We had heard that the Cincinnati Reds had planned to use Tyler Stephenson at first base and designated hitter along with time behind the plate during the offseason. How all of that would break down wasn’t quite clear, even after the team signed two other catchers to big league deals with the idea that it would help keep Stephenson in the batters box more at other positions.

Today we got a much more detailed plan from Reds manager David Bell. The team plans to have Stephenson catch about 65 games this season, as first reported by Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Things are broken down in 10-day stretches that, if things go as planned, he’ll spend four days behind the plate in that time. He will spend another three days as the teams designated hitter, and then two of those days at first base. There seems to be a day off built in there, too – whether that comes simply because the team has a day off or he just gets a day off.

There are some tradeoffs with this plan. Tyler Stephenson’s bat at first base and at designated hitter isn’t nearly as valuable as it is at catcher. But having his bat in the lineup no matter what position it’s at is going to help the Reds because there’s probably a decent chance that he’s going to be the best hitter on the team. Of course on days when he’s not catching it means that one of Curt Casali or Luke Maile will be behind the plate and their bats will be in the lineup, and those two may be the worst two hitters on the team. The chances they’ll be as bad at the plate as the non-Stephenson catchers were in 2022 are slim-and-none, but they both are coming off of very poor seasons at the plate.

Plans don’t always go as expected, though. Injuries can come into play. Poor performance can come into play. And that doesn’t have to be for Tyler Stephenson, either. Joey Votto’s health to start the season isn’t entirely known at this point, for example, which could mean there’s more time needed at first base. If one of the backup catchers has an injury it could mean that Stephenson has to catch a little more often if the 4th catching option in the organization simply isn’t ready to step into a larger role.

Another thing that could come into play later in the season is if a player like Christian Encarnacion-Strand does so much damage in the minors that the team has no real choice but to call him up. As a third baseman/first baseman, depending on how others are performing, his playing time could cut into how often there are opportunities available for everyone at the designated hitter spot. The plan is going to be adjustable based on the needs and availability of several players. For now, a plan is in place, but it’s also one that is likely to play out a little bit differently over the course of a season.

90 Responses

  1. David

    I may be an old fogie, but would the Reds’ have played Johnny Bench more at first base or at DH (if that was available in the 1970’s) ?
    Ty Stephenson is not quite Johnny Bench, but he is likely one of the top position players the Reds have, and his OPS at catcher is pretty good.

    And of course, we don’t want him hurt a lot in 2023. Was it bad luck, or being a catcher that got him hurt? The broken collarbone was obviously because he was catching.
    And honestly, the Votto era is about over, and somebody has to take charge at 1st base. CES, McGarry…somebody.

    • Bryant

      Actually, Sparky Anderson said his biggest regret was that he didn’t rest Bench more. Bench had to retire at 31 if my memory is right. If he’d just caught a hundred games a year, he’d have played a lot longer. His knees just took too much abuse.

      • Melvin

        I believe he (Bench) was 34 when he retired. Sparky hated the DH but I’m sure he would have used it for Bench for 30 or so games a year.

    • jessecuster44

      play TS at 3rd Base! Worked in 1982 for Bench. ha ha

      • greenmtred

        Bench also played some at first base, as I recall, and looked decent. But it was near the end of his career and the damage was already done.

    • BK

      @David, in 1970, the Reds started Bench in the outfield 17 times (including two starts in CF), and five times at 1B. He played all three outfield positions and also moved to 3B in one game. In 1970, he won the MVP award and the gold glove as a catcher.

    • MuddyCleats

      Agree! Not sure what the best move is, but Tyler’s size is against him as a catcher. He’s 6-4 which makes it tough on umpires at times calling pitches and exposes him to more foul ball contact. Likewise, as he ages, he’ll no doubt add weight and size which will make the ups and downs of catching even more difficult. His talent is hitting; he has a great approach so he doesn’t K much. I’m sure his power numbers will improve as he matures and adds bulk. Put all that, his injury history and Votto’s age together, and it makes him an excellent 1B prospect for the Reds IMO.

  2. DW

    I understand that catching has a higher injury risk than other positions, but having a catcher that can really hit is a huge asset/advantage (as Doug nicely lays out above).

    Stephenson playing less than half of his games at catcher just seems like a knee jerk reaction to last year’s fluke injuries. The reward of having one of your best hitters at catcher outweighs the risk in my opinion.

    I’m in favor of him DHing once a week, or maybe even once a series, but not a fan of having him catching only 40% of the games. If he was poor behind the plate, maybe, but he seems like he has the future of at least an average defensive catcher.

    I miss the days of the tough every day catcher…and player for that matter.

    • Josh

      I agree – 75 games is way too low. Panic move before the season even starts. The entire organization is obviously in absolute terror that they will get off to a horrible start like last year.

    • JayTheRed

      Joe Oliver comes to mind or Benito Santiago

    • Tar Heel Red

      The broken wrist and collarbone were fluke injuries, but what was not a fluke was the concussion he suffered. It was his third since turning pro. That type of injury cannot be ignored. MLB history is littered with catchers who have suffered shortened careers due to concussions…or in some cases have ended careers. The Reds are doing what is best for Stephenson and the ballclub by being proactive and hopefully reducing the chances of it happening to him.

      • VaRedsFan

        He had 1 in high school and the other in A ball.
        So pretty much 3 in 10 years?

    • SteveAreno

      I’m just so worried that the injury will cause him many problems in 2023 and he won’t be 100% until 2024. All the fans are taking it for granted he will be rehabbed and better than ever. They don’t consider the possibility he will anything but a superstar. There is a hint in there that we have so many catchers in our close reach (career averages) Austin Romine (.230), Luke Maile (.207), Curt Casali (.223) and Chuckie Robinson (.136) for an insider reason.

  3. LDS

    Generally, I’m not a fan of moving players out of their “natural” position, e.g., Senzel. It often doesn’t work out. In this case though, a healthy Stephenson is worth more to the team than catching 130+ games per year. Sure, Bench and others did that throughout their careers, but it takes a toll. I’ll bet Bench advertises Blue-Emu for a reason (besides the money). And Stephenson has already suffered quite a few injuries. We all wish he had better backups, but Maile & Casaili are certainly better than last year’s numerous scrubs. Bell mapping out the season in 10 game stretches? Well, that’s a topic for another day. Let’s take preserving Stephenson as win.

    • Doug Gray

      At what point do we decide what a guys “natural” position is? Is it where he played in high school? College? The low minor leagues?

      • LDS

        Hence the quotes. But, a guy in his mid 20’s, who has played 450+ games at catcher, 24 games at 1B, and single digits at other positions is a “natural” catcher. We can use accustomed to catching if you prefer. Players can’t be shuffled from position to position and expected to perform optimally.

      • Doug Gray

        I would argue that catching is a different animal than other positions as it requires a very different skillset than other positions do. But with nearly everyone else – when do we decide what their natural position is? Having the ability to be a shortstop in Double-A doesn’t necessarily mean a guy has the ability to be a shortstop in the big leagues, but keeping a guy there in Double-A even if they may not be there in the long run can make a ton of sense.

    • MuddyCleats

      So many not a fan of moving players out of their natural position, yet fine w/ a NO Hitting middle infielder / utility type player at 1B? I’d rather have TS’s top bat at 1st and an excellent Def catcher like Casali behind the dish. Most teams don’t have a great hitting catcher, but good teams do have a great power hitting First Baseman.

  4. Old-school

    I really like Tyler Stephenson a lot and hope he stays a Red a long time and becomes a Paul Goldschmidt type hitter.

    That said, this doesnt strike me as a 1 year plan and TS goes back to 130 games next year. That then begs the question is the Reds other catcher/primary catcher for 2024/25 in the organization? Could one of the SS types be used to trade for C next off-season? It doesnt look like any top C in mlb draft at #7

    • JayTheRed

      Don’t forget we signed that highly ranked international prospect this past winter. Though we haven’t seen anything out of him yet and he is probably 3 or 4 years away from even cracking the MLB team.

      • MuddyCleats

        Agree w/ u and Old School. W/ Votto on the way out and the young top prospect catcher just signed, it makes sense to play TS a little more a !B this season while Casali is on board. If McGary or CES push the issue w/ a hot bat, then maybe TS is pushed back to the catching position more often.

    • VaRedsFan

      If they acquire another catching prospect with promise, do they have to start “protecting” him too if he gets hurt a little?

      • 2020ball

        RLN will immediately try to move him off catcher to a new position, then flood posts complaining about Bell switching Senzel to a new position.

      • MuddyCleats

        Yes, especially if he’s had multiple concussions in a short period of time and he’s an outstanding hitter on a very poor hitting team.

  5. DaveCT

    I generally don’t get involved in the David Bell discussions. As my 8 year old son used to say frequently about things he didn’t like to do: “Dad, it’s a waste of life.”

    However, I do hope the sole intention here is Tyler’s health and well-being, and the implied positive contribution to the club. More Tyler is a good thing. Less Tyler is a bad thing. I also hope this isn’t a design to make Tyler some kind of super utility guy, as Bell is often cited for favoring. Guys like Stephenson don’t come along very often. Between he and Hunter Greene, these are two kids who could easily become the faces of the franchise. And part of that is being an everyday fixture.

    In that case, a permanent move to 1B and as Joey’s replacement makes sense, in spite of the acquisition of several likely 1B such as Encarnacion-Strand, Steer, possibly India if his range does’t play under the new rules, the wealth of infielders acquired by trade last year, and Collier and Stewart in Lo-A.

    But still.

  6. MK

    One negative to this scheme is they are adding a below average bat to the lineup in the two backups. I noticed there are no off-days included in the plan

    • 2020ball

      Also one of the bench spots is another black hole if they do this. I dont really read that as a strict plan either, more of an example of how his usage might be.

      • Melvin

        Planning things out game by game before the season even starts is an easy way to manage. If it’s the “game plan” to do that then a computer would do a better job. Managing is day by day, situation by situation, player by player. Judging by past performance David Bell is more likely to adhere to a strict plan that he has already mapped out.

      • 2020ball

        I just read the article a second ago, it mentioned being open to changing it which seems obvious. Also said he “literally” had it planned out for 140 games which, like youre saying, is utterly ridiculous.

      • greenmtred

        Bell and the Reds get a lot of criticism here for not having a plan, so it follows as day follows night that he’ll be criticized for, allegedly, having one. In any case, plans are only as good as the players executing them.

  7. MBS

    I have no problem with Stephenson playing 65 as the C. Ideally we live in a world where he catches 124 games or more at C, but mitigating his chances of getting injured in 23 makes sense to me. I don’t know the science on concussions, but I image that the further he’s removed from his last concussion, the better odds he has of not receiving another.

    24, 25, etc.. when we are (hopefully) a more competitive team, I’d like to see his workload at C increase to at least over half, if not to the 124 mark I previously mentioned.

  8. Melvin

    I’m guessing that catching only 40% of the time does not make Stephenson happy.

    • Votto4life

      I am sure he makes him absolutely furious. It could cost him a whole bunch of money moving forward. I would bet the Reds chance to extend him bow, beyond his arb years, are thin and none.

      • Melvin

        Which means they will have to trade him before he hits free agency anyway which means he won’t be here that much longer anyway.

      • Votto4life

        Melvin I agree. Trade him now. Why diminish his value by making him a 1B-DH for a couple of years?

        Trade him now while he has greater value as a catcher. I guarantee there are 20 or so other teams who will let Stephenson catch 90% of the time.

        The Red’s consistency in making wrong decisions is just remarkable.

        You have a player, who is very good at a position, who wants to play that position and is more valuable at that position . So what do the Red’s do? They move him to a less valuable position where he doesn’t want to play.

        I bet Stephenson is seeing red (and not in a good way) over this decision.

      • 2020ball

        I’ve brought this up numerous times while debating this since last season, and I remember reading at the end of the year a quote from him saying he wants to catch but he’s not against playing first, etc. We don’t know his private thoughts or if he’s necessarily angry over it, but I’m sure him and his agent are aware of how it affects his value.

        If the Reds intent is to save him this year and increase his catching load in the future when there’s more talent on the team, I’m somewhat okay with that. I’m vehemently against moving him to 1B permanently, he just needs a capable back-up and everything will work itself out.

      • 2020ball

        This is from a Sheldon Reds.com article from December 3rd:

        “I want to catch. I want to do it as long as possible,” he said. “Unless something physically down the road doesn’t let me, then that’s something to talk about another day. But I’m catching.”

        Stephenson spent time in Chicago at the headquarters of EvoShield, which is the company that provides his protective equipment. EvoShield is making him gear with more padding around his neck and improved elbow guards. He already changed masks last season after his concussion and used one that did better at withstanding contact from foul balls.

        There have not been any drills yet that might test the clavicle.

        “I’m just trusting [the doctor] that eight screws and a plate is pretty sturdy,” Stephenson said. “I haven’t done any blocking. I guess that would be the real question, but I might wait until January. I’ll talk to [third-base coach] J.R. [House] and figure out a progression and what we can do, and not [go] in there and just start blocking baseballs right away.”

      • Melvin

        “I want to catch. I want to do it as long as possible,” he said. “Unless something physically down the road doesn’t let me, then that’s something to talk about another day. But I’m catching.”

        I wonder if he considers being behind the plate 40% of the time is “catching”.

      • 2020ball

        The newest article from Sheldon has some good quotes as well. TS sounds on board with this plan for now and theres an opening to giving him more time there in the future.

      • Still a Red

        Sheldon article says he wants enough games to be classified as a catcher and that that is his identity. Reds need to honor that, while protecting his longevity in that position…which probably means not catching every day.

      • Melvin

        Which begs the question what is the number of games required for him to be classified as a catcher?

      • Melvin

        For whatever it’s worth, according to Rawlings, to qualify for a gold glove:

        A catcher must have played in at least half of his team’s games by his team’s 138th game (a minimum of 69 games)

  9. JB

    The catcher was an automatic out last year , so let’s repeat that this year for 100 games . I mean if that was the plan to start him for 65 lousy games , then at least they could have gotten a decent hitting catcher. Instead of signing the 597 scrubs to minor league contracts they could of used that money on a decent catcher. Well my wire to wire is now getting cloudy.

    • Melvin

      Depends on which end of the wire to wire that you’re talking about. Lol

    • Doug Gray

      Which of these catchers is a decent hitter?

      Tucker Barnhart (32)
      Curt Casali (34)
      Jason Castro (36)
      Robinson Chirinos (38)
      Willson Contreras (31)
      Austin Hedges (30)
      Sandy Leon (34)
      Omar Narvaez (31)
      Roberto Perez (34)
      Kevin Plawecki (32)
      Austin Romine (34)
      Gary Sanchez (30)
      Christian Vazquez (32)
      Mike Zunino (32)

      Those were the free agent catchers this year. Willson Contreras signed for $88M. Christian Vazquez signed a 3-year, $30M deal with Minnesota after a .714 OPS last year. Gary Sanchez is still out there in FA with a .679 OPS from last year. No one else on the list posted a .600 OPS last season and got 100 at-bats.

      The trade market may have been available, but there was no way they were finding a decent hitting catcher in free agency without permanently moving Stephenson to another spot (because the two guys who can hit the ball out of the infield weren’t signing in Cincinnati to split time).

      • Redsvol

        Exactamundo! There weren’t any good catchers this off-season. Vazquez probably the best of the bunch and Astros weren’t going to let him get away. Compared to Doug’s list, Casalis isn’t a half bad choice.

        We need Tyler playing, not on the DH.

      • JayTheRed

        I know you said in free agency there was not a good option really.
        Cough cough, but there was a great trade opportunity with the Blue Jays. Toronto was trading a Catcher this offseason. A very productive one or two or three that they had at the start of the Off Season. Funny thing is they could use an upgrade at 2b or 3b. I am sure we could have offered 1 of the 20 good shortstops we have now.

        Course everyone and their mother was trying to get one of Toronto’s catchers this offseason.

      • Redsvol

        I was hopeful if a trade for a young catcher this off season too but reds had no one comparable to daulton varsho for Toronto. That kid is good and Toronto got the better of that deal.

      • MuddyCleats

        Exactly! Moose was plugged into DH a lot last yr; was he not an auto out most of the time? Get and keep TS’s bat in the game – at least a 150 of them. C, DH, 1B or LF for that matter.
        Reds/Bell played anyone and everybody at 1B last year – no body cried about a utility INF w/ no stick playing 1B….

    • greenmtred

      There will probably be several automatic outs in the lineup. Or, stated more positively, there will be a limited number of competent hitters. What difference does it really make where they play?

  10. Votto4life

    A absolutely Terrible mistake. It will diminish his value quite a bit. TySteve is one of the top 10 offensive catchers in baseball. Where would he rank at 1B? DH? Much lower, that is where.

    Not only does this hurts his value to the Reds, it hurts his value overall. I can’t imagine he is very pleased with it. It’s going to cost him a lot money in the long run. Which now means the Reds will unlikely be able to extend him beyond his arbitration years.

    The Reds would be better off trading him, than making a new average first baseman.

    It is getting to the point when you can almost, with certainty, count on this organization to make wrong decision.

    • Still a Red

      No one is going to give up anything to get him at this point. He has to show he’s recovered first…at which point, the Reds may decide to catch him 100 games or more. Also, he currently isn’t hitting at a 1B level, but maybe he will?? I think this is a conscientous caution move for this year.

  11. Melvin

    “Not only does this hurts (sic) his value to the Reds, it hurts his value overall. I can’t imagine he is very pleased with it. It’s going to cost him a lot money in the long run. Which now means the Reds will unlikely be able to extend him beyond his arbitration years.”

    I agree. If the Reds are going to take this route then to me it makes more sense to trade him while he still is a “full time catcher” when his value will be at its’ peak. As I’ve said before though does this mean that the Reds can never have a good hitting catcher because they’re afraid of him getting hurt? Are they going to move anyone that’s any good to another position? It’s a whole lot easier to find a good first baseman than a good catcher. If Stephenson does want to catch then I say turn the percentages around and let him do it 60-65% of the time. Take the risk. Otherwise trade him.

  12. Harry Stoner

    No opinion yet on the benefits or drawbacks of the strategy but this has Bell written all over it.

    He must be just drooling over the opportunity to shift Myers, TS and JV around at 1B and then do the same with Myers in the OF.

    Think of all the possible lineup configurations!

    And he hasn’t even started with the 2b, SS, 3b yet.

    I’ll be surprised if we see the same lineup twice this season.

    For Bell, that’s ‘managing’.

    • 2020ball

      I think pretty much every team uses players at multiple positions and different lineups game to game.

      • Harry Stoner


        With all the sure hand of sense, purpose and results that Bell brings to his ‘managing’.

      • greenmtred

        Harry: You and LDS should submit your bonafides to Reds management without delay!! A playoff run hangs in the balance.

  13. Kevin H

    I like this move as it keeps Stephenson in the line up. I rather have a defensive catcher who is solid behind the plate and calls a good game. Not every position has to hit 300. Hit 25 homeruns and drive in 100 runs.

    Also I recall last season some suggested move Stephenson from catching position. Now that is happening some are not happy. Darn if you do, darn of you don’t.
    Kudos to Bell

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Agreed. I’m in favor of moving Stephenson to first and-or DH exclusively to maximize the value of his bat. This isn’t that, but it’s a step in that direction.

    • 2020ball

      Why can’t Stephenson be solid behind the plate and call a good game?

    • JayTheRed

      I was just thinking the same thing. There were so many people clambering for Tyler to play less catcher this coming season and now that it is going to happen, they are all up in arms again.

      Lots of flip floppers on this site for sure.

      It’s not that I have not ever changed my mind on this site before, but usually it was because I underestimated a player. Plus, when I do change my mind, I apologize and give credit to those who proved me wrong.

    • TR

      Where Tyler Stephenson plays is a management decision, hopefully in consultation with TS. The Red’s definetly need an injury-free Tyler Stephenson’s offense in the lineup as much as possible.

  14. Redgoggles

    He didn’t say it, but he’s probably thinking of ways to keep Stevenson fresh for the playoff run in the second half with Antone.

    • Melvin

      lol Nothing against those players. I’m glad for their optimism and competitiveness.

    • TR

      The playoff run? I love it. Optimism springs eternal as Opening Day gradually approaches.

  15. Old-school

    People living in a vacuum saying full time catcher and stephenson in the same yet also saying best hitter?

    He played what 58 games last year?
    Hes had 3 concussions??

    Best hitter IF 145 games

    Still waiting for the 4.5 WAR reds fantasy first baseman to show up who stephenson is blocking

    CES is delayed with a back issue and Will Myers just creates an AAAA hole in the OF

    • MuddyCleats

      Once again, Hum Baby – Spot ON!

  16. BK

    Assuming Tyler Stephenson is the best all-around hitter on the Reds right now, I like the plan. It avoids putting undue wear and tear on Stephenson this year. When better players are available to plug in at 1B or DH, the Reds can increase Stephenson’s load behind the plate.

  17. RedsFan11

    “Tyler Stephensons bat is much more valuable as a catcher….”.. what a load of garbage. How valuable was his bat on the IL for 115 games last year?

    Some people are acting like the rest of this lineup is the BRM, and he’s taking someone else’s bat away. This may be the worst offensive team in all of baseball, bottom 5 at best.

    Way more important that Stephenson’s bat is IN the lineup vs where

  18. William

    Maybe the Reds will move Senzel to catcher. LOL. He might make it a few games before he is on the injured list the rest of the year. Catcher is a tough position I caught for years and dreamed of being a Red. Memories.

  19. CFD3000

    I am not in favor of this plan for many reasons. Happy players are better players – if TS wants to catch, I prefer him at catcher. And I’d rather have a Top 5 hitting catcher 2/3 of the time. Playing TS at first means that Votto is at DH. That means the Reds best DH is replaced in the lineup by a backup catcher. Even if Casali or Maile is a decent backup catcher, no one is suggesting they should DH when Tyler is catching. It diminishes the entire lineup in hopes that Stephenson won’t get hurt, which… just no. If he were coming back from a chronic injury and needed more time to heal that’s fine, but a) that’s not the case and b) if so he shouldn’t catch at all. So put me down as a “No” on this one.

  20. AMDG

    In any 1 game, the Reds don’t lose much offense by moving Stephenson off the catcher spot because their 1B (Votto) and their backup catchers (Casili & Maile) are comparable hitters (all had an OPS+ around 83~87 last year).

    So, in a game where Stephenson plays 1B they have the same offensive potential in a game where he plays C.

    Therefore, the goal should be to get his bat in as many games as possible (since his 130 OPS+ is far superior to Votto, Maile, and Casili).

    And that probably means using him as a DH/1B/C (similar to what the Twins did with Mauer in the 2nd half of his career).

    • Kevin H

      You are comparing Votto to Maile and Casilli? Just stop as that isn’t a comparison. Votto is a hall of famer to be and a great hitter. He had one bad season. Geesh.

      • AMDG

        Votto is a borderline hall of famer, and WAS a great hitter.

        His HOF voting will show what modern voters favor. His accumulation of traditional numbers (hits, doubles, HR’s, etc) would have him just outside enshrinement. But the more modern measurements like OPS+ would warrant putting him in.

        Over the past half decade his OBP has continually dropped, and his K rate has continually risen – that’s not one bad season, it’s a trend.

        Following that trend, many of the 2023 projections are not too kind to the 39-year old Votto, placing him on par with guys like Casali.

      • Tar Heel Red

        Votto is a marginal Hall of Famer and WAS a great hitter…but those days are long gone. If you can keep Stephenson in the lineup for 150 games you do it. And, by the way, Stephenson is a better defensive 1B’man than Votto.

    • Jack F

      I said this last fall after Stephenson went down with his last injury that wound up being a season-ending broken collarbone and that is that the Reds should move him to 1B this year on a fulltime basis and make Votto the regular DH. They can use Casilli and another backup to handle the catching duties. Stephenson needs to be in the lineup every day and the Reds can’t afford to keep him behind the plate because he is too injury prone. He should be able to develop into an All-Star first baseman both offensively and defensively.

  21. Jimbo44CN

    “I’m just trusting [the doctor] that eight screws and a plate is pretty sturdy,” Stephenson said. “I haven’t done any blocking. I guess that would be the real question,
    With this as well as some concussions, limiting his catching is a smart move for him and the team. He is a great line drive hitter, much like Joe Mauer. And as someone else said, you would think he was taking the bat out of the hands of some all star by moving to DH occasionally. Geez.

    • David

      Interesting that the plate and screws are still in. Some years ago, my son fell off a bike and broke his shoulder, and had to have screws and a plate put in to stabilize the bone for healing, apparently much like Tyler Stephenson. My son is not 6 ft 4. It was must four screws.
      The doctor (for my son) recommended when the bone was healed, to have the plate and screws removed. Although it was never done, if you do have the plate and screws removed, you then have to be very careful for 6-8 weeks, as the bone fills back in where the screws went in to secure the plate.
      After you have one concussion, you are also more susceptible to having another one. If Tyler Stephenson becomes more concussion susceptible, then he likely should not be catching anymore.

    • 2020ball

      I’m pretty sure everyone here is fine with him moving to DH occasionally. Everyone I’ve known with a plate installed don’t have many issues because of it, if the docs tell him he’s good to catch I believe them.

  22. redfanorbust

    I said it before on various posts about TS. As mentioned in some of the posts for this article he is 6′-4″ and a lean one at that. There is a reason why the majority of catchers are built like fireplugs. There are reasons why most catchers don’t hit very well. Stephenson has a perfect build for first base. Reds don’t have the luxury of risking who is probably their best hitter, playing catcher. If the Reds are to make the playoffs anytime soon they need their best players in the lineup as many days as possible.

    • MuddyCleats

      Exactly, TS’s size is a problem behind the plate

  23. Old-school

    Athletic article up today and other than Realmuto nobody catches 120 games anymore. Very few catch 100.
    Bench was done at age 31.
    Buster posey per Casali scheduled his last few years catching and quit early

    Still waiting for the Reds 4.5 WAR fictional first baseman that Stephenson is blocking when he plays first base twice a week

    If CES blows up great. Still not a problem with DH and catching

  24. Michael

    I’d like to see him catch 80-100 games. Would really like to see the team invest heavily in a backup catcher next season because I doubt Maile and Casali will be worth starting 50 games each.