The third-place Reds will have to rely on Devin Mesoraco as their primary catcher over the next two weeks, as Ryan Hanigan was placed on the disabled list today due to a sprained left wrist.
As Mark Sheldon of MLB.com notes, Hanigan received a cortisone shot after sitting out Monday’s game and caught Tony Cingrani on Tuesday, but the soreness has lingered. This will be his second stint on the disabled list this season, as he missed time with a strained right oblique and a sore right thumb from late April to early May. The 32-year-old is batting just .193/.293/.276 with two home runs and 14 RBI in 46 games this season, so it’s been a disappointing season all around.
Mesoraco isn’t 100 percent right now either, as he’s been nursing back spasms, but he should get the bulk of the work behind the plate in the short-term. The Reds have called up Corky Miller to replace Hanigan on the active roster.
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.