The Cincinnati Reds catching carousel took another spin on Friday.
The Reds activated Tucker Barnhart from the 10-day injured list before Friday’s opener of a three-game series against Colorado Rockies, one day after he played five innings without any problems in Triple-A Louisville’s 5-4 loss to Gwinnett. Barnhart, who has been out since June 28 with a right oblique strain, replaced Ryan Lavarnway in first-year manager David Bell’s starting lineup for Friday’s game. Barnhart was batting eighth.
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The Reds also placed catcher Juan Graterol on the seven-day concussion list, retroactive to Thursday. He joins catcher-infielder Kyle Farmer on the concussion list.
The switch-hitting Barnhart, 28, originally was scheduled to play seven innings on Friday for the Bats, but the Reds decided to move up his timetable for returning to the team.
“It’s probably not ideal that he only played one game, but from a health standpoint, he’s in good shape,” Bell said. “He’s healthy. He was cleared. We’re at a point where we need to get him here. We can’t wait to get him back. He’s Tucker Barnhart. He’s a big part of this team. We’ve missed him.”
Barnhart hit .191 with five home runs and 18 runs batted in over 60 games before his injury.
Graterol, who joined the Reds in Chicago on July 17 when Farmer suffered a concussion the previous night, left Wednesday’s game in Milwaukee after being hit in his mask by foul tips.
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Farmer played five innings for Dayton on Thursday in the Dragons’ 6-4 loss to Great Lakes.
“It went really good,” Farmer reported. “I checked a lot of boxes. It felt pretty normal. I’ll play at Louisville tomorrow, and we’ll see how it goes. We’re taking it day-by-day.”
Curt Casali, who opened the season as Cincinnati’s backup catcher before taking on a more prominent role, remains on the 10-day injured list with a sprained right knee.
Nick’s new look: Outfielder Nick Senzel was sporting a pair of black-framed, Blue Light glasses as he spoke with the media before Friday’s game.
Senzel left Wednesday’s game with dizziness after running out a first-inning single.
“I feel a lot better than I did Wednesday in Milwaukee,” Senzel said.
Senzel’s difficulty came out of nowhere, he said.
“I had a good sleep,” he said. “I had a good breakfast. I was hydrated. Everything was normal.”
Senzel and the Reds medical staff believe his difficulty can be attributed to allergies, which they hope can be controlled with medication.
“I think I grew up with some bad allergies, and some places trigger it,” he said.
Senzel, Cincinnati’s first-round pick in the June 2016 draft, spent time on Louisville’s disabled list in 2018 with bouts of vertigo, and he admits that his latest issue is somewhat worrisome.
“When it happens, it’s hard to explain,” said Senzel, 24, who is hitting .277 with eight home runs and 29 RBIs in 66 games. “Once you’ve had it twice, it becomes a big mental hurdle, and it’s hard to get over. We’ve done every test and everything rehab-wise.”
Senzel also underwent season-ending surgery on June 28 of last season to reduce a fracture in his right index finger before having arthroscopic surgery on Oct. 16 to clean out bone spurs in his left elbow. He opened this season on Louisville’s injured list with a right ankle sprain, but he resents social media commentary regarding his health.
“It’s very frustrating,” said Senzel, who doesn’t plan to wear his glasses during games. “A lot of people have had a lot of negative comments. I never not want to play I play hard. I want to win. When things like this happen, people don’t realize how tough it is. Those people don’t matter. The only people who matter are here in this clubhouse.”
Saturday’s game: Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (5-5, 4.12 earned-run average) is scheduled to make his first appearance in the second game of the series on Saturday since setting a single-game career high with 11 strikeouts in Sunday’s 3-1 loss to St. Louis at Great American Ball Park. DeSclafani is 3-2 with a 3.07 ERA over his last eight starts. Colorado’s starting pitcher had yet to be announced.
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