The Reds have claimed infielder Scooter Gennett off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers.

There’s a lot to unpack there, and we’ll be discussing it in more detail over the coming days. Gennett is a bench guy, but he could be a useful piece if, in fact, he can play multiple positions. He’ll be 27 years old next week. Then again, since Gennett still has a minor league option, he could be sent to AAA, too. Wait and see.

Christian Walker — so long, we barely knew ya’ — was claimed off waivers by the Diamondbacks, creating room on the 40-man roster for Gennett.

In addition, the Reds made a flurry of roster moves:

Rob Brantly’s re-assignment to the minor leagues means that Rule 5 pick Stuart Turner will be the backup to Tucker Barnhart until Devin Mesoraco is ready. Given the way spring training had developed, no one is surprised that Tony Renda or Hernan Iribarren won’t be on the Opening Day roster, though we were holding out hope for Iribarren.

The pitching moves are interesting, in that the battle for a spot in the starting rotation has been clarified somewhat. With Tim Adleman and Sal Romano being sent to the minors, there are — by my count — five pitchers competing for the final three spots in the rotation: Bronson Arroyo, Cody Reed, Amir Garrett, Robert Stephenson, Rookie Davis. I’m putting my money on Reed, Stephenson, and Arroyo, for various reasons. Any or all of that group could end up in the bullpen, too.

More to come…

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at

Join the conversation! 67 Comments

  1. Reed and Stephenson need to pitch. Long leashes, see what they can do. As the injured guys come back, and/or the other kids get past some service time noteworthy dates, bring them along if Reed and Stephenson can’t cut it. … And pray that Monday’s start against the Giants was’t a terrible omen for Reed.

  2. I find the Scooter pickup curious. ….. Also, was looking at the Reds’ 40-man roster on, and it lists an infielder named Gabriel Ovalle. Where did he come from?

    • That’s a mistake on the listed 40-man roster. There’s no way that the young latin player is on the 40-man roster at this point. It’s been that way for quite a while, but it makes 41 players on the 40-man roster.

    • I asked C Trent Rosecrans on Twitter and he said it’s an glitch that happens sometimes when they bring up minor leaguers to major league camp for the day.

  3. OK, things are working toward crunch time…

    According to the Old Cossack’s wary analysis, the 3 available utility roles come down to Gennett, Kivlehan, Jennings & Alcantara since Renda and Iribarren are on the way to the minor league camp.

    • Alcantara is a switch hitter, is already on the 40-man roster & can play virtually anywhere. He looks like a lock to make the 25-man roster.

      The Reds are paying Gennett $2.5MM, he fills the need for a LH bat off the bench. He also looks like a lock at this point.

      Kivlehan and Jennings are both RH hitters with good, but limited defensive flexibility (Jennings plays CF & corner OF and Kivlehan plays corner OF/IF) but both would need to be added to the 40-man roster. THis looks like the decision for the final utility role available on the 25-man roster.

      • I’m asking this because I don’t know…what does Gennett bring that Iribarren didn’t, and for a lot less money? Without looking I thought Iribarren was a LH hitter and can play multiple positions. One of the comments above in the article is that Gennett is a mediocre fielder so doesn’t seem like he’s an upgrade defensively either. Iribarren’s older but also at this point 4X cheaper than Gennett. Just wondering.

        • I can’t refute or discount your point about Iribarren v. Gennett, Jazzman. The only possibility might be that Gennett could represent a better flip candidate down the line.

          • You might be right on the flip candidate. I just can’t see that he brings anything significant to the team that they didn’t already have here for less $$$. That couple million could have been better spent elsewhere in my opinion.

          • Gennett has a pretty decent MLB track-record while Iribarren does not. Gennett was born in Cincy (although I think he lived in FL most his life). Gennett has a .279/.318/.420 career line over 1637 PA. He’s a solid pickup and while I like Iribarren a ton, I think Gennett is the superior player.

    • My guess: Alcantara, Gennett and Kivlehan. Leaves the Reds without a true backup CF, but Alcantara, Schebler, or Peraza could play there when Billy gets a day off.

      • That wouldn’t surprise me… May be Jennings over Kivlehan but I’d take Kivlehan right now.

        • Reds officially reassigned Jennings to minor league camp today as well, so that essentially locks in Turner, Alcantara, Gennett and Kivlehan, barring another waiver claim, injury or other transaction.

  4. Gennett gives them another option at 2B after they move Cozart. I really hope Herrera isn’t damaged goods though? The never ending injuries have already curbed my enthusiasm somewhat for this year

  5. I live in Wisconsin, and asked some of the Brewers fans here what they think of losing Gennett, and it was largely “meh.” Looks like the front office judgement was that a player who has started for several years in the bigs at second is an upgrade over Renda and-or Iribarren, and I would agree at first glance.

    • Yes… In Brewer land, Gennett initially was loved as a replacement for when Rickie Weeks dropped off the earth. He’s got a little pop, not so great at 2nd base. But if I remember, he kind of came on strong in his first run, but then water began finding its level. Joe Reds Fan might like him a little more because he’s a “scrapper” type.

      If the Reds were a great team, I think he’d be a nice bench player (better than their usual lot). As a so-so team just looking to get by, I’m not sure we’re going to notice much for the cost. The Reds sure do love them some middle infielders right now. Feels like Matt Millen drafting WR’s for the Lions.

  6. One of my concerns is that the Reds’ braintrust picked up Gennett with memories of how he did against the Reds. He doesn’t hit that well against everybody else!

    • He doesn’t hit LH pitching worth a tiddly-do and with limited defensive skills, he will probably be settling in as a role player for the remainder of his career. With a good performance in that role, Gennett could become another flip candidate prior to the trade deadline.

    • I was thinking the same thing.

    • I was thinking the same thing! I don’t know what his stats look like against us but it seems like he always found a way to be a Reds killer!

    • That was my first thought. He always “seemed” to hit well against the Reds

  7. Glad to see Walker unloaded. That was a very ‘curious’ waiver claim by the Reds, but in the end it became nothing.

    • It became a way to add a veteran player to the major league roster without possibly sacrificing a true prospect to loss via waivers.

  8. Well if they cut Jennings loose then Lorenzen needs to be their power off the bench pinch-hitter. If he connects then we’re in the game and he comes in. If not then its the B team.

    • I think Jennings will be gone, but Lorenzen cannot be a regular pinch-hitter, because that limits how he can be used in late-game pitching situations. He can pinch-hit on days when he won’t pitch, which hopefully won’t be too many.

    • Kivlehan is known to have good power, and Gennett and Alcantara both have some power as well.

      • Yes, I’d agree. Kivlehan and Alcantara both have pretty good power. Both are capable of over 20 HR over say 500 PA.

  9. If the Reds carry a 4 man bench it looks like Alcantara, Gennett, Turner will be three. Jennings, Kivlehan, and Elizalde remain in competition for the last spot. My preference is for Kivlehan, but the Reds may prefer an actual 4th OF rather than trying to plug Alcantara or Gennett out there.

    If the Reds go with 8 man pen, it looks like 3 spots are open. Ogando, Peralta, Astin, and Brice remain in competition. I could also see Davis making the team out of the pen. My preferences would be Astin, Davis, and Peralta. Ogando is released to add a bench player, Adelman released to add Arroyo to the rotation.

    • And it goes to Kivlehan. He would have been my choice of those three.

  10. More likely the last bench spot, after Turner, Alcantara and Gennett, will go to Jennings as the only CF. Like Klivehan as 5th bench player later on.

  11. The starting rotation looks as weak as a maple leaf in autumn.

  12. This move to get Gennett is a bit curious. I thought a better LH bat to pick up would have been Coghlan who the Phillies released this morning. They could have parted with Jennings, or keep him too. Coghlan had a few good seasons before he hit the wall last year with an injury.
    This 8-man bullpen is killing the bench. I hope the Reds don’t have many extra inning games in April again.
    Again and again, the Reds will play other teams one man short position-wise. This is so stupid on so many levels. If they are worried about over-usage in the bullpen early, they have many other arms available at AAA to supplement the bullpen early on, or later in May or June if the fatigue arises then. The rob Peter to pay Paul system rarely works. The 8-man bullpen is already bringing havoc and upheaval on the 25-man roster.

    • Agree in general, but their starting pitching is so bad that they will need a lot of RP’s.
      Iggy will probably need days off early.

  13. Sorry but I’d like to see one of the young kids pitch rather than watch Arroyo. Just my opinion.

    • Me, too, but I think Chad is right. I thought it would be BS for the Reds to play service-time games with Garrett, if he continued his strong spring, but he regressed a bit in later games, so they are probably justified in starting him at Louisville.

      Garrett should be the first guy up from the minors, though.

  14. Scooter is a Cincinnati native, I figured someone would have already stated that in the comments. I don’t know if that had any bearing in picking him up or not but I wish him the best in Cincinnati. I seem to remember when he got called up, he raked against the Reds.

    • He probably raked against the Reds because he had that Rickie Weeks aura left over. It was some strong stuff.

      Genett is a lefty off the bench. Period. He’s a rather weak fielder and I wouldn’t want him facing left handers. He does have a cool name.

  15. Boy, I really don’t know what the Reds are thinking here. It will be interesting to see where everything ends up.

    Not sure where Scooter will fit in. He has nit much the last 3 seasons. And, he’s been a starting 2nd baseman, nowhere else really. I wonder how Dilson is doing. And, maybe this means Peraza is being slated to start everywhere.

    Not too concerned about Walker. Not much there.

    I was sort of hoping that Iribarren would make the squad, something like a Miguel Cairo type. He can/has played multiple positions. And, he led the league in hitting at AAA last season. He’s continued it this spring.

    Renda, also? Pretty much just like Iribarren, just younger. Hmmm. . .

    Sort of felt sorry for Brantley; he’s been hitting well this spring. But, Turner is whipping the stick this ST. And, with Barnhart and Devin, it’s probably going to be Turner (until Devin does feel better). Plus, that Rule 5 policy.

    Sorry for Sal. But, it seems like he gave it a pretty good shot. He should probably be at AAA, anyhow. Adleman just wasn’t doing anything this ST. It seems like Coleman and Luetge wasn’t even in consideration for anything.

    • I’m still thinking Iribarren was a better, and cheaper, option than Gennett.

    • On board with what you’re saying with the exception of saying that Garrett hasn’t hit much. His 2015 really was his only rather poor season offensively and he had his fewest PA that year. His lines over the last 3 years:

      2016 – .263/.317/.412 w/ 542 PA, 30 2B, 14 HR
      2015 – .264/.294/.381 w/ 391 PA, 18 2B, 6 HR
      2014 – .289/.320/.434 w/ 474 PA, 31 2B, 9 HR (take that from a 2B any day)

      I think even matching his 2016 slash line would be an upgrade over Iribarren or especially Renda. He isn’t as flexible defensively however. That said, I think he’s a better 2B than either of them defensively.

  16. My first thought after picking up Gennet is that a Cozart trade is imminent. Herrara is a question mark physically so DW thinks Gennet is a short term solution at 2nd. Ok, that’s fine until Herrara is ready. 8 man bullpen? How many of those guys are going to see consistent action? Do they move to a 7 man when Mesoraco is ready? Doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.

    • According to Price, the 8 man bullpen will be in place for ‘most’ of the season.

    • And unfortunately, I think the 8-man pen may be justified this year. I’m looking at that rotation and I’m seeing a lot of “opportunities” for the bullpen to be leveraged. I don’t see the pitchers in that rotation consistently going even 5-6 effective innings.

  17. Gennett, in all candor, has quite a bit of grit, and is a natural for the Reds.

    Renda has some grit; Jennings, probably not so much. Too early to tell on Kivlehan’s grit level. Iribarren’s grit is literal grit in his shoulder joint, which results in his Knoblochian throws to first.

    • I didn’t calculate the “grit” factor into my equation. Good call, sir. I suppose if you can’t have a ‘Skip’ then a ‘Scooter’ is a good grittastic option.

      • The name Scooter does signify mucho grit but the true sign of if he’s a real Red is that he has to be so ineffective that he can only go from the Reds to his couch and/or Japan. If any other ML team even talks to his agent then he doesn’t qualify. Its a must that we have pitchers in the same category as well so cut Disco if you have to but get Arroyo in the rotation. Pitching to ducking line drives to watching Netflix on his boat by July….that’s how we roll around here!

    • The Reds have lacked grit for the past couple of seasons.

  18. I believe there is an Asst. GM somewhere in the Reds front office thinking to himself, because he won’t say it out loud, “I’m surrounded by idiots”.
    Dick Williams may be an Ivy Leaguer, but he is getting a “D” in Roster Management 101.

    • In that case, this is a significant improvement over WJ!!!

      • To go from an “F-” to a “D” is an improvement. I’ll give you that. Davis being named to the rotation is also a good thing. Maybe I was a little harsh too soon. There could be another surprise later this week.

        • Guess I’m not sure why you’re so sour on the Gennett pickup. He’s better than Iribarrien, especially when just looking at 2B. Not as flexible but younger and over the course of a MLB season, likely a better hitter. He’s worlds better than Renda as a hitter. He isn’t a Skip Schumaker kind of pickup. He’s a 26 year old former starting 2B with a decent track record of success at the MLB level and coming off a decent season.

  19. Doug Gray has an article up saying Rookie Davis has made the rotation. Maybe some sanity is there in Reds front office after all.
    Congratulations to Rookie Davis.

  20. per John Fay:
    Gennett hit .263/.317/.412 with 14 HRs last year.

    per Jamie Ramsey:
    Gennett has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games played in Great American Ball Park, including a home run in his most recent game at GABP.
    Gennett’s career slash line against Cincinnati is .309/.330/.466 in 54 games.
    Among all #Reds opponents since 2013, Scooter Gennett’s .309 batting average ranks 7th (min 100 at-bats).

    • Didn’t look it up, but I think he hit a good numbers of doubles last year. He’s a definate Ryan Freel type that the city should love.

      • He doesn’t field as well as Freel did. I don’t assume that he’s gritty from his name. What’s in a name?

  21. Is it against the rules to pitch to your own batter?
    If we could pitch to Scooter every night we’d win the series!

  22. I’m not buying it if it’s just supposed to be an upgrade over Iribarren or Renda’s utility role. It does make more sense if Herrera is going on dl or Cozart is going to be traded.

    What IS the story on Herrera?!

  23. Why did the Reds assign #4 to Scooter? Wish they would have a small amount of respect for departed fan favorites. Same thing happened with Cueto in ’15. John Lamb snapped up his #47 immediately.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at


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