Casali will catch and bat eighth in Sunday's series finale against the Dodgers. The start is Casali's third in the last four games as Tucker Barnhart continues to struggle at the plate (.081 average in May). Casali is 10-for-30 over his last 12 games, helping lead to more opportunities.
Casali went 2-for-4 with a walk, two RBI and a run in Monday's 12-4 win over the Giants. Casali drew the nod behind the plate with top backstop Tucker Barnhart resting after three consecutive starts. Though Barnhart is batting just .188 on the season, his Gold Glove-caliber defense shouldn't result in him bowing out of the lineup much more than once or twice per week. As a result, Casali is unlikely to see his opportunities grow anytime soon.
Casali went 3-for-5 with a double and four RBI in Friday's 12-1 win over the Cardinals. The Reds hit five homers in the game, but it was Casali who led the team in RBI thanks to a single in the fourth inning and a bases-loaded two-bagger in the ninth. The catcher is slashing a robust .306/.342/.444 through 16 games, but he's still looking for his first homer and had driven in only one run prior to Friday.
Casali will start at catcher and serve as the Reds' leadoff hitter in Monday's game against the Dodgers. With a .305 on-base percentage and zero career steals to his name, Casali is an out-of-the-box choice at the top of the lineup. Casali's usage as the leadoff hitter is probably an indictment of the Reds' lack of appealing right-handed hitters more than anything, but he'll nonetheless try to spark the Cincinnati offense as the Dodgers counter with ace southpaw Clayton Kershaw. Casali will likely head back to the bench Tuesday, when top catcher Tucker Barnhart should return to the lineup after a rest day.
Casali is getting his first start of the season Wednesday against the Brewers, batting seventh in the lineup. With the Reds carrying three catchers right now, it's been harder for Casali to get at-bats. He's 1-for-2 through the first four games so far.