Bilardello struggled with injuries as a Dodger farmhand before the Reds claimed him
and made them their catcher for 1983. A dead-pull hitter, he batted .238 as a rookie
and went downhill from there. His catching mechanics were excellent, but his game-calling
was found lacking. He welcomed his trade to Montreal in 1986, but didn't last the
season. He spent all of 1987-88 in the minors before resurfacing briefly with the
Pirates in 1989 when Mike LaValliere missed half the season with a knee injury.