Brian Roberts has been out since mid-May with a concussion, but manager Buck Showalter said yesterday that “he’s starting to do some more physical things” in extended spring training.
Arden Zwelling of MLB.com reports that Roberts “has been progressing through an upper-body exercise plan” without any problems, but “the team isn’t taking any chances with” his return timetable.
At this point the goal is for doctors to clear Roberts to resume baseball activities on June 21, which makes a return before the All-Star break highly unlikely even if he can avoid setbacks.
The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.
Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.
Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.