Update: Hundley was placed on the disabled list prior to Friday’s game, making room for Phillips.
It hasn’t put him on the DL, but Nick Hundley is unavailable for Friday’s game with a strained right oblique, forcing the Padres to call up a third catcher in Kyle Phillips.
Although he’s slumping lately, Hundley has been the Padres’ best hitter this season, amassing a .263/.336/.421 line, three homers and 12 RBI in 95 at-bats. After opening the season in the eight hole, he’s spent time batting fourth and fifth recently.
Taking his place tonight is ex-Mariner Rob Johnson, who won the Padres’ backup catcher gig by default after Gregg Zaun retired this spring. He’s 8-for-27 with a homer and 11 strikeouts in limited action.
Phillips, the younger brother of former big-leaguer Jason Phillips, will be making his major league debut nine years after being drafted by the Twins. He was hitting .316/.341/.447 in 76 at-bats for Double-A San Antonio.
(And, yes, that is a picture of Nick Hundley. You just have to look really closely.)
Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.
According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.
Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.