Despite struggling this spring, slashing .118/.318/.118 in 22 plate appearances, Casali's roster spot for Opening Day was secured when the Reds optioned Tyler Stephenson to Triple-A Louisville. This was never really a job battle, at least to start. But Casali could be at risk later in the season should Stephenson thrive at Louisville. There are some rumors, however, that MLB will expand rosters to account for an accelerated return to action, which would then allow the Reds to carry three catchers and possibly promote Stephenson to the big-league squad.
Casali and the Reds avoided arbitration with a one-year, $1,462,500 deal Friday, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Casali hit well enough for a catcher in 84 games last season, posting a .251/.331/.411 line with eight homers. He looks set to split time with Tucker Barnhart again this season.
Casali (hamstring) was activated from the injured list Saturday. Casali had been on the injured list since July 18, originally due to a knee injury. However, he suffered a hamstring strain in his rehab assignment and had been working back from that most recently. Casali should return to his backup role behind Tucker Barnhart.
Casali (hamstring) will report back to Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday to resume his rehab assignment, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Working back from a sore right knee, Casali appeared in two games for Louisville a little over a week ago before being pulled off the assignment after he sustained a left hamstring strain. The hamstring tweak was apparently only minor in nature, as he was able to resume baseball activities after a few days off. If all goes well during the rehab assignment, the 30-year-old could be cleared to rejoin the Reds for their series in Pittsburgh next weekend.
Casali (knee) suffered a left hamstring strain last weekend on his minor-league rehab assignment, but he's making good progress in recovering from that setback, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. Casali was able to run the bases Friday without pain. He's expected to begin a new rehab assignment back at Triple-A Louisville next week.