The Cincinnati Reds began to trim their 40-man roster in preparation to the Rule 5 draft on Friday afternoon. In doing so, they lose both Zach Vincej and Chad Wallach. The Seattle Mariners claimed Vincej on waivers and the Marlins claimed Wallach. The team also placed Deck McGuire and Patrick Kivlehan on waivers. They both cleared and were outrighted to Louisville.
Losing Zach Vincej on waivers is rather interesting. He was insurance, so-to-speak, at shortstop. He can handle the position defensively, and in 2017 he held his own at the plate in Louisville. While his bat never profiled as a starter, he could come up in case of an injury and at least provide defense for you at the spot. As things stand right now on the 40-man roster, there isn’t a back up for Jose Peraza. The team doesn’t seem to think that Eugenio Suarez is that guy based on their words and actions. Alex Blandino is likely to be added to the roster in the next few weeks, but he’s not really a true shortstop, either.
Chad Wallach will be joining the Marlins organization. He was the 4th catcher on the 40-man, so it’s not surprising he was placed on waivers. That he was claimed is a little more surprising. He’s still considered a bit of a work-in-progress as a defender. This past year in Triple-A he only hit .226/.280/.398. There’s more potential in his bat than he showed in 2017, but he’ll also be 26 next season. I’d imagine the Reds were a bit surprised he was claimed.
Deck McGuire is coming off of an outstanding season. He dominated as a starter in Double-A and pitched well in a September call up for the Reds. Despite his age, he’ll be 29 next season, he showed real stuff throughout the year. It’s good that he will remain in the organization and provide some depth and options next season. I am surprised that he went unclaimed. He seemed like a guy who at the least could help someone out as an option at some point in the bullpen.
After spending the entire season with the Reds, where Patrick Kivlehan hit .208/.304/.399, it looks like he’ll probably be heading to the minor leagues to start next season. It’s likely he gets a spring training invitation, but you usually don’t make 40-man roster moves for your 5th outfielder at the end of March. He can provide some depth in the minors, but at his age of 28, things may be working against him in the organization as the youth movement continues at a position of depth.