The Reds claimed Grullon off waivers from the Red Sox on Wednesday.
Grullon will move on to his third organization since September after the Red Sox previously claimed the backstop off waivers from the Phillies. He'll get the opportunity to compete for the No. 2 catcher role with the Reds in spring training after Cincinnati non-tendered Curt Casali earlier this offseason.
The Red Sox optioned Grullon to their alternate training site Wednesday, Bill Koch of The Providence Journal reports.
As anticipated, Grullon's stint with Boston lasted only one day after the Red Sox designated him as their 29th man for the doubleheader with his former team, the Phillies. Grullon started behind the plate in the second game (a 5-2 Boston win), going 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.
Grullon was recalled by the Red Sox to serve as the 29th man for Tuesday's doubleheader against the Phillies.
Grullon could get the chance to face his former team in his Red Sox debut if he gets into either game. He didn't make an appearance for the Phillies this season before being designated for assignment on deadline day, but he did appear for them in the first four games of his big-league career last September.
Grullon was claimed off waivers by the Red Sox and optioned to the team's alternate training site Thursday.
Grullon was designated for assignment by the Phillies on Monday, and he'll now serve as organizational catching depth for the Red Sox. The 24-year-old had a .850 OPS with 21 home runs and 77 RBI with Triple-A Lehigh Valley last year, but he'll need to work on his defensive abilities.
Grullon was designated for assignment Monday.
The Phillies needed to clear a 40-man roster spot for Ranger Suarez, who was activated from the COVID-19 injured list. Grullon hit .283/.354/.496 with 21 home runs at Triple-A last season, but his defense behind the plate leaves a lot to be desired.
Grullon was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Monday, Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports.
Grullon was trying to compete for the Phillies' backup catcher role during spring training, but it appears as though Andrew Knapp (ribs) will likely secure the role despite dealing with an injury this spring. Grullon made his major-league debut in 2019 and could return at some point in 2020, but his fantasy outlook will likely be limited as long as J.T. Realmuto is healthy and serving as the starting catcher.
Grullon (mouth) will start at catcher and bat eighth in Thursday's Grapefruit League game against the Red Sox, Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Grullon's spring debut was delayed after he required dental work last week, but he was cleared to play Wednesday in the Phillies' 5-4 win over the Twins, entering the game off the bench as a designated hitter and making two plate appearances. He'll now be ready to assume his normal duties in the field as he attempts to win a spot on the Phillies' Opening Day roster as a backup catcher.
Grullon has missed the Phillies last two Grapefruit League games due to an infected tooth, Matt Gelb of The Athletic reports.
The issue doesn't appear likely to significantly impact Grullon's readiness for Opening Day. It's cost him the chance to play a temporarily increased role while Andrew Knapp is out due to a rib injury, but he'll likely still have plenty of chances to state his case to earn the backup catcher job.
Grullon will make his first career start in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Nationals.
Grullon will catch and bat eighth. The 23-year-old has been up for all of September but has made just a single plate appearance. He could get a few more opportunities to audition for the backup catcher job next season with J.T. Realmuto dealing with a sore knee. Grullon had long been seen as a defense-first prospect but has improved his stock over the last two seasons, hitting 21 homers in both campaigns while producing above-average batting lines. He's still unlikely to be anything more than a backup as long as he remains in the same organization as Realmuto.
The Phillies selected Grullon's contract from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday.
The clear No. 3 option on the depth chart at catcher, Grullon isn't expected to function as anything more than an emergency option behind J.T. Realmuto and Andrew Knapp. The 23-year-old batted .283 with 21 home runs and 77 RBI in 457 plate appearances with Lehigh Valley this season.
Grullon's 1.148 OPS since the start of July is the fourth highest among all minor-league hitters, The Athletic Philadelphia reports.
It's been quite the season at the plate for the 22-year-old catcher. After posting an OPS below .700 for five straight seasons, Grullon's reputation seemed to have been locked in as a glove-first backup catcher at best. Suddenly, he's hit .299/.337/.574 with 21 homers for Double-A Reading this year. Reading has been known to inflate the stats of mediocre hitters, but Grullon had already had one shot at the level and hit just .229/.270/.410. If the offensive improvements stick upon a presumed promotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley next season, Grullon has a chance to be a long-term starting catcher in the major leagues.
Grullon won the Eastern League Home Run Derby on Tuesday, hitting 24 homers to win the title, The Athletic Philadelphia reports.
Long considered a glove-only backup catching prospect, Grullon has finally started to show something with the bat this season, leading all Eastern League catchers with 12 homers. His .287/.316/.520 slash line is quite good, translating to a 126 wRC+ even after accounting for the hitter-friendly home park where he plays for Reading. Many Phillies prospects have shown promise at the plate at Reading only to flounder at higher levels, so Grullon will have to continue to prove himself once he's eventually promoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but he's certainly done what he can to raise his profile so far this season.
Grullon has three homers in his first 50 plate appearances this season for Double-A Reading.
Grullon is a classic glove-first backup catcher prospect, hitting just .240/.289/.357 in his six-year minor-league career. He'll need to do at least something with the bat in order to even be a big-league backup, but it appears as though he might finally be showing something. He's hitting just .200, but he can likely blame a .200 BABIP for that number. A good defender with a bit of pop can be a big-league backup even with a low batting average, and Grullon could now be living up to that profile.
|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2017||AA-Reading Fightin Phil||23||83||10||19||3||0||4||13||5||19||0||0||.229||.270||.410|
|2018||AAX-Reading Fightin Phil||90||326||36||89||14||1||21||59||18||81||0||0||.273||.310||.515|
|2019||AAA-Lehigh Valley IronPi||108||407||55||115||24||0||21||77||45||133||1||0||.283||.354||.496|