The Cincinnati Reds made five roster moves prior to the first game of today’s doubleheader. They were not close to being done for the day. Following the game and prior to the second game the team announced that they were calling up Lyon Richardson from Triple-A, activated Tejay Antone from the injured list, called up Carson Spiers, optioned TJ Hopkins to Triple-A, placed Fernando Cruz and Ben Lively on the COVID-19 injured list, and designated Alan Busenitz for assignment.


Let’s start with Tejay Antone. He has missed more than two years after having Tommy John surgery in the summer of 2021. It was his second such surgery. He suffered a setback just before spring training began in 2023 and that pushed his time table for return back to the second half.

Antone began his rehab assignment in late July and made two appearances for the complex league club before joining Triple-A at the start of August. In his third outing with the Bats he allowed three runs in 1.1 innings. That was the only outing in which he pitched more than an inning. Since that appearance he’s made nine more and has allowed just one run in 8.2 innings on eight hits, four walks, and he struck out eight batters. You can see his rehab game log here.

While he had only thrown a 4-seam fastball in his time in the big leagues in the past, he’s been throwing both a 2-seamer and a 4-seamer while on rehab. His velocity has been down a bit from where he was when he last pitched in the big leagues, averaging 95 MPH on his 4-seamer and 93.4 on his 2-seamer. He averaged 97 on his 4-seam fastball in 2021 before he was injured.

With Antone being activated he now counts towards the 40-man roster. That meant the club needed to clear a spot and that came at the expense of right-handed reliever Alan Busenitz, who had been pitching out of Louisville’s bullpen.

Lyon Richardson and Carson Spiers are both coming up from the minor leagues. Richardson’s been up before and is on the 40-man roster. Spiers, though, has never pitched above Double-A and is not on the 40-man roster. He’s being added as a “substitute player”, which is allowed for non-40-man roster players who take a spot of a player on the COVID-19 injured list.

Richardson last pitched on August 23rd and that outing was with the Reds as they faced off against the Angels out in California. He allowed three runs that night in 4.1 innings – his longest outing at any level this season. Richardson will get the start for the Reds tonight in game two.

Carson Spiers had been scheduled to pitch for the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts tonight, but his plans changed. The 25-year-old has spent all season in Chattanooga where he’s made nine starts and 19 relief appearances. All but one of his starts have come in his last 10 appearances and he’s made six starts in a row. In that stretch he’s posted a 3.27 ERA with 14 walks and 45 strikeouts in 33.0 innings. On the season his ERA is 3.69 in 83.0 innings with 106 strikeouts and 41 walks. You can see his career stats here.

As for what to expect from him – he throws a 2-seamer and a 4-seamer between 92-95 MPH. He’ll also mix in a cutter, slider, and a change up. The slider is his best offering and when it’s on, it’s an above-average pitch.

11 Responses

  1. Jeremiah

    Congrats to Carson Spiers on being called up, I hope Antone can stay healthy what a long road he has had!

    • Optimist

      Agree! And an excellent use of the COVID non-40 man roster rule. Front office on top of their game for a nice moment.

      • MK

        Either that or the virus is going through the team. That’s three.

      • Jim Walker

        One of the beat guys posted on X (fka Twitter) that Bell said Greene would be out a minimum of 7 days retro to yesterday (Thursday). That sounds like a testing protocol may have kicked in.

  2. Melvin

    Nice to know but if the hitting doesn’t turn around REAL QUICK it won’t matter what kind of pitching we have.

  3. DaveCT

    Both Spies and Friedl are NDFA signings, through both were in unique scenarios, Spiers being the year of the shortened 2020 draft.

  4. LDS

    Be interesting to see how Antone fares. Hopefully, he does well. But, coming back from 2 TJs and being effective is a tall order.

  5. Protime

    It is no longer a thinking player’s game. Whatever happen to the take sign 3-1 leading off the game. That one is on Bell and his inability to be a competent manager. I’ve said it a million times, he has absolutely no feel for the real time game in front of him, or how to manage it. The name of the game is to always put pressure on your opponent and force him to make the play. If you cede the advantage, you lose leverage. The game, within the game has become non-existing. Congratulation to Carson Spiers, and wishing all the best to Tejay Antone.

  6. MuddyCleats

    Giolito, Moore & even Lopez sure would have looked good about now. Like the Bader & Renfero moves too, but adding a pitcher n the mix needed to happen!

    • RedsMonk65

      Reds tried, but Guardians got to them first.

  7. MCT

    They should call the COVID-19 IL the illness list, not the injured list. That sounds silly.