When Matt Davidson tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, it was the first real instance reflecting how vulnerable all clubs, including the Cincinnati Reds, could be during this pandemic. The scares with both Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel came a day later, while outbreaks among the Miami Marlins, and to a lesser degree in Philadelphia and St. Louis, have followed.
Davidson quickly began testing negative, however, and on Friday the Reds and MLB cleared him to return, as he was reinstated to the active roster. The club announced that news on Twitter, as well as a series of other transactions, too.
The #Reds today reinstated from the injured list IF Matt Davidson, added to the taxi squad C Tyler Stephenson, placed on the 10-day injured list retro to Tuesday LHP Wade Miley and transferred to the 45-day injured list RHP Matt Bowman. pic.twitter.com/xcifWCeN5Z— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 31, 2020
Davidson will take the roster spot of Wade Miley, for now, as Miley’s groin issue will place him on the 10-day IL for the time being. We learned of Miley’s issue and likely IL trip yesterday, noting that in his lone start of the season - one in which he was shelled in a short 5-out outing - his fastball velocity was down nearly a full 2 mph from last season. Anthony DeSclafani is slated to rejoin the rotation in Detroit this weekend in lieu of Miley, but obviously we’ll need to see another roster move then to make that happen.
In other news, Tyler Stephenson appears to be the lone player heading to Detroit on the Reds taxi squad. His ability to catch while also bringing a potent bat to the table likely earned him that nod, though it is somewhat odd that the Reds aren’t bringing anyone else. Perhaps that’s due to an abundance of caution and not wanting to expose more players than need be, but it’s also likely a reflection of the versatility already baked into the expanded 30-man roster as-is.
Finally, there’s the Matt Bowman news. Yesterday, the Reds announced that they had ‘reversed the option’ on Bowman and placed him on the 10-day IL due to an elbow sprain, which is likely code word for ‘we realized after the fact that the injury occurred before we optioned him, meaning he should be on the big-league IL and not what would otherwise be the minor league IL.’ Effectively, that’s a provision that impacts Bowman’s pay and service time, and is a very important distinction. That they moved him so quickly to the 45-man IL likely reflects the severity of the issue, too, while also opening up another spot on the 40-man roster for now.