Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson broke his clavicle during today’s contest against the Cardinals, the team informed reporters (including Mark Sheldon of MLB.com). There is no timetable for his return.
Stephenson suffered the injury when he took a Paul Goldschmidt foul tip off his right shoulder area. Later in the at-bat, Goldschmidt hits a tapper in front of home plate. Stephenson fielded the ball but went down in pain as he reared back to throw the ball to first base. He was then replaced by Michael Papersky.
It’s an all too familiar occurrence for Stephenson, who has been knocked out of a game on three separate occasions this year. He suffered a concussion in a home plate collision with Luke Sees in April. That cost him a couple weeks of action. A month later, he was hit by a foul tip on his throwing hand and fractured his thumb. He lost a month to that injury, returning a bit before the All-Star Break. He’s now in for another extended absence, and it remains to be seen if the remainder of his 2022 season could be in jeopardy.
The injuries have interrupted what has looked like a breakout season for the former first-round pick. Stephenson had an impressive 2021 campaign, hitting .286/.366/.431 across 402 plate appearances. Cincinnati dealt Tucker Barnhart to the Tigers to clear the path to everyday playing time behind the dish, and Stephenson has responded with a .319/.372/.482 showing through 183 trips to the plate. He’s looked like one of the sport’s top backstops when healthy, but a trio of fluky injury issues look as if they’ll cost him a good chunk of time.