The Reds announced Friday that they’ve selected the contract of infielder Dilson Herrera from Triple-A Louisville. It’ll mark not only the Reds debut for the 24-year-old, but his first MLB action since a 2015 trial run with the Mets. Left-hander Cody Reed was optioned to Louisville in a corresponding move.
Herrera came to the Reds alongside left-hander Max Wotell (who was released yesterday) in the 2016 trade that sent Jay Bruce to the Mets. While Herrera was once viewed as a premium prospect, shoulder troubles have slowed his development in recent years — to the point where Herrera actually went unclaimed on waivers last year and was outrighted off Cincinnati’s 40-man roster.
So far in 2018, however, Herrera has made great strides in rebuilding his stock. He opened the season at Class-A Advanced as he eased his way back into things following 2017 shoulder surgery but quickly proved ready for a greater challenge, hitting .298/.359/.429 through 21 games in the Florida State League. The Reds then bumped Herrera back up to Triple-A, where he’s batted .297/.367/.465 with seven homers and 10 doubles through 208 plate appearances.
It’s been a long road back to the Majors for Herrera, and while there’s no immediate opening for him to receive everyday at-bats in Cincinnati with Scooter Gennett at second base and Eugenio Suarez at third base, that could change in the coming weeks. Gennett, after all, is a potential trade candidate given that he has just a season and a half remaining until reaching free agency. Herrera could also simply function as a bench piece, spelling both Gennett and Suarez occasionally while serving as a pinch-hitting option late in games. Whatever his role, Herrera will at the very least deepen the Cincinnati bench for the time being as he hopes to play is way into more prominent standing with the organization down the road.