Mariners Promote OF Guillermo Heredia
By Riley Baker
The Seattle Mariners have called up outfielder Guillermo Heredia from AAA Tacoma and optioned reliever David Rollins.
The Mariners have added a sixth outfielder to the roster going into the three-game series against the Cubs in Chicago. Heredia will join Nelson Cruz, Leonys Martin, Seth Smith, Nori Aoki and Franklin Gutierrez as outfield options.
The corresponding move was to send left-handed reliever David Rollins back down to AAA. Last year’s Rule 5 Draft pick, Rollins is 1-0 this season with an ERA of 7.04 in nine games.
Guillermo Heredia is still raw, having only played 84 games in the states before coming up to the majors, but he is 25 years old, so it’s hard to say if he was necessarily ‘rushed’. With 6 seasons of Cuban baseball under his belt, hopefully the 84 games in the minors has been enough to get him back on track after missing a year of play due to political reasons.
A native of Matanzas, Cuba, Heredia is hitting .340/.385/.462 in 26 games in Tacoma with two home runs and 13 RBI. His batting average went up nearly 50 points from AA and AAA but his OBP dropped 20 along with his walk rate. With AA Jackson, the 25 year-old walked in 13.8 percent of his plate appearances. With AAA that number dropped to just 6 percent and will most likely drop slightly further against major league pitching.
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Despite the low walk rate, Heredia will still be a solid addition to the team. He will bring above average defense and speed to the team and can serve as a pinch-runner or defensive replacement late in games. The 5-foot-10, 180 pound outfielder will add much needed athleticism to the outfield. After Martin, the outfield is filled with aging outfielders, so Heredia will certainly be an improvement in that respect.
Heredia’s stolen base rate hasn’t been overwhelming in the minors, only 3-for-8 in stolen base attempts. That’s not a great stat with his speed, but it’s something I’m sure the team will work on with him in the coming months as they develop the young outfielder.
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For now, he is an important piece of the puzzle that is the 2016 Mariners. The puzzle is unfinished, and it is very uncertain what pieces will be added to complete it in the next few days.