When Nick Castellanos signed with the Cincinnati Reds prior to the 2020 season, he did so in a deal that gave him very much flexibility. He was entering free agency for the first time fresh off an age-27 season in which he was traded by the rebuilding Detroit Tigers to the Chicago Cubs, only to explode offensively in leading them down the stretch.
Expect Stephenson to receive a larger role next year, but it’ll be an important spring training for him to show whether he can be a regular starter or if he’s more suited for a backup role as he works to improve his defense and game calling. Barnhart slumped offensively with a . on-base plus slugging percentage, but he played Gold Glove-caliber defense and deserves credit for the pitching staff’s success.
What he did not sport, however, was a bat. He held one, technically. Even tried swinging it every now and again, as his 4 career dingers do confirm.