Prior to today’s game, the Reds placed infielder Matt Davidson on the ten-day COVID-19 injured list after Davidson tested positive for the virus. Aristides Aquino and right-hander Tejay Antone were called up from Cincinnati’s minor league training site to fill the roster spots left by Davidson and by catcher Tucker Barnhart, who went on the paternity list.
Davidson was in the starting lineup for Friday’s 7-1 Cincinnati victory over Detroit, so in the wake of this positive test, surely there must be some concern within the Reds clubhouse about whether others could have been infected. As noted by Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Reds haven’t had any coronavirus cases since prior to the opening of Summer Camp, when two players tested positive during the initial round of intake testing.
Davidson signed a minors contract with the Reds over the offseason, and Friday’s game marked his first bit of Major League action since the 2018 season. While Davidson slugged 46 homers over 939 PA for the White Sox in 2017-18, he wasn’t a productive offensive player overall, with a .224/.291/.435 slash line. Davidson has also dabbled with pitching, though the Reds seems to be focusing on him as a position player only.
Aquino was the talk of baseball last summer after he slugged 15 homers and posted a 1.129 OPS over his first 124 plate appearances, though he quickly cooled off after that incredible start. He’ll now get another chance at playing time, and could be aided by the existence of a DH spot rather than having to fight for space in a crowded Reds outfield.
Antone was a fifth-round pick for the Reds in the 2014 draft, and he’ll head to the big leagues after posting a 3.74 ERA, 2.80 K/BB rate, and 6.8 K/9 over 611 1/3 career minor league innings. A grounder specialist, Antone is ranked 20th on MLB Pipeline’s list of the top prospects in Cincinnati’s farm system.