The Cincinnati Reds have released catcher Austin Romine. After spending the final two months with the big league club in 2022 as the team cycled through more catchers than one team could ever imagine, Romine became a free agent following the season. He would resign with the team a day before Christmas on a minor league deal that included an invitation to big league spring training.
Teams have a lot of catchers in spring training because they also tend to have about 30 pitchers or more in camp and someone has to be around to catch that many guys. Romine was at best 4th on the depth chart with the Reds already stating that their plan for 2023 was to have Tyler Stephenson, Curt Casali, and Luke Maile on the big league roster. But the team also had Chuckie Robinson and Jhonny Pereda in big league camp – both have since been reassigned to the minor leagues.
After hitting .147/.173/.263 in 99 plate appearances with the Reds last year, Austin Romine was looking to improved upon that in the spring and try to stay on the radar in case the team needed a catcher to step in. That didn’t go as hoped in the very limited sample size for Romine, who went 3-15 (.200) without a walk and he had seven strikeouts.
The three catchers who are expected to make the big league club out of spring training, as per the stated plan by the team before camp even started, are the only catchers remaining with the big league club this spring training. Curt Casali is having the best spring among the group thus far, hitting .318/.400/.545 with a home run and two doubles. Tyler Stephenson is hitting .231/.286/.333 with a double and a home run and has gotten the most playing time among the three, picking up 42 plate appearances – leading the team entering this afternoon’s game against Oakland. Luke Maile, like Casali, has gotten 25 plate appearances and he’s hit .182/.280/.364.