The Cincinnati Reds have called up shortstop Zach Vincej and relief pitcher Ariel Hernandez today. This is likely the first set of moves that will be coming as rosters expand in September.

Zach Vincej was added to the 40-man roster when the team released Lisalverto Bonilla earlier today to create a spot for him. The organization originally drafted Vincej in the 37th round of the 2012 draft out of Pepperdine. He began his career in Billings and worked his way through Dayton, Bakersfield, Pensacola and Louisville ever since.

In the 2017 season Zach Vincej has spent all season with the Triple-A Louisville Bats. In 110 games in the International League he’s hit .270/.325/.370 with 21 doubles, four triples and three home runs. That’s also come along with 28 walks and 49 strikeouts in 420 plate appearances.

A quick scouting report for Zach Vincej would read like this: Offensively he’s not going to show you much power, but he makes plenty of contact, can use the entire field and there’s a little bit of speed there – though he’s not a threat on the bases. Defensively, he’s a former Minor League gold glove winner at shortstop, but he’s more of a “sure-handed” shortstop than a rangy shortstop. He’s definitely capable of sticking at shortstop, and he can play second base, too, but he’s probably closer to an average defender at shortstop at the Major League level than an above-average one.

For Ariel Hernandez, he’s returning to the big leagues after spending the last five weeks in Triple-A with the Bats. He’s had some struggles with Louisville in that span. After dominating in Double-A and having mixed success in Cincinnati, he posted a 5.29 ERA in 15.1 innings for the Bats. He walked 19 batters, though two were intentional and he struck out 19 more. The control just wasn’t there on some nights.

There will be opportunities to use Ariel Hernandez down the stretch – you can always find a few innings for relievers in September. It may be tougher to find opportunities to play Zach Vincej, however. With Zack Cozart, Scooter Gennett and Jose Peraza already sharing time in the middle infield, Bryan Price may have trouble finding places to insert the new big leaguer into the lineup and get him into the crowded infield.

12 Responses

  1. MK

    “Bryan Price may have trouble finding places to insert the new big leaguer into the lineup and get him into the crowded infield.” This statement sums up why the current management team is not prepared to complete the rebuild. Cozart is not going to be part of the future so he should not still be a part of the present. Price is to be blame but he takes marching orders from above as well.

    • Simon Cowell

      Well if what Doug Gray has said in other thread is true the MLBPA will be all over just benching Cozart. His track record though is a bit different from BHams in that Coz has been consistently good both offensively and defensively. I guess the PA is going to play a role in who the Reds can actually play and how often, which is quite sad.

      • HavaKlu

        The MLPA might complain if someone healthy was held out of the line-up for an extended period of time but they do not have the authority to do anything about it. Where it could really come into play is if it involved a player eligible for arbitration and sitting out the player affected his statistics—–the arbitrator might very well take that in consideration when determining value.

  2. MikeinSoCal

    Agree on the Price issue. He keeps running out that same lineup and overusing those same guys out of the pen. No reason for Iglesias to pitch 2 innings or throw back to back games at this stage of the season. He is one of our most valuable guys. Don’t ruin him before we can compete. Give BHam some time off. Its pretty obvious who is tired. Give them a break. At least we can see Turner for a few games. Good luck to Vincej. He tore it up at Saugus High. Same graduating class as my son.

  3. Mjc

    Hunter greene got lit up! Gave up 6 runs on 25 pitches with only 1 out . Ouch.

    • Kap

      That’s what happens when you only have one pitch and sit around for months after you get drafted

      • Doug Gray

        Well, he has more than one pitch and threw the breaking ball frequently. Turns out that sometimes, the other guys are also professionals.

  4. DHud

    Doug, lots of questions I’ve been thinking of now that September is here. If you’re gonna do a mailbag again soon I can just wait until then for your input.

    Who do you think we see with the next round of call ups/by the end of the year?
    Neftie Ogando has been strong since his return from the DL; is he pitching his way back into the bullpen conversation?
    Who of the Reds AAA/MLB utility/bench players (Blandino, Vincej, Dixon, Peraza, etc.) do you see providing the most use for the Reds and/or carving out a descent career in that role?
    Also not a question, but I want to see Elizalde. He hits.

  5. Bill

    Could Vincej’s addition to the 40-man roster signal that the Reds are contemplating going with a more offensively minded SS in 2018 and want to prep Vincej for a role as a late inning defensive replacement?

    • Doug Gray

      I doubt it, but it’s possible. I’d like to see them try and go with Suarez at shortstop (at least give it a real look and see if it can work).