Cincinnati Reds Call Up OF Yorman Rodriguez, Option RHP Josh Smith


The Cincinnati Reds have recalled outfielder Yorman Rodriguez from Triple-A Louisville and optioned pitcher Josh Smith to Double-A Pensacola.

Rodriguez is ranked as the Reds’ No. 10 prospect by Baseball America and No. 9 by He primarily plays center and right field, but has experience in left as well.

In Triple-A Louisville this season, the 22-year-old Venezuelan is hitting .272/.310/.432 with 13 doubles, three triples, nine home runs and 40 runs batted in. He’s been particularly hot since the start of June, hitting .322/.370/.449 with four home runs and 22 runs knocked in. His strikeout rate (24.7 percent) is a little high while his walk rate (5.3 percent) is a bit low, so he’ll have to keep working on that area of his game, but there’s little doubt that he’s a talented player.

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This won’t be Rodriguez’s first taste of the major leagues, as he was called up last September. In limited playing time, he batted .222/.276/.222 with a couple of runs batted in.

I was surprised to see Rodriguez called up so soon since no trades have been made, and given that he’s still so young, the organization would seemingly want him to get plenty of playing time. It will be interesting to see how the Reds choose to use him for now, as it’s unlikely they’ll play him every day over Marlon ByrdBilly Hamilton, or Jay Bruce. In the case of a trade of Byrd or Bruce, my guess is that Rodriguez would take over the everyday duties in left or right field so the Reds can see what they have with him and what his role will be down the line.

Getting sent down in Rodriguez’s place was Smith, who had been serving rather unsuccessfully as the Reds’ fifth starter. In three starts, the right-hander was 0-2 with a 7.30 ERA and 2.03 WHIP. Smith had a hard time with control, walking 13 batters in 12.1 innings. He also hit four batters in his last start, tying a Reds record for a single game.

Smith’s departure leaves the Reds without a No. 5 starter for Thursday’s game against the Miami Marlins. Raisel Iglesias made his second rehab start in Louisville on Sunday, but Reds manager Bryan Price said that he likely won’t return until after the All-Star break. If the team doesn’t want to bring Iglesias back early, their other 40-man roster options would be David Holmberg, Donovan Hand, or Keyvius Sampson.

Next: Robert Stephenson showing why he's a No. 1 prospect