Reds add Lopez for catching depth, option Renda

Reds add Lopez for catching depth, option Renda

PHOENIX -- This time when catcher Raffy Lopez was summoned from Triple-A Louisville, he could actually put on a big uniform and stay for a while. Lopez had his contract selected Saturday, while infielder Tony Renda was optioned to Louisville.

The Reds needed a catcher because Tucker Barnhart is bothered by a right hand contusion and is day-to-day. Lopez will back up the backup catcher, Ramon Cabrera.

"It's just one of those things, you've got to have somebody who can catch and throw and hit in those worst-case scenarios," manager Bryan Price said. "And if Tucker is out for more than a day or two, Raffy is going to have to play to give Ramon a break."

Barnhart, who was hit on the hand by a bat last week vs. the Dodgers, felt better, but is still dealing with swelling and soreness that makes it difficult to grip a bat or throw. He was scratched from Friday's lineup, but X-rays were negative.

"It should be a couple of days before I get back in the lineup, so I'll just aggressively hit it in the training room, compression and things of that nature, and hopefully [I'll be back] in a couple of days," Barnhart said.

This will be Lopez's first "official" callup to Cincinnati this season, but he did previously make an appearance in the clubhouse on May 30 in Colorado. He was flown in from Louisville because Cabrera had a fracture on his glove hand and needed tests. Once it was determined Cabrera didn't need to go on the disabled list, Lopez was handed a plane ticket back to Louisville and a thank you for his trouble.

"Another long trip, but it was worth it," said Lopez, who was in Columbus when he got the 2 a.m. phone call about his promotion. "It's been a while, it's been almost exactly two years since being back. It's definitely fun."

Lopez, 28, played seven games for the Cubs in 2014 and notched his first Major League hit against the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw. This year, he was released by the Tigers on April 1 and spent three weeks playing with Bridgeport in the independent Atlantic League before the Reds signed him to a Minor League contract on May 3.

In 47 games for Louisville, Lopez was batting .213 with one homer. He didn't have enough clothes on him since he wasn't home and had to be at the airport for a pre-dawn flight. He had to buy a shirt at the Reds' hotel to wear to the ballpark. But after being given No. 61 and a locker, he was thrilled to be back in the big leagues, for real.

"It's been a tough year, on and off the field, especially with indy ball and other things that happened," Lopez said. "It's nice to be back up here and see some familiar faces."

Renda batted .222 in 16 games after his Aug. 2 callup. The Reds' 40-man roster is now full.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.