MILWAUKEE -- To clear a roster spot on the active roster for starter Scott Feldman, utility man Arismendy Alcantara was designated for assignment by the Reds on Saturday before their game against the Brewers at Miller Park.
Alcantara, who was claimed off of waivers by Cincinnati from the A's in October, hit .171 over 300 plate appearances in 70 games this season. Since the All-Star break, he was 0-for-22 in 16 games, the longest hitless streak of his career and the longest active streak in the Majors.
"That was a tough one," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I mean, we debated on maybe moving a reliever, but after [Friday's 11-10 win] and the usage of [Raisel] Iglesias and [Michael] Lorenzen, Wandy [Peralta] in particular, and not knowing exactly what to expect from Scott, we made the cautious decision to keep an eight-man bullpen and move a position player."
Price hopes the 25-year-old Alcantara, who is well-liked in the clubhouse and organization, will clear waivers and accept an assignment to Triple-A Louisville.
"I think it'd be a good thing for him to go down to Triple-A and get some at-bats and get back on top of his game offensively," Price said.
The move leaves the Reds with one true backup middle infielder in Jose Peraza and a four-man bench that includes two reserve catchers. Outfielders Adam Duvall and Patrick Kivlehan are able to play corner-infield spots if needed.
Price planned to have third baseman Eugenio Suarez take more ground balls at shortstop, as well, just in case he's needed there. Suarez was a shortstop until he moved to third base before the 2016 season.
There could be times that shortstop Zack Cozart -- still dealing with a sore right quad -- and second baseman Scooter Gennett could both need days off.
"If those coincide, I can see Suarez playing some shortstop and Peraza playing second and Kivlehan playing third. I think that's a way to make it work," Price said. "So I don't think it'd be unusual to see a lineup with Suarez at short at some point before the season's over."
Price and the Reds were kicking around the idea of activating starter Robert Stephenson from the 10-day disabled list on Sunday or Monday, but the 24-year-old right-hander doesn't currently have a scheduled return date. He's been on the DL with a right shoulder contusion -- retroactive to Aug 3 -- after he dove for a ball in his last outing against the Pirates.
Stephenson threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday and threw again on Friday.
"We're kind of in the process of trying to get him mechanically over the hump. And we want to get him stretched out once again now," Price said. "[He] will probably throw one more bullpen and get reslotted into the rotation. It won't be a long-term hiatus for him. He's pretty close to being ready to go. We want to make sure the delivery is a little bit cleaner and a little more ready for game action."
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com 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.