The Reds have claimed infielder Robel García off waivers from the Cubs, according to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. García had been designated for assignment by the Cubs on Thursday. He has been optioned and assigned to the Reds’ alternate training site
The 27-year-old made a name for himself with his hot hitting in the upper levels of the Cubs’ minor-league system. In 98 games between Double- and Triple-A last year, García hit .284/.369/.586 and slugged 27 home runs. He forced his way into the Cubs’ Major League plans, appearing in 31 games and making 80 plate appearances.
His hitting slowed down some at the MLB level, and he struck out in a whopping 43.75% of plate appearances. Nonetheless, he managed a respectable .775 OPS, thanks to his 5 home runs and a passable 8.75% walk rate. Primarily a second baseman, García also played both corner outfield positions during his rookie season.
With an already crowded outfield mix in Cincinnati, he figures to see most of his playing time at second base, which is currently something of a toss-up with Mike Moustakas hitting the injured list; Josh VanMeter occupied that spot this afternoon. VanMeter, a left-handed hitter, could form a platoon with the switch-hitting García, though the latter fared considerably better as a lefty in his first taste of big-league action (to be fair, he got just 20 plate appearances against southpaws).