The Reds might face a tricky playing time situation if Scooter Gennett and Derek Dietrich are healthy during the second half of the season. Sure, an injury to Gennett, Dietrich, Joey Votto or Jesse Winker might resolve the issue. But what if they’re all healthy? We asked a team of Redleg Nation writers to offer their wisdom. What’s your opinion?

Question: If Derek Dietrich and Scooter Gennett are healthy after July 1, how should the Reds manage their playing time?

Chad Dotson: Scooter Gennett should be the primary starter at second base, if only because his bat is good enough to warrant playing time and second is the only place he can play defensively (kinda). Plus, I’m still holding out hope that some team will want his bat by the July trade deadline, and the Reds need to get him as many ABs as possible to showcase him. If Scooter is still a Red on August 1, it’ll be time to reevaluate.

As for Dietrich, David Bell could get him four to five starts a week at 2B, 1B, and LF and that’s plenty. When you’re playing either of these guys, you know going in that you’re going to take a hit defensively. But I think it’s easy to justify getting them regular playing time, since each should have an above-average bat.

Mary Beth Ellis: Derek Dietrich just Instagrammed a video of himself pleasantly signing an autograph for a little girl. “I’m Derek!” he said. “Did you know that?” She nodded. She was also wearing a Scooter Gennett shirt. This was preceded by an image of himself lounging on a red daybed beneath the glowing words, “I love you so much Cincinnati.”

The man is not stupid. He is wisely dumping his natural charm into the Personal Skills section of his impressive offensive resume. Popular-but-somewhat-forgotten Gennett must be sitting in the dugout watching homer after homer sail out of the park with decidedly mixed emotions.

This beautiful problem of where to put our Hercules in One Giant Chain, however, need not result in single elimination of either. Send down Peraza. Send down the Iglesias who doesn’t pitch. Swap in whoever for whoever depending on the pitcher.  He wants in. Derek Dietrich is good for the city, good for this team, and good for angering people who don’t like either.

Wes Jenkins: Well, that’s a tough one. On the one hand, we shouldn’t assume that Dietrich will hit like this forever. On the other hand, I said that about Scooter for two years and look where we are now. So….start Scooter and get Dietrich’s bat into the lineup four times a week by resting regulars? That seems like the best case scenario. Start DD over Joey Votto, Jesse Winker, Yasiel Puig, and Scooter once each week and you’re maximizing everyone’s at-bats. Easy-peasy. Unless anyone can figure a way to trade the Reds to the AL?

Bill Lack: If you believe that Gennett’s last two seasons are an anomaly, not a trend, they’re basically the same player.

Dietrich OPS+ of 113, Gennett 109, Vs LHP, Dietrich with a .669 OPS, Gennett .638; Gennett hits RHP a little better. (.823 to .800). Defensively at 2B, probably pretty much the same. Dietrich can play some OF, which Gennett hasn’t shown the ability to do, which means you could use him to rest Puig or Senzel against some RHP.

The guy whose playing time is really going to be hurt when Gennett returns is probably Peraza (or should be); but that’s not the question here. Any trade value that Gennett might have had disappeared when he got hurt and had to sit the majority of the first half of the season. But if he’s going to walk after the season, they might trade him for whatever they can get, which likely won’t be much. Would the Reds trade the enormously popular Derek Dietrich? Depends on the offer, I’d imagine (or should).

Honestly, I don’t know. But having too many good players is always a good thing and it’s been a long time since the Reds have faced this kind of problem, but their philosophy at the trading deadline will likely come into play here.

John Ring: This is a tough one. The Reds missed Gennett’s offense early in the season but Dietrich leads them in home runs and has become a dynamic player. It’s a good problem to have — something the Reds are certainly not used to. Lots of similarity here — left-handed hitters, they lack speed, careers rescued by the Reds.  I would stay with Dietrich until he levels off or move him to LF or 1B to get Scooter some at-bats. I expect Joey to become more like Joey but he’s 35 and lacks power. I hope Dick Williams is working the phones but not sure the market is there for Scooter, even if the Reds could got a reliable relief pitcher, due to his being injured and the position he plays I’m not usually wishy-washy: but I got to go with Dietrich because he has the hot bat right now. It might be different on July 1.

45 Responses

  1. Klugo

    I like the suggestion I read, I believe, right here on RLN. Platoon Deitrich with Puig in RF. Puig is awful vs righties. So stick him out there vs lefties, Deitrich vs righties. Then super sub Deitrich all other times.
    This would most assuredly upset Puig; but, I mean, team first, right?

    • Pete

      Also the competition might light a fire fire under Yasiel. Same could be said with Jesse. Jesse as a home run king has little value, his job is to get on base and spray line drives all over the field. Jesse, we miss you.

      Ironically, since Jesse is apparently fancying himself a slugger, he’s not hitting home runs either – return to the previous iteration and he will hit more than he is now. Puig is at least a good fielder, fair base runner and all his K’s allow him to avoid the double plays.

    • Brian S Jolley

      Puig’s numbers are way better versus RHP than LHP over his career though.

    • Lwblogger2

      Well what’s odd about that is that Puig, historically, has been better against RHP. He’s the rare case of a reverse platoon split. That said, he’s probably the odd man out more often than not, if he still isn’t hitting when Scooter gets back.

  2. greenmtred

    I hope that Mary Beth was not being serious when she suggested sending down Jose Iglesias. I think the super-sub ideas make the most sense. If Scooter comes back healthy and hitting, he’ll build some trade value, but he has little now, and he’s too good to dump for nothing.

    • matthew hendley

      I think that she mean Rasiel Iglesias

      • greenmtred

        She said “send down the Iglesias who doesn’t pitch.” I wouldn’t send either down, though the one who does pitch is pretty disappointing.

      • Doc

        Could she have been referencing the Iglesius who wasn’t enthralled with pitching in non-glamourous, non-save situations, ie, non team first pitcher?

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Mary Beth is hereby settling it by confirming that she was referring to the unenthralled Iglesias. Sorry for the confusion but I had to decide which explanation I like best.

  3. Centerfield

    What would the Reds pick up in draft compensation picks if Wood, Puig, Gennett sign with other teams after the 2019 season? I am wondering if they would end up with a better player going this route (if any of the three even qualify for this scenario) since they aren’t likely to receive much in a trade.

    • matthew hendley

      The only way the reds receive Draft compensation for them is if they are offered the Qualifying Offer, Turn it down and sign elsewhere. Wood and Scooter are not even in that conversation. Puig, with a midseason turn around, may. He is almost certainly not going to sign a 1 year deal unless he needs a pillow contract, and if he is in need of a pillow contract then he is not receiving the QO.

  4. matthew hendley

    A very nice problem to have.
    Scooter gets 2B, and roughly a ten game grace period. After that its best man is starting. Obviously any remaining interleague games at AL parks are taken care of as well. Assuming that Scooter holds down second, the Super Sub route is where DD needs to be utilized. Assuming Winker can play center for a game (not a season, just a game), there are 5 positions that can be given rest by DD Vs RHP, with a 6th day being DD rest/PH day. With a year of control left, and no viable alternative at 2B (shut up, peraza) even if scooter walks (he shouldn’t) 2B will be DD then in 2020.
    There are cases of an injury, vastly changing successful players into non successful players. Should this be the case with Scooter, (hence the 10 day grace period), wish him well, get him in the Reds HOF and send him on his way.

    On a side note, Jose Lopez was out righted yesterday, opening a 40 man spot today. Incidently at the same time, a major roadblock was removed from both Dallas K and Craig K. Could the reds be making a quiet run at both/either?

  5. TR

    When Scooter is physically ready, he should go back to second base. I don’t see a Red’s future for Puig, so DD should be alternated in right field and cover 1st. base when needed.

  6. Seat101

    It looks like the Reds might most of the month of July to play Scooter Gennett.

    I agree that Double D can fill-in at first, left field. right field, short, and third. Plus we have two games at Cleveland where Scooter should Dh.

    Maybe, by the time Houston comes to town, they might feel they have a need for a back up bat-first second baseman. But they just don’t seem to be a lot of trade opportunities with at Junior League Club. National league, not so much either.

    Here’s another big question: If Scooter can’t pick up where he left off by the middle of July do we have to sit him?

  7. David

    Alternatively,

    Trade Puig; I don’t see some kind of mid -season turn around in the offing. Bring up Aquino to play right field against left handers and sometimes right handers. Aquino is younger, cheaper and looks about as ready as he ever will be; he can’t do any worse than Puig, can he? Play Dietrich in Right Field against right handers. And some first base to spell Votto.
    Send down VanMeter, he’s struggling. Play Peraza against lefties at 2nd, with Scooter getting most of the starts against righties.

  8. RedsFan11

    The corner infield is locked down. Jose Iglasies will start everyday until he proves otherwise. If the Reds are serious about long term then Winker and Senzel need to play as many games as possible.

    That leaves right field and 2b for 3 guys. In going crazy here but I think you should only use DD as a super sub. Again if the Reds are focused on the future, they should do everything they can to let Puig get hot and get scooter back in the saddle so they can trade these guys at the deadline. Unless they are planning to try and trade Dietrich but I don’t see that as he has become a fan fav and we know how the FO handles them

    Again this is if they are focused on the future. If they think they are still in contention this year then by all means play the hot hand, and spend the money this week to get Craig

  9. jreis

    Winker ” mr double play man”, to me is the guy that must step up his game. if he does not I say let him ride the bench and put DD in left when Scooter returns.

    • Steven Ross

      Agreed. However, I’d open up one the corner OF spots with Ervin in mind too. He deserves some PT the way Winker has been going. Puig should be traded. Probably not coming back so what’s the point of keeping him. That would open up a spot for DD with Scooter at 2B.

  10. PhP

    Why do you think they aren’t in the conversation? Do you think it would be too much salary for one year? I’ve been of the same mind as Centerfield, that the compensation for the Quality Offer would be greater than any player we would receive if we dealt them. I dont think it would necessarily be a bad thing to have either Wood or Scooter for one more year if they accepted it, but it’s not my money.

    • BigRedMike

      $18 million for Gennett? $18 million for Wood?

      Neither has played this season and are injury prone. Neither would sign for at least $50 million which would result in a 2nd round supplemental pick

      Under the current rules, if the team that loses the free agent is a revenue-sharing recipient, based on its revenues and market size, then the selection — if and only if the lost player signs for at least $50 million — will be awarded a pick between the first round and Competitive Balance Round A of the 2019 MLB Draft. If the player signs for less than $50 million, the compensation pick for those teams would come after Competitive Balance Round B, which follows the second round.

      • PhP

        Thanks for clearing that up. I didnt know they would have to sign for over 50mil to get the competitive balance A selection.

  11. BigRedMike

    Gennett should be at 2B when he returns. Dietrich will slow down and can play in RF in place of Puig, who is hurting the Reds this season.

    The challenge for the Reds is that outside of Senzel, Winker, and Suarez, the other position players have no to very little trade value. The Reds will not be able to improve the team for the future by trading the free agents to be.

    A players like Dietrich is a good example of why Gennett has little value. Teams are just not going to commit resources and years to a player like Gennett.

    The lack of development of the Reds system is hurting at this point. At least they have made some good trades and late free agent additions. Imagine how awful this team would be without Dietrich and Iglesias.

    • James Vincent

      I think that’s a great idea week is not done what he’s advertise to do.

    • James Vincent

      Actually they probably just fine because guys would be getting regular at-bats you don’t replace every day players with one year rentals that’s how you destroy your future. Swapping rentals for rentals as one thing. As soon as we lost an Outfitter last year everyone hit better because they had more playing time. It’s old adage practice makes perfect

  12. Mark Lang

    No one wanted or thought Puig would do well in Cincinnati than I… boy was I wrong – The folks in Dodger land are, no doubt, having to hide smiles and sniggers every time they think of his trade to us. The guy just can’t hit – never will – makes you miss Jay Bruce.

    We’ve got 2 outfield spots that are just plain “pencil in the out” every day. Surely any 2nd basement worth their salt can play a corner spot.

    • Curt

      Yes, we were all hoping for more from Puig, it’s a bummer for sure (Puig would agree) though I wouldn’t count him out just yet, he’s capable of turning it around and at the very least increasing his trade value.
      As far as the sniggers and smiles in Dodgerland, respectively, I have to say that’s just not true. Puig was very much liked in L.A. by players and fans alike and played a big part in the success of the team’s last two trips to the WS. He’s the only guy that had his own cheering section, and they showed up even when he came back in a Reds uniform. The Dodgers are a class act when it comes to alumni appreciation.

      Puig was traded because with the emergence of Muncy, which caught everyone by surprise, Bellinger was able to move to RF (the best fit for him because of his arm) and Muncy to 1st. Puig, already making millions and entering a contract year was the odd man out. Unfortunate for him but good business decision by LA as no production was lost at a fraction of the price. Puig was expendable. Same situation the Reds will be facing here shortly. Only so many spots on the bench.

      Puig has been and can be again a very good player. As to his struggles this year, I have my theories but it doesn’t really matter. If he can pick it up even a little, he probably brings the best return in trade (post-season experience and all) should the Reds decide to go that way. And the Reds may very well have better and cheaper options in AAA.

      All that said, no one in Dodgertown is snickering and laughing for pulling one over on the Reds. They’re too busy winning.

    • Indydoug

      So Puig who has a career .274/.346/.471/.817 line “just can’t hit-never will”? Hardly.

  13. James Vincent

    The reds will do what the always do. They will fail to recognize some guys are better everyday and some better part time. Scooter was one of the top five players in the Nl last year. Dietrich is hitting hr at almost a bonds pace. He will fall of in amajor way most likely. We need to focus on the best players and the future get him a few starts but we need bench power. We keep turning everyday players in the bad platoon players because one guy had a good month. That’s why next year we still don’t know who our starting shortstop is. Guys simply aren’t getting enough at-bats to feel comfortable. It’s great that Jesse Winker is o p s drop with splits but now he in not crushing in the rest of the splits. This exact same scenario played out last year till an outfielder got hurt.

    • BigRedMike

      Yep. Until the Reds start developing players, they will continue to do what you noted. Nobody knew who Iglesias was 3 months ago and now he has had a decent 2 months and he is the answer at SS? Dietrich is a good 2 year signing, take the production and continue to look for a replacement.
      The Reds need to develop a young core of position players and then utilize free agency to supplement the roster.
      It is always great to make smart free agent signings, but, when two of the better players have been minor league contract pick ups, that is not a great sign for roster building.

      1 year free agent signings in the starting rotation and bullpen is sustainable.

      The Reds should look at how the Rays are operating, lot of talent and smart decisions. The FO is making encouraging decisions, lets hope it continues.

      • greenmtred

        Iglesias did make the All-Star team for Detroit, so he’s probably somewhat known. But his hitting so far is surprising.

  14. C Holbert

    Scooter has proved, at least as a Red, that he deserves his 2B spot when he is ready and returns. DD has been a nice find, but for his career he has not been a “regular”, and should be used as a day off guy for pretty much every, with the exception of SS and CF. If Peraza is not in the plans, that has yet to be determined, then they need something at 2B, and not utility or platooning. Maybe they can get Scooter less expensive now that he has the injury. At this point they do not have any better proven options.

  15. Brian S Jolley

    Regardless of our various opinions, Scooter will play second base every day he is healthy and is a Cincinnati Red. That is David Bell’s opinion.

  16. vegastypo

    Ship Puig out for whatever you can get. Put Winker in one corner outfield spot, and platoon Ervin with Dietrich at the other corner. …. The value in unloading Puig isn’t what you get in return, it’s the playing time it opens up. Play Winker every day, against lefties as well. Maybe having to face them will get him back to using the whole field and in line drive mode, if he has begun to fancy himself a home run hitter.

    Gennett gets second base everyday, unless he needs days off as he plays his way back into shape. If he’s trade-worthy at the deadline, so be it. If the Reds are going to keep Senzel in center, maybe it makes sense to keep Gennett around. There is something to be said for a guy who really wants to stay with his current team.

  17. Jim H.

    It’s not that hard. Regulars: Barnhart/Casali C, Votto 1B, Gennett 2B, Iglesias SS, Suarez 3B, Winker LF, Senzel CF & Puig RF.

    Dietrich gets 5 starts a week giving 1B, 2B, 3B, LF & RF a day off.
    Peraza gets 2 starts a week giving SS & CF a day off.
    Farmer stays as a super sub – C, 1B, 2B, 3B, LF, RF. Probably even SS & CF in a real pinch.

    Van Meter goes back to AAA to hit more bombs.

    If Winker doesn’t come out of his funk, start platooning Peraza with him in LF.

    This assumes 13-man pitching staff.

  18. WVRedlegs

    The calculations on this are: Gennett > Puig in the lineup. Ervin > Puig in the OF.
    Dietrich goes to LF with Ervin in LF vs. LHP. Winker goes to RF, with Puig in RF vs. LHP. This is a move that devalues Puig’s trade value though.
    Peraza backs up SS Iglesias and 2B Gennett.
    The bench becomes Ervin, Puig, Peraza, and Casali, and vs. LHP. Sometimes the bench could look like Winker, Dietrich, Gennett, and Barnhart. I don’t like not having Farmer on the bench, though, but oh well.
    At the trade deadline the Reds need to look for some type of upgrade over Barnhart at C.

    • Steve Mancuso

      If Farmer can play SS in a pinch, Reds can keep his bat instead of Peraza. Or Farmer at 3B move Suarez to SS.

      • WVRedlegs

        You are probably right on that, as I didn’t like omitting Farmer.
        Or they could go back to a 7 man bullpen. But that’s a crazy idea though.

      • Lwblogger2

        Steve do you really want to see Suarez at SS? At this point, having bulked up and not having really played it for awhile, I think he may be brutal defensively. He’s been very nice at 3B this year. I don’t like Farmer at SS either but better than Suarez. Senzel may be better at SS even. It’s probably close.

  19. Roger Garrett

    Free Ervin and platoon him with Dietrich in the outfield with starters Senzel and Winker.Puig won’t be here next year even if he is Mickey Mantle or Mickey Mouse.Ervins stats in 78 games last year were 252/324/404 and are even better right now in Louisville.Scooter plays second every day and Farmer can spell him at times.Peraza goes down to see if he can learn to hit and Van Meter can spell Suarez or even Joey.

  20. matt hendley

    and the reds draft……Nick lodolo a LHP from TCU

  21. matthew hendley

    Reds lineup posted. Trying to grasp defeat from the Jaws of victory again. Reds Playing with 7 position players again. Luis Castillo better bring his ace self tonight, he has had his Freebees

    • Lwblogger2

      Never been a Peraza fan but that seems incredibly insulting to Peraza. He hasn’t been quite si incredibly lost lately and Winker is scuffling.

      • matt hendley

        Your (hypothetical child) who has continually brought home F report cards from school finally brings home a D. Do you reward him or continue staying on him until he bring home a good grade