The spring did not go as planned for Dilson Herrera. The infielder who came over to the Cincinnati Reds in the Jay Bruce trade, was coming off of shoulder surgery. That surgery ended his 2017 season in July. While he was ready to hit to begin the spring, he was still working his way back on the defensive side of things. Herrera was in big league camp as a member of the 40-man roster. But he had a small setback in early March that kept him out of games for about a week. The Reds chose to then designated him for assignment in mid-March. He would eventually clear waivers and be outrighted to the minors.
I wrote at the time that this could be a blessing in disguise for Dilson Herrera. While the move has certainly cost him money since the season began, the opportunity to play every day in the minors could be more beneficial for him in his career than riding the bench in Cincinnati would have been. Time will ultimately tell on that one. For now, though, it seems that Herrera wouldn’t have seen much playing time in the Major Leagues. He’s been rather limited to second base defensively for his career, and Scooter Gennett has been outstanding once again this season for the Reds. Opportunity, however, has been there in the minors.
When the 2018 season began, Dilson Herrera was sent to Daytona. While he was certainly older than most of the players in the league, the assignment allowed him to play every day. At Double-A Shed Long was, and still is playing everyday at second base. In Triple-A Nick Senzel was locking down the position. Everyone was getting playing time, and for the time being, that’s far more important than who is playing at what level.
Dilson Herrera got out to a slow start with Daytona. He hit just .091 in the first week of the season, going 2-22. Since then he’s been hitting very well. He would spend all of April with the Tortugas, and the first day of May. But he joined Louisville on the 3rd. That was the same day that Nick Senzel last played before hitting the disabled list, which put Herrera into the starting lineup on a daily basis.
In the 28 games played since that week-long slump to begin the year, Dilson Herrera has hit .323/.383/.514 between the time spent in Daytona and Louisville. Last night he went 1-7 in the Bats double header in Durham. It wasn’t the best set of games, but he hit a moonshot home run over the bull.
The distance wasn’t nearly as impressive as the height. Using google maps, the distance was only about 360 feet. I’d love to know what the launch angle was on the ball.
Things are going well for Dilson Herrera right now. He’s playing every day, and he’s performing – particularly at the plate. There’s still a question of exactly where, if at all, he fits in with the Cincinnati Reds. But if he keeps playing like he has been and the opportunity doesn’t present itself with the big league club, other teams will come calling and be willing to give him a chance with their organization.