The Cincinnati Reds made three roster moves today. The team claimed right handed pitcher Tyrell Jenkins off of waivers from the Texas Rangers and outfielder Richie Shaffer from the Phillies. Their roster was at 39 players, so they needed to make room on the roster and they designated, and lost catcher Juan Graterol to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
On Wednesday I wrote about the possibility of the Reds picking up Tyrell Jenkins and trying him out in the bullpen. He’s still got an option remaining, so if he’s not ready to help the team out of spring training he can be sent down to Triple-A Louisville where he can get some work in. He’s a former top 100 prospect, but he’s since had shoulder surgery that has cost him once top scale velocity. He still throws hard enough, but he’s struggled with control for quite a while now as a starting pitcher. You can read more about him at the link above.
Richie Shaffer will be 26-years-old when the 2017 season begins. He’s a former 1st round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays (2012) out of Clemson. He was quite successful in the minor leagues before the 2016 season, including a 2015 campaign in Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham. Between the two stops, in 108 games he hit .267/.357/.539 with 27 doubles, a triple and 26 home runs.
He’s shown good power in the past, but in 2016 he really struggled in Durham. He hit just .227/.329/.367 with 27 doubles and 11 home runs. His strikeout rate was 27% in Triple-A, which is far higher than you’d like to see from a 25-year-old at that level, especially when he’s not hitting for the kind of power that he had shown the previous year. If he can find some of that power he showed in 2015, he could be a rather interesting back-up/role player off of the bench for the Reds.
Defensively he’s played on the corners in both the infield and outfield. He could play a bit of a super-sub role, getting playing time two or three times a week, rotating around various corner positions and filling in as a pinch hitter with some pop. He’s always shown a good ability to draw a walk, even in limited time in the big leagues. With Tampa Bay in 2015 and 2016 he hit .213/.310/.410 with 15 walks and 50 strikeouts in 142 plate appearances. That’s good enough to be a league average bat (99 OPS+), though it’s quite heavy on the swing-and-miss.