It was reported two weeks ago that Dilson Herrera would be playing for Team Colombia in the World Baseball Classic. That appears to no longer be the case for the Cincinnati Reds second baseman.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 23, 2017
This is not overly surprising given how events have unfolded since that was announced. Three days after the announcement that Dilson Herrera would play in the World Baseball Classic the Cincinnati Reds traded Brandon Phillips. That alone may not have been enough to warrant the change. The Reds plan was and still is to start Jose Peraza at second base.
What has changed is the possible plan for Dilson Herrera. Most seem to believe that he’s limited to second base defensively. That’s pretty much where he’s played for the last several years. Scouting reports don’t suggest he can really move around to other infield spots to fill a utility role. Last week the Reds began to get Herrera action at third base. That’s a position he hasn’t played since he was a teenager in the Venezuelan Summer League. That could mean the team is taking a serious look at him for their bench rather than sending him to Triple-A Louisville to play every day as their second baseman.
Toss in that manager Bryan Price made public statements that he doesn’t think it’s a good idea for players trying to make the roster to play in the World Baseball Classic and we can see why things may have shifted. Dilson Herrera and his agent probably believe that sticking around in big league camp with the Cincinnati Reds will improve his chances of being in the Major Leagues all season in 2017. That may be more important to him than playing in the World Baseball Classic at this point in his career.