Yorman Rodriguez signed with the Cincinnati Reds in August of 2008 for what was the largest signing bonus in Cincinnati Reds history at the time. He took the field in 2009 as a 16-year-old and has worked his way up through the system. He made his big league debut in 2014 with the Reds, getting into 11 games. His 2015 season was spent in Louisville with the Bats. He would injure his leg in late July and miss the rest of the season.
JJ Cooper of Baseball America wrote about Rodriguez last night and talked with Bryan Price about the 23-year-old outfielder. Bryan Price had this to say, among other things, about Rodriguez:
I’m not a believer in giving guys spots on the team because they are out of options. I’ve never been (in) a place where that’s been a real helpful deal,” Price said. “It doesn’t help a team to have a guy who is not a major league player taking up a slot on a major league roster because you don’t want to lose him.
That, of course, is manager speak. What Bryan Price is actually saying is “We can’t tell a guy that he’s made the team before he goes out there in spring training and gets his work in.” While it’s certainly possible that the team could indeed decide he’s not ready, there’s no chance the team is going to just let him go in a season like 2016. If they were World Series contenders out of the gate, maybe that would be a possibility. But they aren’t. The way the Reds 2016 season looks to play out, it’s the most perfect season ever to keep someone on the roster because you don’t want to lose them.
With all of that said, Rodriguez certainly looks like he is at least ready enough to handle a big league job, even if it’s not as an every day gig. After a slow start through the first five weeks of the season the outfielder really turned things around over the final two months. From May 21st through his final game on July 21st he would hit .313/.349/.460 over 187 plate appearances.
Unless he comes out to spring training and simply falls flat on his face I can’t imagine a scenario where he doesn’t break camp with the team. And even in that scenario it would seem more likely the organization would find a trade partner instead of just passing him through waivers.