Reds option Turner, two pitchers to Triple-A
Veteran catcher to provide depth; Herget, Crockett also sent to Louisville
The Reds reduced their roster to 45 on Saturday as they near the end of camp. Catcher Stuart Turner, left-hander Kyle Crockett and right-hander Jimmy Herget have each been optioned to Triple-A Louisville.
Herget, 24, is the club's No. 15 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, and was never really expected to break camp with the big leaguers. But after a strong two seasons in the Minors, his path could be accelerated. After a stellar 2016 season at High-A Daytona, Herget made it all the way to Triple-A last year. Over three Minor League seasons, he is 11-8 with a 2.49 ERA. Herget hits the upper-90s with a unique delivery and an 11 K/9 ratio in the Minors. In Cactus League play, he gave up just one earned run (four total) over 4 1/3 innings (2.08 ERA) in five outings.
"Herget, we challenged him to find a way to be more effective against left-handed hitters," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "That's been kind of his Achilles heel. He's been a great performer in our system. I think he's going to be a nice Major League relief pitcher. I'd like to see him this year. He's been pitching inside with his fastball more against left-handers, having more effectiveness here in camp. That's a challenge with him when he goes to the Minor Leagues."
Turner, 26, went 1-for-15 with five strikeouts and three walks this spring. A Rule 5 Draft selection from the Twins, Turner was was never expected to supplant Gold Glove Award winner Tucker Barnhart or Devin Mesoraco for a big league role. With Mesoraco injured, Turner spent much of the 2017 season on the active roster and he will continue to provide the club with organizational depth behind the dish.
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"This really played out exactly as we anticipated, in that he got some big league experience, albeit not a great deal," Price said. "Now [he has] the opportunity in 2018 to really get some significant playing time in our system.
"He supplied us with that emergency insurance plan with Devin coming off the injury in '16. It gave him opportunity to play when Devin was down. Now, here is a chance to really regain his swing, just getting the repetitions and catch a lot of the pitchers to prepare himself to get back here and help."
Crockett, 26, went 0-1 and gave up four earned runs in 6 1/3 innings (5.68 ERA) over his six Spring Training outings. The Reds claimed him off waivers from the Indians in late November.
"With Crockett, we didn't see the best of Kyle," Price said. "He got himself to the big leagues with Cleveland. He's a strike thrower. We challenged him to be quicker to the plate, control the running game better than he did in camp and to tighten up his breaking ball where it becomes a better weapon against left-handed hitters."