The Cincinnati Reds got some bad news this afternoon as they found out that catcher Tyler Stephenson broke his thumb in the 4th inning of Thursday afternoon’s game when a foul ball caught him on his non-catching hand. He exited the game and was replaced by Aramis Garcia.

Stephenson, who was been having his best season to date, was hitting .309/.366/.475 entering the game today with eight doubles, five home runs, 31 RBI, and he had thrown out 32% of attempted base stealers on the season. With a struggling team it’s possible that he could have been the Reds lone All-Star selection. Now he’s expected to miss the next 4-6 weeks as he recovers from a broken thumb, likely ending any chance to make his first All-Star team.

With Aramis Garcia expected to take over the #1 spot in the catching rotation with Stephenson out the Reds need to add another catcher to the roster. Down in Triple-A the Louisville Bats have three catchers on their roster – Mark Kolozsvary, who is on the 40-man roster, and then Sandy Leon and Chris Okey, who are not currently on the 40-man roster. C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic is reporting that the team has made their decision and that they will be calling up Chris Okey from that trio.

Okey, the Cincinnati Reds 2nd round pick in the 2016 draft out of Clemson, has never played in the big leagues before. He’s spent the last two seasons playing in Triple-A with Louisville. The two seasons have also been the best ones he’s had at the plate in his minor league career – though this season he’s played in just 24 games. Still, his .265/.324/.441 line gives him a career best .766 OPS on the season. Known as a good defender with some pop in his bat, Okey’s struggled to hit much in his minor league career which has also limited how much power he’s been able to tap into as a professional.

As noted above, Okey is not on the 40-man roster. The Reds won’t make the move official until Friday, but someone is going to either need to be placed on the 60-day injured list or be deisgnated for assignment. There are currently seven players already on the Reds 60-day injured list. Mike Moustakas is on the COVID-19 injured list and thus doesn’t count against the 40-man roster until he returns. Still, despite all of that, the Reds don’t have an open spot currently. It doesn’t appear anyone on the non-60-day injured list could be moved to the 60-day to create a spot unless there’s something we don’t know about with someone, leaving it likely that someone gets designated for assignment to create the spot for Okey on the roster.

89 Responses

  1. docproc

    Time to say farewell to Colin Moran.

  2. Melvin

    Lots of moves have to be coming within the next few weeks.

  3. Mark Moore

    Color me more than a little surprised. I view this as good news and a chance to see if Oakey can cut it at the MLB level. Will be interesting to see who gets the DFA designation.

  4. RedsGettingBetter

    Could be DFA’d Aquino again? Moran is suspect too…

  5. LDS

    I’d go Moran before Aquino. The outfield is in shambles. Bet Senzel goes back to the IL. But, it’s going to be interesting to see who’s still around on August 3rd.

  6. Rob

    Regarding Reds roster moves, the 40-man roster on the team site lists 48 players. Subtract seven on the 60-day IL and that leaves 41. Someone doesn’t belong among the 41.

    • Luke J

      I assume it’s Moustakas as the article indicates. He is on the 40 man but doesn’t count against the 40 man while on the COVID IL.

      • Rob

        Actually, the 40-man had been at 41 for more than a week BEFORE Moustakas went down with COVID.

    • Doug Gray

      I figured out the issue:

      The Reds website has Ronnie Dawson as being on the 40-man. He is not. He was added as a substitute player twice in May, but that did not actually add him to the 40-man in reality and once he was sent back as a “substitute player” he should have been removed. He was not removed on the website, but he should have been.

      • Rob

        Thanks Doug. I had suspected it was Dawson. I appreciate your researching this.

  7. Jon

    If the Reds plan on contending in 2023, they must acquire a catcher that can hit this winter. Contreras is the obvious (and expensive) choice. Move Stephenson from catcher next spring. Let him alternate playing 1B and DH in 2023 with Votto. Then when Votto’s gone, first base is Stephenson’s position full time. Stephenson is one of the Reds’ two biggest bats (India the other) and it is foolishness to leave him at the position where he is most likely to get injured.

    • Indy Red Man

      I keep hearing that and its not that easy imo. Johnny Bench could hit a little. Pudge Rodriguez could too among many others. Having a C with 15-20 HR power that can hit .300 and draw walks is a nice advantage, but most teams can put .850+ ops producers at 1B. So now you’re comparable to your opponent at 1B but now you’re even or behind offensively at catcher.

      I guess it depends on how much power Stephenson can add at the plate? He’s a big strong kid, but thats to be determined.

      • MBS

        I’m with you Indy, everyone seems to overlook the advantage of a guy like Stephenson behind the plate. The injury’s are mounting up now, so it’s fair to question if he can hack it physically behind the plate, or has it just been a comedy of errors?

      • JoshG

        I’d agree about the more valuable as a catcher part .. but, the concussions are mounting and his bat is all star caliber at catcher it’s still above average at any position. And I am very confident he developed into at least a 25+ HR guy if he gets full time at bats. He’s a big strong guy with great plate discipline

      • Jim Walker

        Johnny Bench could hit “a little”. 😉 Two NL MVP Awards before he was 25 years old. OPS+ of 141 and 166 in those two seasons. Posted another 141 OPS+ in his age 33 season (injury shortened). In all 5 seasons of 140 or higher OPS+; Career OPS+ of 126.

        He was the guy to be moved to LF, 1B, or 3B except that another HoF guy (Perez) was at 1B and George Foster was in LF, and some guy named Rose on 3B.

        But yeah, TS is a top flight offensive player among catcher and perhaps “only” a slightly above average guy elsewhere.

      • Melvin

        Just listened to the Dotsons on their podcast. They brought up a good point. A good hitting catcher makes more money than another fielder who hits the same. They are just more rare and therefor more valuable. He’s not going to give up catching unless he just has to or at least not until after he signs a big contract.

      • Melvin

        By the way they also agreed that he should be in the lineup as the DH when not catching.

    • DaveCT

      If India and Stephenson are our big vats, it’s going to be a long decade. With all due respect to both. They are very talented but neither is elite, such as Correa, Bogaerts, and Baez or Goldschmit, Arenado, or Devers

    • Votto4life

      The worst thing the Reds can do is to hang on to Castillo if they are not going to extend him.

      I would make my best offer to extend Castillo over the next couple of weeks. If he says no then I would move Castillo to the Mets for C Francisco Alverez and SS Ronny Mauricio. It would give the Reds two young bats.

  8. Klugo

    Time to shine, youngblood. This kid comes with high expectations.

  9. Harold

    Time to move on from AA without a doubt.

    • MBS

      Ok name our 2023 OF? AA isn’t perfect, but he stays healthy and is a very good defender with pop in his bat. I’d be glad to not need him, because he has been very disappointing this year. I just don’t think we have a lot of viable options ready to contribute.

      • Redsvol

        you hit the nail on the head MBS. We have no-one we can count on playing 150 games in the outfield next year on the 40 man roster or close to the majors in the minors system. Senzel- you hope but hope is not a plan. Naquin is a free agent and I’m of the opinion we give him a short extension just to guarantee an outfielder with major league experience. Pham will be gone, we’re not picking up that option. So I probably would lean to keeping Aquino at least thru spring training.

        And the free agent catching options for 2023 are scary bad – with exception of Contreras. So our catching options are most likely on the 40-man for 2023.

      • JayTheRed

        AA! Your talking about the guy hitting under .150 and strikes out all the time. I don’t want him on this team at all. Get rid of him.

      • Jimbo44CN

        so he’s hitting 150, how many on this team are above 200, or just barely so. He’s saved at least two games with his arm in right field. I agree he is disappointing, but give me a break.

  10. Roger garrett

    Start him and let’s go.This season was gone after the 3-22 start so we need to give him a shot.Hurts nothing and can only help next year and beyond

  11. Old-school

    I guess im saying every team
    Needs 2 catchers just like every football team needs 2 backs and WR1 and WR2!

    Just make TS catcher 2 and first baseman 1 and DH 1. Hes too good of a RH bat . He needs to 3/4 145 games

    Get a catcher

    • 2020ball

      “Get a catcher”

      I guess since its that easy why wouldnt a small market team be able to do it. Seriously though, im not sure why everyone think its gonna be that easy. We have Garcia and Okey now, thats what youre actually saying the Reds should do, is play a bunch of scrubs at C and waste Stephensons talent.

    • wkuchad

      I actually really like Old-school’s idea. The problem is the Reds roster has so many needs for next year, this plan adds another one to the mix.

      • old-school

        Mets just called up Alvarez #4 prospect in baseball and have other mlb catchers and Blue Jays have top catching prospect as well .

        Send Castillo for elite young catcher and infield is set.

        Alvarez or Moreno or similar C
        Stephenson 1b/ back up C
        India 2b
        Barrero SS
        McClain 3b
        Votto can play 1b DH for his final 2023 season
        Move De la Cruz to CF
        Find 1 good OF bat and 3 bullpen arms in FA and sign Mahle to an extension with Green Lodolo AShcraft as the top 4 and can always grab a veteran FA SP

      • MBS

        My only problem with this is, the only reason for moving Stephenson from C to 1B is to protect him. You’re losing your advantage of having a good offensive catcher, but he’s safe/safer.

        Your plan would be the worst of both worlds. I’m assuming as the C 2 your thinking 30% of the games at C, that’s a lot of opportunities to pick up an injury, and you’d only have the benefit of a offensive C 30% of the time.

        I’m in on Stephenson remaining at C 1, and DH 2, or If you decide to protect Stephenson, he’s 1B 1, DH 2, and C 3. (Only emergency)

      • Votto4life

        Old School I am with you on Francisco Alverez. It will take Castillo to get it done, but if the Reds are not going to extend him I would make that trade today.

      • old-school

        @ MBS- Francisco Alvarez has a trajectory of an All Star catcher. He’s 20 years old and ready now. He’s blown up the minor leagues. You are assuming moving Stephenson to first base represents a weakening of the C position. Alvarez would actually strengthen the catching core. You would have elite production 162 games a year and keep Stephenson healthier by not catching 120 games a year. Stevenson at 6’4 is also a prime target for infielders at first base. He could be Paul Goldschmidt for 10 years. Alvarez is more of a traditional build for a catcher and hits at an elite level.

      • greenmtred

        If you get the production, why does it matter where it comes from? For that matter, do the Reds have a good-hitting 1st base prospect in the pipeline?

      • 2020ball

        We have an elite young catcher, why are we spending our best chip on that? I really dont get this line of thinking, your just looking for a piece we already have. This lineup has so many holes and we are trying to fill the one we already have filled. I dont get it, i really dont

      • old-school

        The line of thinking would be …..Stephenson cant turn in to Devin Mesoraco- a great young catcher whose career ends in his 20’s.
        Stephenson got thumped by Luke Vogt in April and was dazed and confused and concussed. At the time, he said “This is my third (concussion), a lot of people probably didn’t know that,” Stephenson said. “You want it to progress as quick as possible, but with a concussion, you don’t want to overdo it and take a step back. It’s a slow progression. It’s not like a hamstring or another body part where you can physically rehab.”

        He then had to exit the Pirates game in May after taking a ball off the mask and went into concussion protocol yet again. He now broke his hand.

        3 concussions, another in protocol and a broken hand- all catching related injuries. Multiple traumatic head injuries are serious issues.

        Avoiding a Devin Mesoraco career threatening situation should be the Reds # 1 priority and the line of thinking.

      • 2020ball

        Once we have this magical new offesive catcher i dont think is out there, do we just handle him the same way? Stephensons injury is unfortunate but its kind of a freak accident. Im sure he still wants to catch as well, something everyone here ignores. They committed to him as the lead C, stick with the plan. We have a special player here and yall wanna move him to an easier position without any catching prospects in the system. I dont understand it, its really easy to just say get another catcher, but they dont exist in the capacity yall think. And finding one you hope is the answer carries a lot of risk because of the position. Those types arent usually traded, and are super rare as it is. Stick with Stephenson, if this trend continues the next few seasons, make a move then. Right now without 1B even open im not sure why you’d consider it. If you really wanna move TS, then get used to Okey and Garcia types back there.

      • Old-school

        A concussion is a traumatic brain injury with temporary loss of brain function. It can cause memory problems, headaches, balance issues, concentration issues and psychological issue. It can also lead to longer term big picture life issues. Stephenson has had 3 separate traumatic injuries to his brain. Sometimes these things dont manifest until 20 years later. Ask Junior Seau’s family.

        Of course he’s a good young catcher and a huge asset to the team. Of course finding good catchers is a challenge. At some point though, the Reds need to conclude playing Tyler Stephenson at first base is the best way to protect one of their best assets and play a 10 year career and protect TS the person and his brain.

        If 3 concussions , a 4th concussion protocol foul ball to the head, and a broken hand arent enough to justify a position change….What is?
        4 concussions? 5 concussions? A broken ankle home plate collision like Buster Posey?

        I’m for protecting Stephenson’s brain first and maximizing his ability to play as many games a year for as long as he can with the Cincinnati Reds. He’s too important.

      • Doc

        If Stephenson is at risk and needs to be moved from catcher, then what do you do with Alvarez, should you trade for him? Wouldn’t he be too valuable at catcher and need to be moved?

      • Melvin

        @ Doc

        I’ve been kind of thinking that too. Does that mean we can never have a good hitting catcher? All catchers take “hits”.

      • Old-school

        Tyler Stephenson has damaged his brain 3x along with extra catching related injuries. Thats the issue. If you want Stephenson hitting for 155 games for the next 10 years, move him to first base. If you want to see how many more concussions and more limb injuries with 88 game seasons finally swing the pendulum, I think that’s short sighted and dangerous. Ive seen enough.

        Alvarez to my knowledge hasn’t been concussed 3x so thats apples and oranges.

      • Melvin

        @ Old School

        Yeah I know and understand your point. My point is that almost every catcher will face those kind of things eventually. I’m all for better face masks that’s for sure. I’ve caught some in my life competitively and even caught young kids during batting practice. Even then when you take one off the mask it’s like taking a hard punch.

      • 2020ball

        I still think what the player wants to do with his health and career is the deciding factor. I bet he wants to catch. Concussions are an unfortunate part of his history and should be monitored closely, but let him catch. We have a potentially special player, just relax and let him do his thing.

    • JB

      Should have never let Blandino walk. He could be the closer

  12. CFD3000

    In my opinion this is the right move, but only if Okey plays at least half the time. It’s really tough to debut in the majors, play sporadically, and hit even reasonably well. Here’s opening Okey is more than just a fill in backup. Until this spring Aramis Garcia wasn’t on anyone’s radar to even make the team, let alone be the #1 catcher in June. I’d rather see Okey get more starts and at bats. But I’m not holding my breath…

  13. JayTheRed

    Can this team not catch a break from the injury bug this season. Seems like when we are about to get guys back another one bites the dust.

    I know all MLB teams are experiencing more injuries but geez this is just out of hand.

    • jessecuster44

      Catch a break? TS did it to himself by not keeping his throwing hand behind his back.

      If that’s how foolish most players on the roster are, it’s no wonder they get hurt so often.

  14. Votto4life

    Trading Tucker Barnhart was a mistake, especially with the DH being adopted in the National league. Mike Minor’s salary would have covered Tucker’s contract.

    This is why the Reds need to part ways with Nick Krall. Yes, the front office is hampered by a cheap owner. But here was a situation, where Nick Krall cut payroll deeper than needed to make his own mark on the team. As a result, we end up with the likes of Mike Minor and Colin Moran.

    • Rednat

      yes, many head scratching moves over the off season. i tend to agree with ownership about the 2021 team. they were just not quite good enough to take it to the next level so it was time for a rebuild. But why the Pham,Moran, Minor signings? just seemed like a waist of money at the time.

      i just think the owners don’t trust the fans for some reason. And therefore they are scared to go into full rebuild mode and full “all in ” mode so we are stuck with these perpetual poor teams with more holes than talented players. frustrating indeed

    • Jim t

      Votto4life, believe me I’m no fan of Minor but at the time of his signing, starting pitching was a huge question mark. Greene, Lodolo, 2 rookies on inning limits, Overton, Ashcraft were not on our radar yet. We had Castillo and Mahle. Signing Minor at that time was not as bad as it seemed now. It still doesn’t excuse ownership from dumping Tucker which was a straight salary dump. Good teams would have absorbed his cost for a year, let him mentor Tyler who is making very little salary at this time which would have allowed us to use him at First base and DH when not catching.

    • Luke J

      I just see no way a team like the Reds could or should carry two catchers that are major league starters.

      • Jim t

        Luke the addition of the DH I think changed that way of thinking.

      • Luke J

        The DH doesn’t make it so the Reds can carry another catcher. We should be looking for a better offensive player than Barnhart for DH. The DH allows the Reds to have one extra MLB starter level player. But that player shouldn’t be mediocre. It should be someone better than is currently on the roster

    • Jim Walker

      I disagree that trading Barnhart was a mistake. There was no place for him on this Reds team at $7.5m. In reality, the Reds did him a favor by finding a team that would take his contract at full face value ($7.5m) versus just paying the buyout ($500K) and letting him walk to make his best deal elsewhere, which almost certainly would have been no more and probable less than the $4.19m he made in 2021.

      It makes sense to me that if the Reds wanted TB back there were talks about paying the buyout and then signing him for some lesser amount; but, the team and the player could not agree on terms.

      The mistake the Reds made was lowering their sites to bringing in two “3rd catchers” with minimal MLB experience to compete for the backup spot versus trading for or signing an established MLB backup like Curt Casali (who was not available).

      • Jim t

        @jim the fact the Tigers paid his full salary indicates someone was willing to pay him. They also gave up a player to get him. This may appear to be a favor but if no one was willing to take on the contract make no mistake his contract would have been bought out. The reds had a better option and Tyler was much cheaper. My point is if the Tigers wouldn’t have traded for him the reds would have exercised the buyout.

      • Jim t

        @ Jim Walker please explain to me why the Tigers paid 7mil when they may have been able to get him much cheaper.

      • DaveCT

        Detroit extended Barnhart, 3 years I believe

      • Jim Walker

        The Tigers thought Barnhart was a fit for their team and their budget.

        Look at where the Tigers are in the standings. -10 games to .500 and just 4 games better than the Reds in the loss column. And that is hardly a surprise. Their chances of signing Barnhart as a free agent were not very likely regardless of how much they offered.

        So, just like the Reds with the likes of Moustakis, the Tigers overpaid for somebody they seriously wanted.

      • MK

        There is no question Tucker is a fine defensive catcher, you might say great. But Stephenson is a great hitting catcher whose is probably the most improved defensive player on the team this season with even more potential for growth. With the bad Votto and Moustakas contracts there was just no way to keep a guy like Tucker, Miley, Winker and Suarez.

      • Jim Walker

        Detroit extended Barnhart, 3 years I believe

        When did this happen? None of Cot’s, Baseball Reference, nor Fangraphs have it. They all show Barnhart as a free agent after the 2022 season.

        I Googled for it; and, all I got was an article from late March where Barnhart was saying despite rumors, there had been no discussions of an extension at that time.

        The article also says that Jake Rogers (27 years old) who OPSed at .800+ in 2021 before he went down with TJ surgery is expected back later this year. Also the Tigers #4 rated prospect is a catcher who started 2022 at AA.

  15. Rednat

    it would make more sense at this point to bring up Barrero and play Farmer as your back up catcher to me. I know we have asked a lot out of Kyle but unless Okey is really part of the future this move makes no sense

    • jon

      Farmer is a 3rd string emergency catcher at best.

    • burtgummer01

      Ok so you bring up Barrero the wonder boy who’s hitting a lofty .205 at AAA and move a guy to catcher who hasn’t caught in years? I understand you have a thing for the wonder boy but come on

  16. Doc4uk

    Moran will be cut. Moustakis may be next when Solano is ready. Aquino will be sent back down when Shrock is brought up. Lopez goes back down when India is done with rehab. Barrera will spend the year at Lousiville unless Farmer is injured. Almora has shown enough to remain in CF as the starter. Cannot count on Senzel.

    However bullpen is back to losing games in the late innings. Reiver San Martin will likely be brought back up to provide another lefty in the BP and Cessa might be cut as well.

    Okey should be the starter until Stephenson returns.

    • Jim t

      Don’t think you’ll see moose cut. When healthy he will continue to get playing. The reason is they hope he will get hot and become someone they can trade. Even if it’s for virtually nothing it sheds a salary they would love to get rid of. The only reason Votto is still here is because he has a no trade clause and he has no desire to go anywhere else. None of this off season was about contending it was about shedding pay roll. When you put your GM in that position he has no leverage negotiate a fair market trade.

  17. Mark A Verticchio

    Its time the Reds realize that Barrero isn’t the shortstop of the future that honor may belong to Mclain or more likely De La Cruz, meanwhile Farmer is going to serve as a stop gap until one of those two is ready. I also feel it is time to trade both Mahle and Castillo for some outfield help. I hope they don’t wait to long like they did for most of their 2012 team. They have enough young starting pitching to compete as early as next year if they are smart. Greene, Ashcraft, Lodollo, Dunn, Williamson, Abott, Overton and a few other will be fine.

    • ryan

      Current numbers: De La Cruz .288 at A, Mc Lain .232 at AA, and Barrero .210 at AAA

    • Jim Walker

      Barrero is just finishing his 3rd week of “spring training” versus pitchers who have been at it for going on 3 months. His K rate is too high at 38% but his OBP is up to 31% and his slugging is over .400.

      His defense makes him an MLB regular if he can OPS at the level he is doing even now at AAA (.703)

      • old-school

        He is also 3 months removed from wrist surgery. That will take time to get 100% swinging a bat. Barrero proved himself at age 23 in 2021 at AA/AAA. He just needs to get healthy and back in rhythm and playing everyday. There’s no rush. When he is ready, then he gets his shot every day at SS second half of this season as a 24 year old 5 tool SS who is a top 100 prospect in all of MLB.

      • Jim Walker

        @O-S. Agree on Barrero 100%; was just trying to avoid being long winded (for once) 😉

      • DaveCT

        Jim it is a challenge repeating ourselves day after day, in this case about Barrero

        We may as well be saying he hasn’t been the same since he changed his name.

      • Melvin

        If he’s strong and healed he’s ready to go. MANY players come out of spring training not hitting well and get pumped up knowing that they are playing in real games in the big leagues. I guess it won’t hurt to leave him down there a little while longer. Krall/Bell are just putting off one of the many difficult decisions coming up. Why do I not feel comfortable that they will make the correct ones? 🙂

  18. Roger garrett

    Okey needs to play as much as possible.In order to win in the future the Reds must find out who will be there to help them.Ty Steve is the starter so can Okey be his backup?Anybody think Garcia is so far?Maybe Okey is better and maybe he isn’t so find out.This year and next are the best years we have seen in years if the Reds actually find out who can play.So far Almora and Drury have shown they can and it’s because they play every day.Barrero and Shrock need that same chance,Moose and Pham unless they are traded need to play less and less after the break to allow this to happen.I love them because I love the Reds but they are not in any way part of the future.If there ever is a return to competing for titles it must happen.Maybe it will take another month like the first month to make it happen but it’s foolish to think this team can compete the way it’s constructed

  19. Mark A Verticchio

    As of now the only outfielder the Reds have for next year that seems anywhere near ready to play 150 games with decent success is Almora. Boy, who would have said that a few months ago.

  20. LeRoy

    It would be foolish to move Stephenson to 1B and put an inferior hitting catcher behind the plate. It’s a lot easier to find a first baseman who is an above average hitter to replace Votto. Move Stephenson and you’re moving a good hitting catcher to become a slightly above average hitting first baseman and replacing him with a mediocre hitting catcher. The numbers don’t line up unless they can obtain an above average catcher by free agency or trade which could be costly.

    • Old Big Ed

      Except Stephenson as catcher would absorb a lot more wear and tear than he would elsewhere, which results in his playing fewer games — games that a B-team player would play in his stead. Similarly, the wear and tear of catching would reduce Stephenson’s overall hitting, because he would be taking a lot of his ABs either tired or banged up. To make a long story short, his offensive output at 1B would be higher than it would be as a catcher.

      There is a reason that the Astros moved Craig Biggio to second base, and the Braves moved Dale Murphy to centerfield.

      Throw in the concussion issue, and it isn’t a tough decision to move Stephenson to first base, beginning next year, and there full-time in 2024.

      • Bill J

        I thought the same thing Ed. The toll catching on the knees & leg could affect his hitting.

  21. SteveO

    Okey and Stephenson transactions posted, but no transaction posted to clear spot for Okey. 40 man roster has Dawson listed, but I think he is not on the 40 man roster. He was a non roster Covid replacement player. Fraley should be moved to the 60 day IL as the best short term move, unless they have already decided to DFA Aquino or Moran. Marinan has been struggling at Dayton and I’m not sure any other team would take a flyer on him. Thought he would follow a similar path to Solomon and move to full time reliever.

  22. Indy Red Man

    Speaking of catchers, I played fantasy baseball last night and didn’t have much salary left for C so I took Christian Bethancourt from the A’s. All he did was homer to RF then hit a 113 mph laser off the LF wall and got to held to a single because it was hit so hard. Finished off by another drive off the wall in RF which almost took out their RFer. Would’ve been 3 HRs in Gabp by my estimation.

    He might be a guy that could be a backup catcher/DH and provide thump vs lefties that Aquino hasn’t been able to handle. He’ll be 31 in September so wouldn’t cost much I would think.

  23. Old Big Ed

    Mahle, who I generally like a lot, had another Mahle Special last night. He threw 105 pitches in 6 innings. Until he stops throwing 17.5 pitches/IP, he is not going to be an elite pitcher.

    If he gets that down to 14.5 pitches an inning, he would have thrown 87 pitches through 6 IP, and would have pitched another inning. That reduces the bullpen’s chances of lousing the game up by 1/3.

    There is no such thing as a waste pitch in today’s game. Every pitch is important, and Mahle flushes about 15 pitches a game down the toilet.

    • Jim Walker

      Amen. especially on the waste pitches. And part of the change in philosophy has to come from the catcher(s) with young pitchers in particular.

      I believe the previous incumbent was more of an old school pitch caller which reflects in the development of both Castillo and Mahle. They are both more efficient this year; but, have a lot of ground to make up.

    • Bill J

      Rays McClanhan pitched 8 innings with 96 pitches & 9 strikeouts. I know a pitching coach can’t pitch for him but could he help him with understanding pitch conservation.

  24. Jim Walker

    Lineups for tonight have posted. Both Senzel and Almora are out again. Lopez at DH; Aquino in RF; Friedl in CF (and probably a very short bench unless a move is made).

    I believe they today puts them at the IL backdate limit for Senzel. Pull the trigger and have him back in a minimum 7 days or wait another day or two or three and it is still 7 more additional days from then till he could be back.

    Of course the Reds will probably do the Reds thing and use him which resets the clock then a day later sit him down for IL.

    • Mark A Verticchio

      Where is schrock? I thought Bell said he would be ready for this series. This is the weakest line up they have put out all year against a right handed pitcher. With Aquino being an automatic out as well as Garcia I hope Castillo throws a gem and goes at least 7 or 8 innings. This might very well be a long series, I hope I am wrong but the Cardinals have lost 3 in a row and they will be loaded for bear tonight.

      • Jim Walker

        Schrock and India both looked good last night at Louisville. I understand with it being only the 2nd game for India why they are proceeding slowly; but why cycle Schrock through an off day today then play him tomorrow then evaluate some more (which probably means another down day on Sunday). Maybe due to Schrock’s “minor tweak” last weekend?