The Cincinnati Reds have made two more roster cuts today, sending catchers P.J. Higgins and Austin Wynns to minor league camp. That leaves three catchers with the big league club – Tyler Stephenson and Luke Maile, as well as non-roster invitee Michael Trautwein. Those three are among 15 position players remaining in big league camp, but that 15 also includes TJ Friedl who will begin the season on the injured list.

Assuming there are no further injuries to position players, and that Matt McLain will be ready for the start of the season, then one position player remains who will be sent to the minor leagues. The very obvious choice here is catcher Michael Trautwein. He’s just one of two non-roster invitees remaining. He’s also never played above the Double-A level, where he has just 166 plate appearances and hit .235/.368/.353 last season after starting the year in High-A Dayton. Trautwein is just 2-10 this spring.

The other non-roster invitee is Mike Ford. The 31-year-old has played in parts of five big league seasons, including getting 251 plate appearances last year with the Mariners where he hit a career high 16 home runs. This spring he’s gone 9-22 and posted a .409/.435/.545 line with three strikeouts and a walk.

The Reds will leave Arizona and arrive in Cincinnati on Monday. The team doesn’t always make their final cuts before they head north. With Louisville being just down the road from Cincinnati, it’s not a planning nightmare to make a move the day before the regular season begins and option/send someone to Triple-A. Still, things are getting close to the beginning of the season rather quickly and there’s still at least one move coming from the position player side of things, and there are still 15 pitchers that are healthy in spring training and that will need to be trimmed to 13. There’s always a chance that someone will hit the waiver wire and be picked up by the Reds between now and Opening Day, too.

8 Responses

  1. Optimist

    So – it looks like Ford, or a CF waiver pickup? On the pitching side, 2 pitchers to go, perhaps 3 if they make a claim there as well?

    Others are expressing concerns about ST performance, but this seems to be an acceptable plan – end of tryouts, set the roster, look for pickups – all with a week to go.

    Could still flop out of the gate, but it does appear different than the past few seasons or tryouts continuing thru April, and beyond.

  2. David

    I think Ian Gibaut has not pitched and is still hurt, so I think he probably goes to the DL. Maybe the 60 day DL.

    On the other hand, it does look like TJ Antone is ok and pitching well. Really big surprise, and I am happy for him.

    • BK

      Trent Rosencrans reports that Gibaut and Lodolo are on similar timelines and should be ready when they are eligible to leave the IL in mid-April.

  3. Jpser05

    So Mike Ford, a left handed hitter who plays only 1 position (1B), or he could DH, is going to make the team. Hmmmm.

    • Grand Salami

      Don’t start that now . . . haha.

      Joey wasn’t open to that until he signed with the Jays.

      • Mauired

        Joey stated he was waiting for Reds to offer him the same deal Mike Ford got. And if Joey is healthy and back in pre surgery 2021 form, he’s much more valuable than Ford.

  4. Paul

    I don’t know how you can start the season with only 2 catchers. You leave Michael Trautwein on the big league roster and only send him down to AAA for some extra swings.
    Besides, he is the best defensive catcher in the organization so good guy to keep around as a late game substitute. His bat is very lively and just needs more MLB and AAA at bats.
    Keep Trautwein up.