What a Major League debut it was for Tyler Stephenson on Monday night. The Cincinnati Reds top position prospect came off of the bench late in the game, taking over behind the plate in the 7th inning and helped fuel a near comeback, homering on his first swing, singling in his next at-bat, and then drawing a bases loaded walk for another run batted in in the 9th inning.

His stay in the Major Leagues only lasted a few days, though. This afternoon the Cincinnati Reds, Mike Moustakas, and Nick Senzel won their appeal with Major League Baseball to have them reinstated and eligible to play after reporting symptoms that could have been related to COVID-19 on Sunday, but never tested positive and haven’t had those symptoms since Sunday. Major League Baseball was still keeping them ineligible to return despite multiple negative tests since then, but the appeal went through. Moustakas, unlike Senzel, was placed on the injured list as a result of his symptoms. Now that he’s back on the team a roster move was required and that move was to send Tyler Stephenson back to the Prasco Park roster.

The Reds had also gotten back catcher Tucker Barnhart this week after he spent several days on paternity leave after the birth of his child over the weekend. With Barnhart, who is starting tonight, Curt Casali, and Kyle Farmer on the roster – carrying a 4th catcher didn’t make the most sense in the world even with a 30-man roster for another week-and-a-half at the Major League level. This likely won’t be his only experience in the big leagues this season. As a catcher, opportunities tend to arise simply due to the nature of playing the position – guys take a beating behind the plate and unfortunately that means guys get injured more often than their other position player counterparts.

Updated Cincinnati Reds Prasco Park Roster

Player  Position  Player  Position
R.J. Alaniz RHP Mark Kolozsvary C
Jesse Biddle LHP Francisco Peña C
Matt Bowman RHP Tyler Stephenson C
David Carpenter RHP Alex Blandino INF
José De León RHP Jose Garcia INF
Hunter Greene RHP Robel García INF
Ryan Hendrix RHP Jonathan India INF
Joel Kuhnel RHP Alfredo Rodriguez INF
Nick Lodolo LHP Stuart Fairchild OF
Alex Powers RHP Boog Powell OF
Sal Romano RHP
Tony Santillan RHP
Tyler Thornburg RHP


7 Responses

  1. Stock

    I was thinking last night that a large part of the excitement of ones major league debut is having family in the stands sharing the moment with you. Stephenson and Antone had fantastic ML debuts but their family was not there to witness the performances in person.

    The impact of Covid is not limited to the death count and the negative impact on the economy. It is far greater than that and it is felt by each and everyone of us.

    • MK

      There is absolutely no reason they could not have made a Luxury Box available for both sets of families in circumstances like this or when a player is setting a special record, etc.

    • Rhonda

      So very true. It was hard not being there to see our son accomplish a lifelong dream. He rocked it!! His smile proves he loves what he does. So proud.

  2. AMDG

    Apparently Stephenson didn’t play well enough to earn a spot on the major league roster…

    If he wants to beat out a pair of catchers who have hit 0.240 over the past couple of seasons, Stephenson is going to need to slash better than 1.000 / 2.500 / 3.500 if he wants to stick around.

      • Exactly!

        And what did he do in those 3 PA’s to prevent him from staying on the Reds’ roster?

        Stephenson is ahead of where Casali & Barnhart were at this point in their careers, and neither of them is really doing anything so well that they are legitimately preventing Stephenson from playing time.

        (Casali was 27th and Barnhard 32nd in Fangraphs WAR for 2019).

  3. Brad Konerman

    Tyler Stephenson is the clear Catcher of the future for the Redlegs. Hopefully, as soon as 2021. But if he is not going to play 3-4 times a week, it is not worth accruing the service time.