The Reds announced on Friday that they’ve designated right-hander Ariel Hernandez for assignment. His 40-man spot will go to righty Dylan Floro, whose contract has been selected from Triple-A Louisville. Right-hander Tanner Rainey was optioned to Louisville to open a spot on the active roster for Floro, who’ll join the bullpen for tonight’s game.
Hernandez, 26, is best known for an electric fastball that he can run up into triple digits, though his big league debut in 2017 wasn’t particularly inspiring. Through 24 1/3 innings out of the Reds’ bullpen last year, the 6’4″, 230-pound righty posted a 5.18 ERA with and impressive 29 strikeouts against a disastrous 22 walks. He also served up six homers in that short time and posted a 42.9 percent ground-ball rate that was noticeably lower than his typically strong minor league marks.
That said, as a power arm with multiple minor league options remaining, Hernandez seems like the type of arm that could well command interest from other clubs — if not via trade then certainly on the waiver wire. It’s worth noting that Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper pointed out a spring velocity drop for Hernandez (Twitter link), which could very well have contributed to his DFA, though.
Floro, meanwhile, has 24 2/3 innings of big league experience and a 5.11 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 to show for it. While Hernandez struggles with his control, Floro specializes in preventing free passes, having only yielded 1.5 walks per nine innings in 245 2/3 frames at the Triple-A level. The 27-year-old has averaged just 5.9 K/9 at that level, but he’s also routinely posted ground-ball rates in the mid-50s and notched an impressive 61.6 percent grounder rate in Triple-A last year.