Reds news: Tyler Stephenson promoted to the big league roster

MESA, AZ - OCTOBER 14: Tyler Stephenson #36 of the Glendale Desert Dogs (Cincinnati Reds) (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
MESA, AZ - OCTOBER 14: Tyler Stephenson #36 of the Glendale Desert Dogs (Cincinnati Reds) (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Tyler Stephenson will likely make his Reds debut on Sunday.

Tyler Stephenson received some good news on Sunday. The former first-round pick of the Cincinnati Reds was called up to the big leagues and will likely make his debut on Sunday versus the Detroit Tigers. Though not in the starting lineup, we could possibly see Stephenson as either a pinch hitter or defensive replacement.

The news is not so good for Mike Moustakas who was placed on the injured list. According to David Bell, Moustakas was not feeling well this morning and was asked to stay home. Bell said the team was being overly cautious.

Utility infielder Matt Davidson was recently placed on the IL after testing positive for COVID-19. It’s not yet clear if that’s the reason for Moustakas’ presence on the injured list. A player who tests positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate and remain away from the team until he has two negative tests taken at least 24 hours apart.

While this is troublesome news for Moustakas and the Reds as a whole, it’s a fantastic news for Tyler Stephenson who was added to the team’s 40-man roster this past winter. It was expected that Stephenson would begin the year at Triple-A Louisville, but the cancellation of the minor league season found Stephenson at the Reds camp site in Mason, Ohio.

Stephenson had a breakout year with the Chattanooga Lookouts last season. The right-handed hitting catcher slashed .285/.372/.410. The big uptick in his performance came during the Arizona Fall League, when Stephenson hit .347/.418/.490. He picked up where he left off during spring training as well, but Cactus League play was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Cincinnati Reds are low on catchers right now. Curt Casali started Friday’s opener and was back behind the plate again on Saturday, as fellow backstop Tucker Barnhart returned home to be with his wife. The couple is expecting their second child.

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Casali drew the start again during Sunday’s finale. Kyle Farmer is the team’s only other catcher on the 30-man roster, but the versatile utility player is also Cincinnati’s best backup at shortstop. Stephenson may get thee chance to play quicker than many think.