The Cincinnati Reds have signed catcher Chuckie Robinson and right-handed pitcher Jared Solomon to minor league deals for the 2023 season and extended them non-roster invites to spring training.

Those two re-signing and getting invites to spring training now puts the Reds non-roster invitee list at six players. Robinson and Solomon join pitchers Daniel Duarte, Ben Lively, and Kevin Herget, as well as outfielders Allan Cerda as players getting invites out to Goodyear for February and March of 2023.

Chuckie Robinson signed a minor league deal with the Reds prior to the 2022 season and he spent much of his 2022 season in the minors, playing 58 games between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville. He hit .266/.320/.399 between those two levels. But with injuries and a complete lack of any production from a catcher in Cincinnati not named Tyler Stephenson, Robinson eventually got called up to the big leagues for his debut in late August. He struggled at the plate, hitting .136/.136/.271 with 17 strikeouts in 60 plate appearances. Robinson did show off one of the strongest arms in baseball behind the plate during his time with the Reds.

After missing the 2021 season because he underwent Tommy John surgery, Jared Solomon began his year in the minor leagues in 2022. He was only in the minor leagues for a month – splitting time between Double-A and Triple-A – before he was called up to join the Reds bullpen. In his first six outings he gave up two runs (3.18 ERA), but on June 7th he gave up five runs and only recorded two outs and was sent back to the minors. The Reds sent him back to Triple-A after that outing. He would only see action in the big leagues in two other games the rest of the season. He finished the season with an ERA of 10.80 in 8.1 innings.

Both players were designated for assignment following the season and elected to be free agents in November. Now they are both coming back to the organization with the hopes of getting back to Cincinnati in 2023.

22 Responses

  1. LDS

    As the old saying goes “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”. You do a great job keeping us up to date on the Reds various machinations and generating content. But, wow, to say the organization doesn’t give you much to work with would be an understatement.

    • Mike

      Seriously, this is a labor of love Doug. Honestly, you could probably just start making up names for fun if you wanted. No one would know the difference and who really cares? The owners don’t.

    • mac624

      Even bad teams need depth. Pretty good and cheap signings for your Triple AAA team and both will likely see some Major League time as well as injuries happen throughout the season. I thought as the season progressed, Robinson started making some good contributions to the team both defensively and offensively. I like both signings.

      • LDS

        And if they stayed at AAA, I wouldn’t mind. But history has shown they won’t.

  2. Rednat

    i thought Robinson was starting to make some solid contact at the end of his time last year ( i think he homered during the last reds win against the cubs). seemed to be a fan and team favorite as well. glad he will be sticking around for next year

    • TR

      I wish Chuckie Robinson well as the Red’s second backup catcher. In his limited playing time last season, he seemed to have an upbeat attitude especially defensively.

      • JoshG

        yeah, he should be splitting time at catcher in Louisville

  3. CI3J

    If either one of these players see significant time on the Reds’ roster, you’ll know something has gone horribly wrong (yet again).

  4. Old Big Ed

    You guys do realize that the Reds are like every other team and need organizational depth, don’t you? The Dodgers, for example, gave 204 ABs in AAA last year to catcher Tony Wolters, who had a .605 OPS. A team that wants young pitchers to develop at AA and AAA needs to have good defensive catchers at those levels. If nothing else, they will have 25 or so pitchers in major league spring training, with scores more in minor league camp. They need bullpen catchers who know what they are doing.

    As for Solomon, he is like most AAA pitchers and likely won’t work out at the next level. But in 2022 he was a year off TJ surgery, so having command issues was to be expected. Both signings are very low cost and very low risk signings.

    You guys would complain that your beer is too cold.

    • Phil's Whippet Guy

      Big Bob, is that you? This is not org depth. This is the level of player that will be trotting out there on this 110 loss team once injuries start.

    • Harry Stoner

      The Reds churned through a lot of replacement catchers last season and for some reasons Robinson wound up the keeper.

      Not to be a Cassandra, but I think further lost time injuries to Stephenson should be expected, in ST and then sometime in late April early May.

      Again in late July.

      Might as well start planning for it now.

      Reds’ fans will be seeing their fair share of Robinson.

      • Old Big Ed

        True, but if you look at AAA catchers, there are about 60 guys who are the functional equivalents of Robinson and Koloszvary and the other 2022 replacements. The Reds like Robinson’s defensive skill set, which to me is what they should be focusing on for in a AAAA catcher. I doubt that they carry 3 catchers.

        There are really only about 10-12 catchers in MLB who can actually hit.

        I am in the camp that Stephenson over the next couple of seasons needs to be eased into another position — either 1B or LF. His bat would get much better without the wear and tear of catching, and the injury risk would go down.

      • Michael

        @harry

        Bravo for a Cassandra reference.

      • refanorbust

        Alas Harry I feel you are correct. If I am the manager I take arguably our teams best hitter and put him and his 6′-4″ frame, splitting time 50/50 with Votto at 1B and DH. He already has at least one concussion and a couple of broken bones in his young career. There is a reason why most catchers hit .250 and below and are built like tanks. Then I go out and sign someone like if not Tucker Barnhart. Added bonus of platooning Votto at DH is his 39 year old surgically repaired body much needed rest and it may show up in much better hitting.

  5. Klugo

    I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself.

  6. Old-school

    So Bell did his interview and sounds like Steer is going to get a long look at third. Newman and reynolds and Barrero will compete for starting SS with heavy burden of proof early on Barrero hes different from 2022. India is the 2b per Bell and said hes in Cinci working hard to be a 2b with range

    Senzel was odd case as usual
    Hes in a boot still and now looks like he is CF and not infield. Doesnt sound like Reds believe other OF are centerfielders and likely sign cheap FA who can play Cf

    • LarkinPhillips

      Krall is quoted in the article discussing 3M and says simply “He’s on roster. That’s it.”

      Wow.

      • Redgoggles

        Can the Reds option him to AAA, assuming he doesn’t show up to ST in best shape of life, etc? No sense in giving PA to him over the youngins. Perhaps then 3M would be willing to negotiate a buyout and make it a win/win.

        It’s probably not the “Reds way”, but seems like a smart business decision if allowable.

      • redfanorbust

        I can find zero percent reasoning why we just don’t DFA him. We pay him whether or not he is on the roster and he takes up a valuable spot for some of our young talent who really need the reps at the big league level.

      • BK

        The Reds cannot option him, and there is no reason for a player to sign a “buyout” on a fully guaranteed contract.

        While perhaps not likely, Moustakas could show up to Spring Training ready to play–it’s certainly not out of the realm of the possible. So, the Red’s Front Office must believe there is a realistic chance of this happening. Otherwise, Moose would have been cut by now.

        Krall’s comments were telling — he seems to understand what many of us do — Moose needs to produce or go.

  7. Mark Moore

    Not surprised Chuckie is back. He’ll do a fine job at AAA handling that staff. I know he’ll never hit like TySteve, but he’s a good defender if we need him at some point.

  8. JB

    Kind of funny that people say if Chuckie sees time at Major league level the Reds will be in trouble. Yet the Luke Maile train is going to do wonders for the team.