Stephenson will be on the taxi squad for the Reds' weekend series, C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic reports. Stephenson homered in his first major-league at-bat Monday but was optioned to the team's alternate training site Wednesday to make room for Mike Moustakas on the active roster. However, the 23-year-old catcher will be available as an emergency option over the weekend as the Reds prepare for their first road series of the season.
Stephenson was optioned to Cincinnati's alternate camp site Wednesday, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. Stephenson made one appearance during his time with the big club and went 2-for-2 with a walk, a home run, two RBI and two runs scored. Mike Moustakas was reinstated from the injured list in a corresponding move.
Stephenson went 2-for-2 with a walk, a home run, two runs scored and two RBI in Monday's 8-7 loss to the Cubs. Curt Casali got the start but came out of the game in the seventh inning with the Reds down 7-1, allowing Stephenson to make his major-league debut in a seemingly low-pressure spot. Instead, the 23-year-old keyed a Cincy comeback that fell just short as he launched a solo homer on the second pitch he saw in the bottom of the frame. He then singled in the eighth to kick off a two-out rally and drew a bases-loaded walk off Craig Kimbrel in the ninth to bring the Reds within one run. Casali has started every game to begin the season, but Stephenson's impressive performance should put him in the mix for more work behind the plate, at least until Tucker Barnhart (paternity) returns.
Stephenson was added to the 30-man roster Sunday, C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic reports. The 23-year-old will take the roster spot of Mike Moustakas (illness), who was placed on the injured list Sunday. Tucker Barnhart (paternity) is away from the team, but Stephenson is still unlikely to see significant opportunities with Curt Casali and Kyle Farmer still on the roster.
Stephenson went 2-for-2 with a homer, double, walk and four RBI in Thursday's spring training win over the Diamondbacks. Stephenson finally put together a healthy minor-league season in 2019 and followed that up with a nice campaign in the Arizona Fall League. He's expected to begin the year at Triple-A Louisville, but if Tucker Barnhart continues to falter at the plate, there's a window for Stephenson to potentially take over the No. 1 job for the Reds over the summer.