The Cincinnati Reds have made a cornucopia of roster moves this afternoon as they head west to open up a road trip against the St. Louis Cardinals. The team optioned infielder Max Schrock and left-handed reliever Cionel Pérez to the alternate training site (Schrock) and the taxi squad (Pérez). They’ve called up right-handed relievers Ryan Hendrix and Heath Hembree to replace them on the roster.
This is the first time that Ryan Hendrix has been called up to the Major Leagues. When he enters a game he will be making his big league debut. He was selected in the 5th round out of Texas A&M back in 2016 and has dominated in the minors for the Reds since then. He’s posted a career ERA of 2.55 in the minors that spans 132 games and 172.2 innings. In that stretch he’s allowed just eight home runs, walked 76 batters, and he’s struck out 234.
Hendrix has premium stuff. His fastball works in the mid-90’s and touches higher. His breaking ball is a plus offering. The thing to watch will be his control. It has been inconsistent at times in his career. When he’s on top of his game, he’s a tough match up. But every so often he will have some battles with the strikezone.
Heath Hembree is also getting the call up. He was not on the 40-man roster, but the team had a spot open after designating Cam Bedrosian for assignment, so there’s no need to make a corresponding 40-man move. From 2013-2020, Hembree pitched in the big leagues and posted an ERA of 3.90 across 274.2 innings with the Giants, Red Sox, and Phillies. In 2020 he struggled, giving up 19 earned runs in 19.0 innings thanks to nine home runs allowed. His fastball works in the mid-90’s and he’ll mix in a slider and a curveball. All of his pitches fall into high spin rate category, just in case you were wondering if he’d fit into Spincinnati.
Max Schrock had only been with the team for the last six days. He played in five games in the last week, going 1-9 with five strikeouts in that span. After spending last season in the Cardinals organization he won’t get a chance, at least right now, to return to St. Louis and put it to his former organization.
Cionel Pérez made the team out of spring training. Things haven’t gone the left-handed relievers way so far this year, though. He’s struggled to throw strikes with any consistency, walking eight batters in 8.1 innings to go along with eight strikeouts. That’s helped push his ERA to 8.31 on the season for a bullpen that is having serious problems so far in 2021.