Mark Sheldon posted an article yesterday on Dilson Herrera at Reds.com. The article begins by talking about the health of his shoulder, as he recovers from surgery.
The good news is, Dilson Herrera says he’s healthy and ready to go. The shoulder injury began with the Mets. They diagnosed it incorrectly for two seasons in a row. He was traded to the Reds, who after hurting the shoulder in spring training of 2017, also misdiagnosed the issue at first. After rest and rehab, he returned to the lineup in Louisville, but couldn’t make it through the season with re-injuring the shoulder. This time around the Reds made the proper diagnosis and Herrera went under the knife to get things repaired.
The bad news is that Dilson Herrera is out of options. He’s one of only two players out of options on the Reds 40-man roster. Homer Bailey is the other. Scouting reports going back years have essentially said that Herrera is only a second baseman on the defensive spectrum. What stood out to me from the Sheldon article linked above is that the Reds have Herrera working at both third base and shortstop.
If you recall, it was his time at third base that led to the shoulder injury popping back up last spring. Of course, there were underlying issues there as the injury had been lingering for years at that point. Still, the Reds are going to ease Dilson Herrera into those positions where the throws are more strenuous.
Since Dilson Herrera is out of options, his ability to play somewhere else on the diamond could be key. Being a second baseman only, who isn’t the starter, makes it very tough to fit onto the bench. While I believe that even if he can’t handle the other spots that the Reds will still keep him around, at least for a little bit, being able to play somewhere else in a pinch could be quite useful.
The bat has always been the calling card for Dilson Herrera. Outside of the Major Leagues, he’s hit everywhere he’s gone. Last season in Louisville may be the lone exception. A tough start wiped out his season totals, where he OPS’d just .709. Over the final 41 games (of 68 total) he hit .301/.342/.474 for the Bats. His season came to an end on July 19th, but he had only gotten five at-bats for the two weeks prior.
In the Major Leagues, Herrera has hit just .215/.308/.383, but all 169 plate appearances he’s had came in 2014 and 2015 when he was just 20 and 21-years-old. He will turn 24-years-old in two weeks. It’s been a long time since Herrera has played in the Major Leagues. And the next time he does, it’s going to be in a backup role. That’s a role that he’s not really been used in during his career.