The Cincinnati Reds will keep Dilson Herrera in the minors because Jose Peraza can cover all of the positions.
Jose Peraza has been able to mark his role as the starting second baseman for the Cincinnati Reds. With his ability to play either middle infield position, Peraza has been nearly as much of a factor in keeping Dilson Herrera in the minors as Phillips was. With his flexibility Peraza can start at second and shift to short later in a game if need be.
Herrera is the heir apparent at second base. He originally was viewed as a shortstop. He also has played some third base in his career.
That is what Herrera is, a second baseman who can cover shortstop and third. The only position that Peraza and Herrera do not have in common is third base. The Reds have loaded up on back-up third basemen.
Since the midway point of last season the Reds have added right-handed third basemen Ryan Raburn and Patrick Kivlehan. Both are corner outfielder/corner infielder positionally, but both are mostly bats. Either one of them could be a bench player on the team as a back-up third baseman. Raburn is also capable of playing second base.
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Combine them with Peraza’s flexibility and there is no playing time for Herrera. Both Herrera and Peraza need to start at least three times every week to keep developing. With the trio of Peraza, Eugenio Suarez, and Zack Cozart all on the Reds’ roster there is no place left for Herrera to get his playing time. Suarez can also play shortstop.
Beyond Peraza’s flexibility, the need for more catchers and pitchers may keep Herrera off of the Cincinnati Reds’ roster even longer.
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The Reds currently have no catcher that they can rely on to catch 140 games. They want to see Devin Mesoraco get healthy enough to be that catcher. Right now they would be fortunate to get 80 games out of Mesoraco.
The Reds also spent their second round Rule 5 Draft pick on a catcher in Stephen Turner from the Minnesota Twins. He has never played above Double A. He projects as a defensive whiz, but who knows if that will happen.
Of course, the ever improving Tucker Barnhart is still in the mix. He starts to slow down every year around game 100. He has filled admirably the past two seasons for Mesoraco, but he needs to work on his endurance more to be the guy.
In the bullpen the Reds are hoping for health and consistency. Last year, the bullpen was so over taxed that the Reds had to carry an extra pitcher just to keep an available pitcher with a fresh arm. That is just one fewer roster spot available to Herrera.
Peraza’s flexibility allows the Reds to use Raburn to back-up multiple roles instead of Herrera. Between the lack of playing time and the lack of roster space, Herrera looks destined to start the season in the minors. Hopefully a spot will open for him by mid-season. Unless he beats Peraza out for the starting second base job, but that is an entirely different blog.
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