3 realities Reds fans need to accept & 1 fantasy that may yet come true

Reds fans have been riding high of late, but it may be time for a dose of reality.

Cincinnati Reds prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand
Cincinnati Reds prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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Reality that fans need to accept: The Reds will keep 3 catchers all season.

This has been a topic that has been discussed ad nauseam, but it's one that fans of the Cincinnati Reds need to come to grips with. Barring injury, the Reds will continue to carry three catchers on the active roster for the remainder of the 2023 season.

While some Reds fans hate this concept, there is merit to it. The team brought in Curt Casali and Luke Maile during the offseason in order to givr Tyler Stephenson a break from catching on a regular basis. After three separate stints on the IL a year ago, I'd say that was a solid plan.

The problem is, for every thing that one catcher does well, the other two fall short. You could argue that Maile plays the defense and has the best arm to keep the run game in check, while Casali calls the best game, and Stephenson has the best bat.

Unfortunately, the Reds can't package Maile's arm, Casali's feel for the game, and Stephenson's bat into one player. So you can see the conundrum that David Bell faces on a nightly basis.

The reality is that if there was one catcher who should no longer be on the roster, it's probably Tyler Stephenson. While his bat is his carry tool, it hasn't shown up all that often in 2023. Neither Luke Maile nor Curt Casali have any minor league options remaining, so if the Reds wanted to clear a roster spot, they'd likely lose one of those two backstops to a waiver claim.

Whether Reds fans agree with the decision to keep three catchers or not is irrelevant. It seems as though this experiment, flawed as it might be, will continue for the remainder of the 2023 season.