The Reds announced they have placed second baseman Mike Moustakas on the injured list. No reason was given for the placement, but Moustakas was scratched from the lineup this morning after waking up “not feeling well,” in the words of manager David Bell. MLB protocols permit a symptomatic player to be placed on the COVID-19 injured list even in the absence of a positive test. Notably, Reds’ DH Matt Davidson tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this week.
Catching prospect Tyler Stephenson has been called up to replace Moustakas on the active roster. Additionally, outfielder Nick Senzel was scratched from today’s starting lineup without further explanation. Senzel remains on the active roster.
This would be a worrisome development for Moustakas and the Reds no matter what, but it’s especially troubling in conjunction with today’s reports that multiple Marlins players had tested positive for COVID-19. The paramount concern, of course, remains the health of the players affected. It’s important to note there’s no confirmation at this point Senzel is dealing with an illness at all.
From an on-field perspective, a lengthy absence from Moustakas would be a difficult blow to the Reds’ hopes of contention. They promised him $64MM over four years to install his power bat into the lineup. Josh VanMeter is getting the start at second base this afternoon.
Stephenson, meanwhile, is one of the game’s top catching prospects. The 23-year-old is in line to make his MLB debut after an impressive .285/.372/.410 showing in a pitcher-friendly Double-A environment last season.