The Cincinnati Reds have made their first true round of cuts to minor league camp this spring. Technically, they sent Vladimir Gutierrez to minor league camp early this month as the first cut. All of the players were sent to minor league camp – no players were released from the organization. Dilson Herrera and Luis Castillo are the big names from the list of 16 players sent to the minors. Here’s the entire list, as first reported by Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer (who beat C. Trent Rosecrans and Mark Sheldon by a matter of about 1 minute as they all met with Bryan Price):

Player Position
Lisalverto Bonilla RHP
Luis Castillo RHP
Jimmy Herget RHP
Ariel Hernandez RHP
Tyler Mahle RHP
Keury Mella RHP
Kevin Shackelford RHP
Jackson Stephens RHP
Nick Travieso RHP
Ismael Guillon LHP
Nick Routt LHP
Brandon Dixon INF/OF
Dilson Herrera 2B
Joe Hudson C
Aristides Aquino OF
Gabriel Guerrero OF

Dilson Herrera is the big surprise from this first round of cuts. He’s still not throwing, so his playing time would be limited. The designated hitter is being phased out as things get closer to the season. So that move makes plenty of sense, especially if the team was going to look in another direction for a utility player for the big league club. The rest of the moves make plenty of sense. Nick Travieso, Jackson Stephens and Lisalverto Bonilla are the only three guys who have a full year of Double-A or Triple-A under their belt from the starting pitchers on the list. Travieso is recovering from a shoulder issue and hasn’t played yet. Bonilla has really struggled in limited action out of the rotation and bullpen. Jackson Stephens, despite a strong season in Pensacola didn’t seem to be given the same opportunity to compete for a rotation spot like a few of the other Double-A pitchers were this spring. None of the relievers have a full season of Triple-A under their belt

If you wanted to stretch one minor surprise it would be Luis Castillo. Bryan Price noted just yesterday before the game that he had been pitching well among the players ahead of Lisalverto Bonilla in the pecking order for the rotation.

19 Responses

  1. Bradkon21

    I am in Arizona. Minor league games start tomorrow. Timing of cuts makes sense.

  2. Krozley

    Interesting that Chacin and Mitchell are still hanging around the big league club as non-roster guys. Vincej, Wallach, and Ervin as well among players that haven’t yet been higher than AA. I doubt any of them have much of a chance to make the team, but good for them.

    • Doug Gray

      Of that group, I’d think Mitchell and Ervin have the best chance, but we are talking like 5% or less for both.

  3. Billy

    So where does this leave the team? How many are left in camp? We’ve likely got Bailey and DeSclafani headed to the DL. Maybe Mesoraco. How many more players have to be cut to trim down to the 25-man?

      • Billy

        Well, some will be moved to the DL. Is it just Bailey and DeSclafani that we expect DL’d at the moment? Mesoraco is a maybe. Anyone else?

  4. Arnold Ziffle

    Agree about the cuts. Almost all are still a ways away from the major leagues. A little surprised too that Castillo was in the first set of cuts. Also a little too on Brandon Dixon. I thought they would wait until the next round. He was hitting decently with power, and with Herrera’s arm situation, I thought he’d get a longer look for a backup role.
    DG, I hope once you get to AZ, that things line up great for you. That you’ll get to see a lot of Castillo and you’ll be able to give us a more in-depth review of him. Thanks.

    • DHud

      Agree on Dixon. He seemed to be having a good spring and could’ve filled a utility spot, but he hasn’t been above AA and there are likely candidates ahead of him

    • Norwood Nate

      Yeah, Dixon is the only other one that surprised me a bit. I doubt Herrera would have been cut if he could play in the field. But since Dixon can cover so many positions, and has played relatively well in ST, I thought he’d stick around a little longer.

      From what I can tell, NRI guys left: Arroyo, Chacin, Coleman, Luetge, and Mitchell as far as pitchers go. Brantley, Wallach, (Zarraga), Renda, Vincej, Elizalde, Irribarren, Jennings, Kivlehan, and Raburn.

  5. McLean

    Price should be cut…he starts ST putting Herrera, a guy with a chronic shoulder pain, at a position that he does NOT play and forces him to make a throw that he is NOT used to making. Stupid. Still, the guy hits…Obviously, he has to go down to rehab his way back, but he should have never been stuck at 3B to begin with. Stupid.

  6. Steve

    Both Stephens and Dixon played full years at Pensacola last year and Routt and Shackelford split time between Pensacola and Louisville last year. Not surprised about Herrera as he didn’t get into a game at 2B. Thought Bonilla would start in Louisville in the starting rotation until Travieso is ready. Interesting to note that all of the players on the 40 man roster were optioned to Louisville. Will they all stick there to start the season? It would be hard for me to see some of them skipping over Pensacola.

    • Doug Gray

      Absolute brain fart. Also, Jackson Stephens was in Double-A all season. I’ve edited and fixed things. Note to self – try to not rush through things to get a post live. #stupididiot

      • Steve

        Don’t be too hard on yourself. To err is human. Always appreciate your effort!

  7. chris

    doug,
    explain again if you would difference between reassigned and optioned as it pertains to some of these cuts.. tnx

    • Doug Gray

      Players that are optioned are those on the 40-man roster. Players that are re-assigned are players who were “non-roster invitees” to spring training.

    • Doug Gray

      Where a player is optioned is not necessarily where they will begin the year. Odds that Aquino skips AA are next to none.

  8. Steve

    Update to optioned players. Herrera, Bonilla and Stephens were optioned to Louisville while Aquino, Castillo, Mella, Travieso and Hernandez optioned to Pensacola.