The Cincinnati Reds have activated catcher Tyler Stephenson from the Family Medical Emergency List and designated catcher Austin Wynns for assignment in order to clear a 26-man roster spot for Stephenson. Wynns is out of options and thus has to be designated for assignment and clear waivers before being sent to the minor leagues.

Tyler Stephenson was placed on the Family Medical Emergency List on Monday. He had been on the paternity list the previous three days. Monday was an off day for the Reds so it’s likely that Stephenson was just given a paper move in order to spend an extra day with his wife and daughter, and also give Austin Wynns an extra day of service time and big league pay.

The lineup for today’s game in New York came out and Tyler Stephenson is batting 5th and behind the plate. He might even get to show off that new dad strength that everyone gets after becoming a father.

As for Austin Wynns, he’ll be on waivers and subject to another team making a claim if they’re willing to add him to their 40-man roster (and big league roster). He’s been on waivers three other times this year and has cleared them each time and returned to the Reds organization. Wynns performed well in his one start in Stephenson’s absence. On Saturday in St. Louis, the 33-year-old catcher started and picked up three hits – all doubles – while scoring two runs and driving in another as Cincinnati topped the Cardinals 9-4. With an OPS of 1.800 for the Reds, is he making a claim to be the best catcher in the organization’s history? Perhaps.

All jokes aside, Wynns filled in for Stephenson while he was out and did a good job. It feels unlikely he’ll be claimed this time around based on one game performance in the big leagues, but perhaps there’s a team out there who needs a backup catcher who didn’t the last few times he hit the waiver wire. We’ll find out in a few days what his future holds in Cincinnati.

36 Responses

  1. docproc

    Thanks for having Wynns sit on Sunday after his 3-double performance on Saturday.
    You knew you’d be sending him out today–why not give him one more game in the bigs? He earned it.

  2. LDS

    Glad to see Stephenson’s stint on the Family Emergency list wasn’t “real”. Now where is Fraley?

    • Mark Moore

      “Short Bench Syndrome” again?

  3. Jason Linden

    To everyone who thinks 3 hits in a game means a player is gonna be good, I remind you of Ryan Lavarnway. Go look him up again if you need to.

    • Mauired

      It’s not necessarily anyone thinks hes going to be good. It’s the frustration that Maile hit .235 last year, is hitting .182 this year, and is a career .209 hitter and Reds lose almost every time he’s rhe starting catcher. It’s more about giving other guys an opportunity to see if they can do better. And yeah I would take Wynns at this point who matched Mailes season total of doubles in one game.

      • Jason Linden

        They are exactly the same player except Maile knows the pitching staff better. Making decisions based on one game is and will always be foolish.

      • Mauired

        You’re missing the point. It’s time to get someone else. Period. It’s not about a single game

      • Mauired

        And this excuse that Maile can be terrible because he knows the pitching staff doesn’t work when Reds lose every time he plays. Look up Reds record this season when he starts.

      • Jason Linden

        Yes. Backup catcher is the problem with this team. Definitely. Trading this 1/8” wrench for that 1/8” wrench will make a significant difference.

      • Rob

        1000%. What is Tyler Stephenson’s WAR? We are dealing in minutia. We are 3 games out a wildcard but behind 4-5 teams. As the Arizona GM said last year: that is very close yet very far. Some of these sister teams are rebuilders and not very good at all. Seriously doubt these teams will trade youth or prospects for arms or bats. But they might be interested in obtaining prospects. On the other hand, there are teams like the Mets and Padres who are finding their selves and I expect will be competing with the Reds for a big time bat or big time arm or two. And dangling prospects to get it done. Whether we have Luke Maile or Yan Gomes isn’t going to allow us to beat out those teams. But get the big time bat or two and yeah we got a realistic shot at getting 6-8 games over 500.

      • Mauired

        The minutia is important when it results in automatic losses twice a week.

      • Mauired

        Time to stop thinking of Maile as a traditional backup catcher. The Reds use their catchers in a platoon system. Maile starts 1/3 of the games. That turns into a pile of losses.

      • BK

        Shouldn’t we consider the 658 PA amassed by Wynns a reasonably good enough sample size to know that he’s not an upgrade over Maile especially given that he continues to pass through waivers unclaimed?

      • Mauired

        Maybe that’s true. Maybe Wynns is not the answer. But it would not be that hard to find someone who could outperform a .182 hitter

      • Mauired

        Reds are 10-24 in games Mailes starts. 29% winning percentage. He’s on pace to start in about 50 losses this season yet some people continue to run to his defense and say ridiculous things like how much impact he has on pitching or he’s just a backup and it doesn’t matter. 50 losses matter!

      • Tom Diesman

        Oh great, we’re back to the ridiculous Oldtimer Weaver WP rule. How special.

      • Mauired

        Lol. A lil different. I’m saying the .182 hitter is contributing to the Reds 10-24 record when he starts. Conversely, that hilarius argument for Weaver was advocating that despite disastrous pitching results Reds would come out on top so they should just roll with it. Two completely different things. But good try. One of these days you might be able to get something right.

      • Tom Diesman

        Nope. You just now said “the .182 hitter is contributing to the Reds 10-24 record when he starts.”. Which nobody is going to debate because the key work there is contributing.

        Earlier you said “Reds are 10-24 in games Mailes starts. 29% winning percentage. He’s on pace to start in about 50 losses this season”. Which clearly implies that a teams W/L record in some bizarre world could be directly correlated directly to one players contribution the game.

        The root of the matter is that there are 10 players that start each game and the performance, either good or bad, of any single player can be directly correlated to the teams W/L record.

        Cleveland has a 36-23 record in games Bo Naylor has caught and put up a .207/.273/.335/.608. It’s a team sport.

      • Tom Diesman

        Oooops, should have been, “performance, either good or bad, of any single player can NOT be directly correlated”

      • Mauired

        Yes contributing to 24 losses. There is some truth to your Bo Naylor comp. But for one I would gladly take that production over Maile. But the difference between Reds and Guardians is their depth. They are able to cover the weakness while Reds don’t have enough firepower to make up for the drop off the cliff from Stephenson to Maile. It’s clear if Reds are going to do a platoon and start the second catcher 30% of the time, they need someone that can hit. I suggested picking up Bart in the off-season. Unfortunately Pirates pulled the trigger and now they have one of the most productive 2nd catchers.

      • Tom Diesman

        Absolutely, I’m all in for an upgrade at C.

    • Harry Stoner

      Great.
      Now a pre-emptive smug, know-it-all post.

      Maybe some folks are just happy that a journeyman like Wynns got a shot with the Reds in his early 30s and had a night he’ll remember for the rest of his life.

      Given the mediocrity of Maile, and this season…and his established position….maybe folks were pulling for Wynns.

      Maybe the point of communicating here isn’t what you think it is…providing yourself with another opportunity to mewl out another of your smarter-than-thou positions.

      Maybe it isn’t about drooling out contorted, gaseous statistics or references to obscure ballplayers to try and deflate anyone’s enthusiasm through your blase self absorption.

      It would have been great fun to see Wynns on the “day after”.
      And hardly a weaker lineup from it.

      But for Bell and his apologists here (despite their denials) there MUST be some statistics or numbers or Ouija Board, or navel gazing that needs adherence to, so long as they can present myselves as the “Smart One”.

      Yawn.

      • Red Thunder

        Agree Harry! Must be time to give Maile an extension! Former Tampa Bay and the Kentucky connection. Why not? He isn’t the only problem with this team.
        Maile knows pitchers, Bell knows things, and Fan Club members know everything.

      • earmbrister

        I guess opinions that you don’t agree with are “smug, know it all post(s)”

        I went round and round with Mauired on the Maile vs Wynns argument and I also believe that they are essentially the same player, both offensively and defensively. And I made the same argument that Maile knows the pitching staff better. Which is no small matter and which is why certain pitchers have their personal catchers.

        I guess that makes me a smug know it all also. Or maybe we are all allowed to weigh in, maybe without being called “apologists” or “fan club members” (below). You might want to check your blood pressure, cause that sure was some rant.

  4. RedsGettingBetter

    It’s good to know everything is ok regard to TySteve’s family and he’ll be in play today..
    Hopefully Wynns could clear waivers again, to be honest, I’d rather on him as backup catcher instead of Maile right now, regardless the game he played on Saturday…

  5. Optimist

    I didn’t see it on BRef, but isn’t Wynn’s signed to a lucrative MiLB contract – well beyond the minimum? IIRC they wanted him around for just such events as this, or injury fill-in. If so, won’t that dissuade another team from claiming him? Certainly a better arrangement than carrying 3 on the 26-man.

    • SHOW OPSp

      $300,000 minor league salary, $900,000 MLB salary, I believe.

    • Jim Walker

      It was reported his splits were $950K at MLB and $300K at MiLB. Cot’s contracts have it the same (have to scroll down to find him):

      https://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/national-league-central/cincinnati-reds/

      It is a split MLB contract. So, he is guaranteed to get the minimum (MiLB) amount regardless; but gets the prorated MLB amount when with an MLB team.

      So, yeah, if somebody claims him, they have to put him on their MLB active roster at the MLB rate or in turn waive him themselves (and the Reds would probably be glad to reclaim him and see what happened if they then DFAed again 😉

      • Optimist

        Thanks Jim – thought they had planned for this in advance – not a guarantee, but a plan for the 3rd catcher, and they still have Higgins as well.

      • BK

        As pointed out when the Reds signed Wynns in the offseason, they did a pretty good job of incentivizing Wynns to accept multiple outright assignments AND brought him in at a price point that other teams are unlikely to place a claim on him.

  6. Roger Garrett

    I never expected Wynns to play Sunday at all cause well he was going back down and just gave Maile a break on Saturday.He could have went 5-5 and it would not have made any difference at all.Bell just does what he does and will always do.Its not only Wynns but anybody can go off one game and set the next in Bell’s world due to multiple reasons.Glad to see all is well with Tyler and family which is a much bigger story then Wynns.

    • Harry Stoner

      I don’t know….

      In an otherwise bland season of Reds baseball, the TS family story coinciding with the “Best Night of My MLB Life” story from Wynns was pretty great.

      Sure, baseball is about the season, the playoffs!, winning winning winning, but it’s also about the drama that plays out on any given Summer day or evening.

      Knowing that he was going to get shipped out on Monday, the fact that Bell couldn’t run him out there on yet-another-Reds-Underperforming-Sunday only reinforces my feeling that Bell is every bit the inobservant dullard that his post game interviews suggest.

  7. Roger Garrett

    Fraley played Sunday after missing 4 games and isn’t starting tonight so who knows.Not on injury report that I can see.Bell will give an update I am sure.Looks like the Reds will continue to go with Benson.Dude must really have done something wrong to be treated in such a manner.Continues to be a lose lose for him and the team.

    • Jim Walker

      None of the beat crew have posted anything on X dated fresher than 2Hr and nothing mentions Fraley.

  8. Michael B. Green

    I see Tim Anderson was DFA’d. I wonder if we try to snag him if he clears….