This morning the Reds announced that Dilson Herrera will be added to the roster, filling the 25-man spot vacated when Cody Reed came up and down a few days ago and the 40-man spot vacated by the Dylan Floro trade.
It has been a loooooooooong time coming for Herrera, who came to the Reds as the primary return from the Mets in the Jay Bruce trade on August 1, 2016. He made his Major League debut way back in 2014 and played a handful of games for the Mets in 2015, but has not been back to the bigs since then. For a lot of reasons.
He spent the remainder of the 2016 season, after the trade, with the Bats and did pretty well. But 2017 was basically a lost season for him. He dealt with a recurring shoulder injury that kept him either off the field or significantly handicapped while on it. He officially bottomed out this spring when, while still dealing with the nagging shoulder thing, the Reds decided to designate him for assignment. Not one of the 29 other teams in the league thought him healthy enough to give him a 40-man roster spot, so the dude ended up starting his season in high-A Daytona due to the choking glut of infielders the Reds have in the system. On the organization depth chart, he was slotted in behind Scooter Gennett, Nick Senzel, Brandon Dixon, Alex Blandino, Rosell Herrera (no relation), Phil Gosselin, Cliff Pennington. and Shed Long.
But all he has done over the past three months is prove himself to be every bit the same kid that earned a Top-50 prospect ranking over three years ago. He has hit .297/.365/.454 in 300 PAs between Daytona and Louisville. In the meantime, Nick Senzel injured his finger, Brandon Dixon and Alex Blandino earned themselves promotions to the Reds’ bench (but Dixon was sent down on Wednesday to make room for Cody Reed which precipitated this whole thing), Rosell Herrera earned himself a DFA, and Phil Gosselin and Cliff Pennington each fell head-long into the Springfield Mystery Spot. And so here we are.
It is hard to say what his role will be with the Reds now. He is still out of options, so they can’t just send him back to the minors whenever they want. And something tells me he won’t clear waivers yet another time. The worry is that he will be Alex Blandino’d and will just sit on the bench most of the time, earning the random pinch-hit appearance or a late-inning-defensive replacement. But we’ll see.
My galaxy brain theory is that this foreshadows a trade of Scooter Gennett. Herrera can’t be sent back to the minors and he is the kind of talent that needs to be playing everyday at his still-young age (with his long history, it’s crazy to think he is just 24). And with Nick Senzel likely out for the rest of the season, Herrera would have plenty of opportunity to get regular big-league plate appearances. So stay tuned, I guess.