Just two days after Pedro Villarreal's outing against the Rockies, the Reds have optioned the right-hander to AAA Louisville. Jamie Ramsey tweeted the news earlier today.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>The <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23Reds">#Reds</a> have optioned to Louisville Pedro Villarreal and recalled Henry Rodriguez.</p>— Jamie Ramsey (@Jamieblog) <a href="https://twitter.com/Jamieblog/status/343075569564540928">June 7, 2013</a></blockquote>
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I don't think anyone wants to relive Villarreal's brief stint in the majors. However, how has Henry Rodriguez played so far this season? In 57 games with the Bats, Rodriguez has slashed a disappointing .279/.322/.367 (.316 wOBA). His batting average on balls in play is fine, but his walk rate is still poor. Rodriguez' walk rate saw a dramatic uptick when the Reds promoted him to AA in 2011. He continued to walk in AA last year, but forgot how to take a pitch upon reaching AAA. In 466 plate appearances at AAA, Rodriguez has walked only 18 times, which is good for a rate of 3.9%. Oof. To give you an idea of how poor that sort of walk rate is, I compiled a list of major league players with a walk rate of 4.2% or less since 2010 (min. 1000 PA): Vladimir Guerrero, Miguel Tejada, Jose Lopez, and Yuniesky Betancourt. That's all of them.
For a hitter who doesn't hit for much power, Rodriguez needs to add some walks to be a productive hitter at the higher levels. Hopefully he figures it out, but I wouldn't expect anything from him in this trip to the majors. The Reds will almost certainly recall Tony Cingrani from AAA to take Rodriguez' roster spot sometime next week. Cingrani will likely start next Tuesday or Wednesday in Chicago.