to have to be in wait-and-see mode for this one.

For Tyler Stephenson, he may be serving as the backup catcher for a day or two until Tucker Barnhart returns from paternity leave. He and his wife added to their family last night, and according to his twitter feed – everyone is healthy. Stephenson, the Reds 1st round pick in the 2015 Major League Baseball draft, is in the big leagues for the first time. If and when he enters a game he will be making his Major League debut.

Last season saw Tyler Stephenson spend his entire season in Double-A playing for the Chattanooga Lookouts. The Reds #3 overall prospect hit .285/.372/.410 on the season for the Lookouts in 89 games played. He then went out to the Arizona Fall League where he tore up the league in his 14 games played – including the Fall Stars Game – where he hit .353/.421/.549 with seven doubles, a homer, and five walks with just seven strikeouts.

15 Responses

  1. Tom Mitsoff

    It’s sad but not completely unexpected for this to happen. I certainly hope that the players are wearing masks in the dugout at the very least. There is unfortunately a very good chance this will happen to some extent for all teams. There are 25-plus guys standing by in Mason for a reason.

    • Jeff Gangloff

      I’m glad the Reds are deep this year.

      That being said, what’s the protocol on this? Like, what if 3/4 of the team comes down with the Covid? Do they just keep swapping guys out? Does MLB shut us down for 10 days? Does MLB just throw their hands up and end it all?

      • Tom Mitsoff

        There is probably nothing precise in writing. It makes sense that if you have 25-plus guys standing by, you would be prepared to use them. If the majority of teams start going deep into the taxi squads, you’d have to think the powers that be would have to seriously think about calling the whole thing off.

      • Doug Gray

        At some point, yeah, they’d pull the plug. But there is a situation where if a certain number of players on one team test positive and are out, there are rules in place that allow additions to the 60-man player pool roster that change the rules for those players added when it comes to the 40-man and how those specific players are treated with regards to being removed once the players they replaced are able to return.

    • Gonzo Reds

      It’s a shame this was started by a player in Davidson who IMHO had no business being on the opening day roster.

    • earmbrister

      MLB is reporting that multiple Marlins players have tested positive for C-19. As I mentioned on another thread, it did not seems like many of the Reds players in the dugout were wearing masks on opening day. Hopefully, they’ll take it more seriously going forward, as the season is not the only thing at stake.

  2. David Rhodus

    I hope Thom Brennaman doesn’t go on about how important it is to get fans in the stands again today.

    • TomN

      Thom! Shut up! Let us watch the game. Time to mute.

  3. Ghost_Runner

    Wondering why Senzel was taken off the starting lineup.

    • Rolling Stone

      Probably allergies. Pulled himself out of a game last year due to them.

  4. CFD3000

    Absolutely this should be a wake up call. If one guy positive leads to half the team positive that’s a health issue and a season threatening problem. Let’s hope the guys recognize that masks and distancing really really matter to their own health, that of their families and teammates, and the future of this Reds season and this baseball season as a whole. Now that baseball is hear guys, please stay safe, be smart and let’s keep the season going with a full, healthy roster.

  5. earmbrister

    Robel Garcia signed to the 40. 2Bman and LFr who was DFA’d by the Cubs. Played overseas in Italy for a bit before being signed by the Cubs. Hit a HR off of Hunter Greene. Has a bit of pop in his bat.