The Cincinnati Reds made their first rounds of cuts this spring, sending six players to the Minor Leagues. There was only one position player that went back to minor league camp, Jose Siri, who was optioned to the minors. The other five players were all pitchers. Jackson Stephens, Keury Mella, and Jimmy Herget were all optioned to the minors. Felix Jorge and Alex Powers were both re-assigned to minor league camp.
There are some small surprises here. The first being that there was only one position player sent back to the minors. The second being that of all the players it was Jose Siri. He entered camp as the only true center fielder on the 40-man roster. The fact that he’s been sent back to the minors already suggests that whoever the Reds are considering for center – and so far it’s been Nick Senzel and Scott Schebler – they are comfortable with their options from a defensive standpoint. For Siri, it’s likely for the best. He likely needs more time in Double-A before moving up.
The pitching surprise was that Jimmy Herget was among the players optioned back to the minor leagues, at least this early. He’s performed at every step of the way in the minors, including a year-and-a-half in Triple-A. And while spring training stats don’t mean much, he allowed 3 hits and 1 earned run in 5.0 innings without a walk and with 7 strikeouts thus far. Innings are certainly going to be tougher to come by with less than three weeks remaining before opening day, but his heading back is surprising.
Jackson Stephens had allowed 4 earned runs in his 6.0 innings this spring. Keury Mella had given up 6 earned runs in 3.2 innings. Alex Powers had only appeared in two games, not allowing a hit in his 2.0 innings. Felix Jorge had not appeared in a single game, but was also not listed on the injury reports.
The Reds sign Yonathan Mendoza to a minor league deal
Showing up in the transactions list this morning was that the Cincinnati Reds have signed infielder Yonathan Mendoza to a minor league deal. He’s spent time in the Cleveland (2011-2017) and Seattle (2018) organizations. Last season he hit .261/.347/.291 at Double-A Arkansas in the Mariners organization. He walks nearly as often as he strikes out, and rarely strikes out. But he also shows next to no power – with a career .321 slugging percentage in 543 games played.