The news from this morning that RHP Josh Smith was getting called up to the Cincinnati Reds for the first time left plenty of room to speculate on what the big league club had up their roster sleeves, and it appears it's much more than just a single decision.
Promote Josh Smith, Kyle Skipworth. Option to Louisville Iglesias, Dominguez.— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 13, 2015
Kyle Skipworth will join Smith on both the 25-man and 40-man rosters, while the Cincinnati tenures of Chris Dominguez and Raisel Iglesias will end quite short-lived. While they've not been announced yet, there will need to be a pair of 40-man roster decisions (read: 60-day DL moves, DFA's, or outrights) prior to tonight's game against the Chicago Cubs to balance the ledger.
Much more importanty, however, is the news that Devin Mesoraco has remained in Cincinnati to get an MRI on his hip, which has apparently been bothering him of late. Considering that less that 24 hours ago it looked as is Brayan Pena was the Reds catcher most ailing after hurting his shoulder on a dive into 1B, the Reds' backstop situation is now in major flux. MLB.com's Mark Sheldon noted that Skipworth likely is getting the call over Tucker Barnhart since Tucker hasn't been in the minors on his option for the minimum of 10 days, which at least explains why he was bypassed. If Mes needs to hit the DL, though, Tucker can be recalled in that instance as an injury replacement. Pena, for what it's worth, is in the lineup as the team's starting catcher tonight.
With Homer Bailey set to rejoin the team for a start this weekend, there was no doubt that the club had several moves to make this week, but there's no denying that these are all a bit surprising. And yes, this all means that Kevin Gregg is still in the big league bullpen.
We'll have more as it develops, of course.
UPDATE (5:25 PM EST):
So, here's the apparent thought process. MLB transaction rules dictate that players on the 40-man roster who don't break camp for Opening Day on the 25-man roster have to stay down for a minimum of 10 days before being recalled, which is basically a way to prevent roster manipulation for matchups, etc. That's why Tucker Barnhart and any of the other potential bullpen arms already on the 40-man roster (like Daniel Corcino or Carlos Contreras, for example) couldn't be called up before Wednesday, which is the 10 day mark. The only possible way for any of those three to be called-up to Cincinnati would be if one of the big league players was placed on the DL, and despite Devin Mesoraco's hip issues, that's not the case.
Ergo, the Reds will get Kyle Skipworth and Josh Smith, since neither was on the 40-man roster and therefore could get called up. It's not a pecking order thing, it's a transaction thing, and the Reds are convinced that having Smith up as a reliever over Raisel Iglesias for two days is important enough to jettison another 40-man roster member to make that happen, as is the importance of having Skipworth available as the team's 2nd catcher for at least two days while Mes's hip gets diagnosed and/or healthy.
Of course, the Reds are bypassing this 40-man roster crunch issue by creating another one, as they'll have to find a way to open two spots before tonight (Monday) against Chicago. Red Reporter super-sleuth bringbackthemayor noticed in the Louisville Bats' game notes for tonight that Ryan Dennick has been DFA'd, which opens up one spot, but the second move hasn't yet been announced.
When the next move is made public, we'll have the details for ya here. For what it's worth, 40-man roster members Donald Lutz, Eugenio Suarez, Yorman Rodriguez, and Tucker Barnhart are all in the Louisville starting lineup for tonight, which suggests none of them are the one being DFA'd. Unfortunately, Pensacola's game has been cancelled due to rain tonight, so there's no way to extrapolate any lineup omissions from there.
UPDATED UPDATE (7:05 PM EST):
The Reds have DFA'd Daniel Corcino along with Dennick.
That's 24 year old, never injured, former Top 100 prospect Daniel Corcino, DFA'd for 2 days of Josh Smith. That 10 day rule mentioned above? Corcino could've been called up Wednesday.
Whether Corcino clears waivers and stays with the team, or not, this makes as much sense to me as putting ketchup on a bratwurst.