The Cincinnati Reds are not happy. Catcher Tyler Stephenson suffered a concussion on Tuesday night against the San Diego Padres following an awkward collision during a play at the plate with slugger Luke Voit.
Stephenson entered concussion protocol after the play, which will leave the Reds without their starting catcher for at least seven days. Many Reds players, including left fielder Tommy Pham, are not happy that Voit made contact with Stephenson on the play
“I don’t like it all. They can say what they want, everybody on that side, they know I get down. I know a place here. I know an owner who will let me use his gym if we need to settle anything. … That play was dirty…,” Pham said. “If Luke wants to settle it, I get down really well. Anything. Muay Thai, whatever. Like I said, I’ve got an owner here who will let me use his facility.”
The play started with Voit on first base. Jurickson Profar hit a double to the left and Voit tried to score. Pham got the ball and threw to shortstop Kyle Farmer, who then threw it to Stephenson at the plate. When he slid, Voit had his arms up and they came down and landed hard on Stephenson’s head.
Here’s a look at the play:
Voit said he did not intend to make that kind of contact.
“I wasn’t trying to take him out or anything,” the slugger said. “I guess my elbow just kind of smoked his head a little bit. Hope he’s all right. No hard feelings. It’s baseball. I wasn’t trying to make it dirty or anything. I’m just trying to make a play obviously. Unfortunately I was out. So I ended up getting the short end of the stick on it, too.”
The Reds did not view things the same way and called it a dirty play.
“Looking back at the replay, I’m not too happy about the slide,” Farmer said. “Not too often you see a runner slide and grab someone’s head and slam it to the ground like that. You’re usually trying to reach for the bag. Maybe that’s what he was trying to do. After looking at the replay, it looked like a wrestling move to Tyler’s head and snapped it down… I’ve never really seen someone’s hands go to a catcher’s head on a slide.”
Reds manager David Bell, however, was not as harsh on Voit.
“I thought it could’ve been an illegal slide. That doesn’t mean that Voit did it intentionally,” he said.
Bell challenged the call to check if Voit slid illegally by initiating a collision with a catcher, but the umpires ruled that the replay showed no broken rules. The Padres went on to win, 6-2.