Well, what do you know? We were all counting on Dilson Herrera — acquired from the Mets in the Jay Bruce trade — to prove himself as a big league second baseman this year. After all, he’s an important part of the rebuild, and 2017 is the year when the Reds hope to find out exactly what all of these young guys can do, right?
Not so fast, my friend. The Reds announced today that Herrera was experiencing some soreness in his throwing shoulder:
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Dilson Herrera has pulled out of his commitment to Team Colombia and the World Baseball Classic after experiencing right shoulder soreness that will prevent him from throwing for the next several days. Shoulder issues also sidelined Herrera after he was acquired by the Reds at last year’s deadline.
Reds manager Bryan Price said Herrera can still hit and take grounders, and that he’ll serve as the designated hitter in Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Cleveland Indians in Goodyear. The 22-year-old won’t resume throwing until Monday at the earliest.
You’ll remember that Herrera only played 24 games for Triple-A Louisville after the deadline deal that brought him to the Cincinnati organization. The reason: shoulder soreness.
Okay, no big deal, right? Let’s not make more of this than we should. His shoulder was sore last fall, and now it’s sore again once he starts participating in baseball activities in spring training.
Not so fast, my friend. As Lance McAlister noted, this is beginning to look like something serious and long-term. Take a look at this report from April 7 of last year:
Dilson Herrera will be limited to serving as the designated hitter with Triple-A Las Vegas to open the season because of a shoulder issue, 51s manager Wally Backman told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Herrera underwent an MRI late in spring training that reportedly showed no structural damage.
“He played with a sore shoulder last year,” Backman told the newspaper. “He’s so young, we’re going baby steps.”
So Herrera played with a sore shoulder in 2015. The same shoulder was sore in Spring 2016, and limited his ability to play at the beginning of the Triple-A season. The Reds traded for Herrera, and then were forced to shut him down late in the 2016 season. And now we’re in Spring 2017, and he still has the same shoulder problems. Just like last spring, Herrera can supposedly hit, but he can’t throw.
I’m a big fan of Dilson Herrera, and I think he has the talent to be a nice player for a number of years. But now I’m worried. Perhaps Bryan Price didn’t jump the gun in naming Jose Peraza the starter at 2B over Herrera.
UPDATE: I think Doug is right here. We need to be asking the question whether the Reds got damaged goods in Dilson Herrera.
At this point, there are a few questions that need to be asked and answered. First, did the Reds trade for a player they either they knew had a shoulder issue, or had one that they didn’t know about despite seeing the medical information? Second, how is it that this is now the third straight season in which Dilson Herrera has been dealing with a shoulder injury. He hasn’t had it operated on. This doesn’t seem to be going away, so something is clearly wrong with is that rehab isn’t fixing.
What did the Reds know and when did they know it?