Austin Romine's release clears the way for these 2 Reds catchers

Cincinnati Reds catcher Chuckie Robinson
Cincinnati Reds catcher Chuckie Robinson / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

On Saturday, the Cincinnati Reds waved goodbye to Austin Romine. The veteran catcher brought stability to the position near the end of the 2022 season after Tyler Stephenson was shelved for the season.

Romine, who was a free agent after the season, chose to return to the Reds on a minor-league deal this offseason with an invite to spring training. But, having already signed Luke Maile and Curt Casali to major-league contracts, it seemed as though Romine was little more than insurance inthe event that one of Cincinnati's three backstop suffered an injury prior to Opening Day.

Romine's release, however, does suggest that Cincinnati's front office feels confident that one of the team's two minor league catchers could step in should the need arise.

Austin Romine's release clears the way for Reds catchers Chuckie Robinson and Daniel Vellojin.

Chuckie Robinson got the call last season. After being selected in the 21st-round back in the 2016 MLB Draft, Robinson finally found his way to the big leagues, making his debut on August 24th. Robinson is athletically-gifted behind the plate, but his hitting left a lot to the imagination.

Robinson posted an OPS of just .407, but this spring has slashed .333/,333/.583 with three doubles. Robinson has some power in his bat, but lacks plate discipline and rarely takes a walk.

The other player to keep an eye on this season is catching prospect Daniel Vellojin. An international free agent signing several years ago, Vellojin played very well in winter ball and is looking to make the leap from the minor leagues to the big leagues this season.

It was mildly surprising that Vellojin was not added to the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster prior to the Rule 5 Draft, but the 23-year-old was not selected and will be back with the team during the upcoming season.

It's quite possible that both Chuckie Robinson and Daniel Vellojin begin their 2023 campaign at Triple-A Louisville, though the latter could return to Double-A as well. If one of the Cincinnati Reds catchers go down during the season, look for club to select the contract of either Robinson or Vellojin.

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