That's essentially what Stephenson was in 2023, but a series of injuries in 2022 limited him to 50 games that season and had a cascading effect the following year. The most serious injury was to his collarbone, which may have contributed to Stephenson losing 150 points of OPS. The injuries also caused lost time behind the plate that he could have used to gain game-calling experience. That lost experience led to more starts during the Reds' postseason push for Luke Maile
in 2023. The plan for 2024 is different than last spring, when manager David Bell tried creating a rotation of three catchers that had Stephenson working as a designated hitter -- he started 42 games at DH. The trick for the 27-year-old Stephenson is to maintain a middle-of-the-order bat while improving behind the plate and working with pitchers.