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Cincinnati Reds place trio on IL, sign catcher Ryan Lavarnway

A flurry of transactions at a pivotal point of the season.

Milwaukee Brewers v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

We knew Curt Casali had a banged up knee, and that a trip to the 10-day IL was likely to happen today. What we didn’t know, or at least hoped wasn’t true, was whether or not Kyle Farmer was dealing with a concussion - with the ‘hope’ part being because he continued to play in the game in which he obviously picked it up.

As it turns out, the Cincinnati Reds are now without both of their catchers, as Casali was placed on the 10-day DL today, while Farmer did, indeed, have a concussion and landed on that 7-day DL. In addition, RHP David Hernandez landed on the 10-day IL with ‘shoulder fatigue,’ which sure seems like a good way of describing his performance over the last few weeks.

The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans relayed that information.

Lucas Sims has been recalled to replace Hernandez on the pitching staff, which is a cromulent move given Sims pedigree and performance so far this year, even if he’s been doing his work as a starter. He’s got ample experience as a reliever, and hopefully his devastating breaking ball will play up in that role. As for Josh VanMeter, we’ve seen him up already this year, and his versatility will hopefully help fill-in where Farmer has left off.

Perhaps the most important news is that the Reds signed journeyman catcher Ryan Lavarnway to a big league contract to serve as the backup catcher to Juan Graterol, who the club just added yesterday. That’s a far, far cry from when the Reds sported the combination of Tucker Barnhart and Casali (with Farmer as great depth), and light years away from the pipe dream that was the pursuit of J.T. Realmuto over the winter. Lavarnway, 31, is a Yale product, who has spent time with Boston, the Dodgers, the Cubs, Baltimore, Atlanta, Toronto, Oakland, the Pirates, and the Yankees in various capacities in his career, and sports a career .593 OPS in 426 career PA. Yikes.

He, of course, needed a 40-man roster spot, and thus the DFA of Jesus Reyes was necessary.

Obviously, with the Reds 7.5 games back in the division and mired in last place, having this happen in the thick of a run of play against NL Central rivals on the cusp of the July 31st trade deadline is simply awful timing, as is losing Nick Senzel and Derek Dietrich to minor injuries yesterday, too. Neither of them landed on the IL today, fortunately, but neither is in tonight’s starting lineup, either. Pair that with Alex Wood still being out, Amir Garrett still not activated, and Raisel Iglesias on the paternity list, and the Reds are playing their most important games of the year in the most shorthanded capacity they’ve been in all year.

It’s Cincinnati sports, though, so it simply couldn’t happen any other way.