The Reds announced Thursday that they’ve place first baseman/outfielder Wil Myers on the injured list (retroactive to Wednesday) and assigned corner infielder Jason Vosler to Triple-A Louisville after he went unclaimed on outright waivers. Cincinnati also placed righty Graham Ashcraft on the bereavement list and recalled right-hander Casey Legumina from Louisville. The Reds are off today, so they’ll presumably add a position player to the roster tomorrow in advance of their series opener in Oakland.
Myers was scratched from yesterday’s game due to an illness and missed Tuesday’s contest due to neck spasms. The Reds didn’t list an injury designation or a timetable for his return in today’s announcement. Myers, who signed a one-year deal worth $7.5MM this offseason, has stumbled out to a .222/.292/.321 start with what would be a career-high 34.8% strikeout rate through his first 89 plate appearances.
With Myers and Joey Votto on the shelf, the Reds could turn to catcher Tyler Stephenson at first base with more regularity. The 26-year-old Stephenson has already started three games there and made five total appearances at the position, and Cincinnati is carrying two other catchers in Luke Maile and Curt Casali. Infielder Spencer Steer is another option; he started his first game of the season at first base when Myers was scratched and has made a total of four appearances there. It’s also possible the Reds will call up a first base option from the minors before tomorrow’s game.
With Votto yet to make his 2023 debut, the Reds’ two primary first basemen have been Myers and the now-outrighted Vosler, who was designated for assignment earlier in the week. Vosler got out to a blistering start with the Reds after signing a minor league deal late in the offseason. He cracked three home runs in his first 15 plate appearances but has since fallen into a protracted slump, batting just .106/.160/.128 with 20 strikeouts in his past 50 trips to the plate.
Vosler, 29, has logged big league time in each of the past three seasons. In 258 Major League plate appearances between the Reds and the Giants, he’s a .210/.279/.408 hitter who’s seen time at both infield and both outfield corners. Vosler has also appeared in 345 Triple-A games in his career, posting a vastly superior .272/.344/.485 slash along the way. This is the first outright assignment of Vosler’s career, and he has fewer than three years of MLB service time, so he doesn’t have the right to reject the assignment in favor of free agency. He’ll remain with the Reds organization and hope to play his way back onto the 40-man roster at some point.