The Cincinnati Reds made several roster moves on Tuesday afternoon before the start of their series against the Chicago Cubs. The team called up one of their top prospects, Tyler Stephenson, and relief pitcher José De León. Both players were on the taxi squad for this road trip and already with the team. To make room on the active roster, the Reds designated Matt Davidson for assignment and placed reliever Nate Jones on the 3-day paternity list.
The big question is how much playing time will Tyler Stephenson get? There are already two catchers on the roster with Tucker Barnhart and Curt Casali, and the pitchers seem to work well with them behind the plate. Neither has done much hitting for average, though Casali has walked and hit for power this year in his limited action (.226/.379/.547). Stephenson has only played in one game with the Reds this year, but he made that game count. In his three plate appearances he went 2-2 with a walk, home run, two runs batted in, and he scored two runs.
Cincinnati’s offense could use help in any way they can get it. Perhaps the 24-year-old Stephenson can help with that. Whether that’s getting some time behind the plate, or whether that’s getting action as the designated hitter – or a fine mix of both – it’s worth trying it out and seeing what happens.
For Matt Davidson, he may long hold some cult-like hero status for what he did on August 21st against the St. Louis Cardinals when he came off of the bench to pinch hit for Josh VanMeter with the bases loaded of a 2-0 game and crushed a grand slam in his first at-bat in 10 days (which was also a home run) to lead the team to a win. But since that grand slam, Davidson was 1-23 with a single, two walks and eight strikeouts.
Nick Senzel could return for the St. Louis series
Dick Williams, Reds President of Baseball Operations told the local media this afternoon that outfielder Nick Senzel could possibly return as early as Friday – which marks the start of a series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Senzel has not played since August 14th and has been on the injured list ever since. Last week he began to work out at Prasco Park with the players at the alternate site in the player pool.