Reds news: Anthony DeSclafani, Tyler Stephenson left off playoff roster

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 08: Anthony DeSclafani #28 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the first inning . (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 08: Anthony DeSclafani #28 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the first inning . (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Tyler Stephenson was not eligible to be on the Reds playoff roster.

The Cincinnati Reds play the Atlanta Braves today at noon in Game 1 of the National League Wild Card Series. The Reds will be without the services of pitcher Anthony DeSclafani and catcher Tyler Stephenson. Both were not part of the team’s 28-man playoff roster.

The exclusion of both DeSclafani and Stephenson shouldn’t be terribly surprising, though the rookie catcher did enough down the stretch to merit consideration for a spot on the team. However, according to Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Stephenson was optioned last week and players must remain off the roster for at least 10 days after they are optioned unless they are replacing an injured player.

Stephenson homered in his first big-league at-bat, and his walk-off home runs versus the Pirates a couple weeks ago could very well have been the catalyst of Cincinnati’s late-season run. However, the Reds have two very capable catchers in Tucker Barnhart and Curt Casali, and David Bell decided to go with the veteran presence of Matt Davidson.

Anthony DeSclafani’s absence from the roster is one we’ve been anticipating for some time. After struggling in his last five starts, DeSclafani was replaced in the rotation by Michael Lorenzen and moved to the bullpen. In two games as a reliever, Disco has thrown 58 pitches, struck out two, walked one and allowed three earned runs.

With only three games in the Wild Card round of the MLB Playoffs, the Cincinnati Reds had no need for a fourth starter, though Tyler Mahle is on the 28-man roster and could come on in relief should one of the Cincinnati starters struggle early. Tejay Antone can go more than one inning as well, and so can Wade Miley.

As for the Reds bench, Bell has right-handed slugger Matt Davidson who hasn’t seen the field since being designated for assignment earlier this month. Davidson was 0-for-10 during his last 11 plate appearances, but does has three homers on the season. The Reds also added Travis Jankowski to the postseason roster. His speed and defense could be useful late in close games.

Cincinnati’s rookie shortstop José García did make the roster. He, Antone and Shogo Akiyama will be the only rookies among the 28 players selected. Sal Romano did not make the cut, but Robert Stephenson did. It’ll be interesting to see if and when David Bell might turn to Stephenson, who hasn’t looked good of late.

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The majority of the Cincinnati roster will be making their postseason debuts, including Nick Senzel, Jesse Winker, Aristides Aquino and Tucker Barnhart will be playing in the MLB Playoffs for the first time. Players like Trevor Bauer, Nick Castellanos, Eugenio Suárez and Sonny Gray have been part of playoff roster in the past, but for other organizations.