The Reds announced that they have claimed catcher Michael Papierski off waivers from the Giants and optioned him to Triple-A Louisville. The Reds recently placed Jeff Hoffman on the COVID-related IL, opening up a spot on the 40-man roster for this claim.
Papierski began this season in the Astros organization but went to the Giants in May as part of the Mauricio Dubon trade. A week later, he was selected to the big league roster as Curt Casali was placed on the concussion IL. Once Casali returned a week later, Papierski was optioned back to the minors. When the Giants claimed Yermin Mercedes off waivers from the White Sox recently, Papierski was designated to create room for him.
Papierski got into five MLB games with San Fran but wasn’t able to manage a hit in ten plate appearances. In 40 Triple-A games between the Astros’ and Giants’ organizations, he’s hit .210/.297/.308. That only amounts to a wRC+ of 53, though more encouraging signs can be found in his 10.3% walk rate and 16.4% strikeout rate, both of those being better than average. His .223 BABIP suggests some positive regression could be forthcoming.
Tyler Stephenson, the Reds’ primary catcher, landed on the IL earlier this month with a thumb fracture. He’s yet to even begin a rehab assignment, suggesting he’s not close to a return. Since he’s been gone, the club has been using Aramis Garcia and Chris Okey behind the plate, both of whom currently have a wRC+ below 25. Papierski will head to Louisville to alongside fellow catcher Mark Kolozsvary, to provide the club with some extra catching depth.