The Cincinnati Reds have been missing two key players all season that they planned on having. Second baseman Scooter Gennett injured his groin near the end of spring training and has not played since March. Alex Wood, the left-handed starting pitcher acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in December was injured much earlier in the spring. His back issues popped back up several times as he attempted to work his way back. This week there was some good news on the status of both.

Scooter Gennett, who has been traveling with the team and taking ground balls and some light batting practice before games, will head to Goodyear this week to start getting some in-game action. What’s important here, is that this doesn’t begin his rehab clock, which would be 20 days. In a very short period of time between the weekend after the draft (which was this week) and the start of short-season rookie leagues beginning (Friday kicks off the Billings Mustangs season), the Reds will have the newly drafted and signed played join the players who have been in Goodyear for extended spring training as they get ready to join one of three rookie teams. That time spent in Goodyear may be short lived, with Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reporting that it may only last 3 days. After that he would officially go on a rehab assignment.

Where Scooter Gennett begins his rehab assignment hasn’t been stated yet. Given the schedules of the teams, though, it would appear that Louisville is the most likely bet. Both Dayton and Chattanooga have their All-Star breaks after next weekend. The Reds haven’t sent guys to Daytona on rehab too frequently.

Alex Wood is also getting closer

On the Reds pre-game show it was announced that left-handed pitcher Alex Wood was feeling great and that he will throw a bullpen session Saturday. This won’t be the first time that he’s thrown as he’s tried coming back from the back issues that kept him out most of spring training. He had to be shut down completely after throwing earlier this year because his back didn’t recover as they had hoped the following day.

Alex Blandino goes deep twice for Louisville

While Alex Wood and Scooter Gennett are awaiting their chance to go on their rehab assignments, infielder Alex Blandino began his rehab assignment earlier this week. The 26-year-old has reached base in all four games he’s played in. Defensively he’s started two games at second base, one a shortstop, and one at third base. On Thursday night the infielder hit two home runs – both of them over 425 feet.

Position players get 20 days of rehab. For Alex Blandino that means he will be able to play through June 22nd before Cincinnati will have to activate him. He has two options remaining, so it’s possible that when he rehab assignment is over that he’s activated and optioned to the minor leagues. With the Reds using a short bench, this is a likely possibility as he has less position flexibility than guys like Jose Peraza, Kyle Farmer, and Josh VanMeter (who may not be around much longer, either, as Scooter Gennett is going to need a spot on the roster soon, too).

19 Responses

  1. matt hendley

    Blandino with Dingers. Nothng could sound better.
    In fact this entire post brings Joy to my heart. The Reds will reap the Rewards of a Trade without having to make one. The roster will improve and the reds will keep all their Prospects.
    Blandino and Scooter are going to replace JVMR and Peraza (please, please). JVMR has received the rewards of his success. His time even collecting min MLB pay has had him collect a nice little check, and now he is on the 40 men, he could be called up again. Since technically DD slips back into the LHB off the bench role, VanMeters role would reduce again. No point keeping him up.
    Blandino is a better version of Peraza. Much better. Takes care of the BUSS (see if you can figure that one out) that the reds were exposed on last night. Has obviously gotten his power back. I am sure he can be tried in LF as well if it will make some people feel better.
    I got that people are mad about wood. His injuries while not surprising were surprising in their length. He will fit into this rotation like a glove. Mahle has seemed to have stabilized. Disco has not. It will be interesting to see what happens.

    • MFG

      Please send Peraza down, he sucks! Please platoon Tucker and Curt, just throw Tucker a breaking ball in the dirt and he will swing.

    • Rich H

      Matt, your commenting style is the perfect comp for the first month and a half of Jose Peraza’s 2019 season. Taking way too many hacks, often out of the zone. More discipline and selectivity will cut down on weak contact, and there needs to be a lot more walking.

      Peraza is 25, was an MLB average starting shortstop for a full season at age 24, and has a wRC+ over a hundred for the last month. Farmer is 28, JVM has a month and a half of AAA production, where everyone is crushing the ball. Peraza is so much more part of a future of this team, amd it’s not at all close.

      • matt hendley

        FIrst of my commenting style is the greatest ever.

        Jose Peraza had an outlier season. If it had been an actual improvement then he would have brought it over into this season. He didn’t But a cool job on deliberately making a small sample size to attempt to back up your blatantly false narrative. incidentally what you identified as what peraza needs to do is pretty much what everyone has said he needs to do, except apparently T Ward.

        I am not saying as some have, that JVMR is the future of the franchise. I kept on saying that the small months’ sample size would just lead to disappointment when he came up. But he is still better then Peraza
        Farmer….also beter then peraza. Scooter, Iglesias…also better then Peraza. Give me ten games at the majors, I also will be better then Peraza.

        YOur like the FO showing a demonstration with the definition of insanity.

      • Rich H

        So somehow a full season is less important than the 2 1/2 months of this season? And the only important part of this season is the first 1 1/2 months, not the last month? Talk about a narrative, you’re twisting into a pretzel trying to come up with something. Absolute joke.

      • matt hendley

        but it wasnt a full season was it. More like 2/3rds of one season of three. ThAts CaLLed An OUtlIer. and what did he do in May? .661 OPS. That s like going from a F to a D-

        I am going to spell it out for you and the rest. Peraza is a Bust….. B-U-S-T.
        Barley hits. Has atrocious defense. As opposed to many of the players who are having bad months or seasons he is just bad. The reds had an opportunity to turn him into something at the end of last season and failed to do so. Now the only place he is going to learn how to play is LOU or below.

        Oh and last year, with his 2.6 War season, just clears the WAR threshold for a starter. And he was given the opportunity this year and lost it…. again. He hasn’t even played at replacement level at any other point.

      • Rich H

        Look at Fangraphs shortstop rankings last year, Matt. That’s a FULL SEASON as a LEAGUE AVERAGE STARTING SHORTSTOP. Offensively and defensively. You either can’t read, or cant understand the math that makes the 13th best offensive and 17th best defensive shortstop makes someone league average. For a full season.

        You want to say that talking about periods where Peraza has done well is cherry picking, and then turn around and base your entire opinion on the periods he did not do well. ABSOLUTE. JOKE.

      • matt hendley

        I pulled my stats from his full season last year. I also know he led the world in errors from his position.

        If he had come back and still be the 13th best 2b Offensively at his position he probably would still be playing it. He didn’t so he is not.

        If he understood the correct way to throw a ball to someone, people would trust him on defense.

        Noone is arguing that last year was his best year. But he was given a starting job in a position that he is supposedly competent in because of that and he lost it. AGAIN. Furthermore, the replacement for his other position that he is supposedly competent in ALSO better than him. Its like the Reds can go out and just sign some guys or pick them up off of waivers and they are going to be better than Jose Peraza….. because….. the reds go out and pick up guys on minor league deals they ARE better than him.

        He is in Arbitration after this year. The biggest insult that the reds FO can do is tender him a contract and offer him ARB while letting better players walk.

      • matt hendley

        Oh and since you have never obviously seen any of these hits from Peraza you would notice that more often then not they are of the Trash bloop variety. Which of course looks wonderful in the stats only world of Fangraphs, but does garbage to both the Eye test and this little metric we like to call….winning games.

  2. BK

    Blandino has all 3 options remaining. He was recalled within 20 days of being optioned in 2018, so that option did not count.

  3. WVRedlegs

    Good news on all 3 players.
    The bad news? The Reds offense has a 50/50 chance of being no-hit on Sunday vs. Nola. The in 10 days the Astros come to GABP. With the Reds luck they will draw Verlander and Garrit in that 3 game series. Another 50/50 chance of getting no-hit. At least they had a history of beating up on Garrit when he was with Pittsburgh. But he is a little different and better in Houston.
    The Reds have 8 games with Milwaukee, 4 with Cleveland, 3 with Texas, the 3 with Houston, 2 with the LA Angels, and 3 with the Cubs before the All-Star break. If you count Milwaukee and Chicago as both 1st place teams, plus the 3 with Houston, that’s 14 games vs. 1st place teams. Even Texas and Cleveland are 2nd place teams. Not an eady stretch at all, but the Reds need to make some hay by the All-Star break.

  4. Michael Smith

    Jason brought up a good point about Peraza on the podcast. Over the last month he has a 117 wrc+ and double walks to strikeouts. Maybe people could say get off the mans back. He is 25, coming off a good year for a shortstop. He had a horrific April, and a good May into June.

    • Shchi Cossack

      One month? Really? The season is just over two months old and for two months, Peraza has a 59 wRC+ and that includes his one month referenced.

      For the past year:
      Peraza => 97 wRC+
      Iglesias => 93 wRC+
      Winker => 126 wRC+
      Puig => 100 wRC+
      Votto => 113 wRC+
      Dietrich => 121 wRC+

      Peraza is not going to start at SS over Iglesias.
      Peraza is not going to start at 2B over Dietrich (or Gennett).
      Peraza is not going to start in LF over Winker.
      Peraza is not going to start in CF, RF, 1B or 3B.

      His role on this team is a fill-in bench player. If Peraza needs to get regular playing time, he needs to be optioned to AAA, otherwise he rides the bench with playing frequency that rivals VanMeter. He may very well have a significant role on the 2020 team if the team needs him to play SS, but not this season. No one wanted Iglesias on a major league contract and the Reds were able to sign him to a minor league contract. No one would want Peraza on a major league contract. He has absolutely zero trade value.

      If Peraza can produce offensively at a 113 wRC+ like he did during the final three months of 2018 or a 117 wRC+ for one cherry picked month, he could be an asset as a starting SS, but that would be a determination for the 2020 season.

      • Brian S Jolley

        One additional thing to consider is that on your list of players only Winker and Votto are expected to be here after next season and neither are middle infielders. Peraza is only 25 and under team control for a bit. He should some real progress last year. I am not disagreeing with you, but merely adding another aspect to the situation that I think is significant.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Jose Peraza’s wRC+ in May was 77. That was better than his March/April wRC+ of 35. He hit .211 in May.

  5. Old-school

    The Reds are 6 under .500 and 7 games back of both the Cubs and Brewers. They are 1-4 in June.

    It’s not because of the shift. It’s hitting. The reds are 13 th in the NL in offense. Team runs scored/OBP/wRC+ are dreadful. They’ve score 10 runs in June- that’s 2 runs per game.

    Yasiel Puig is the third worst offensive outfielder in baseball. Billy Hamilton and Kevin Pillar are worse. That’s it. Puig has a wRC+ of 63.
    Jose Peraza is worse with a wRC + of 58. Of 195 players with 180 at bats .. Peraza is the 5 th worst and Puig is the 9th worst in MLB. Throw in Tucker Barnhart with a wRC+ of 65 and the pitcher- and the reds are playing with 5 hitters.

    My biggest criticism of Bell is the matchup obsession. I would give Puig 2-3 more weeks as an everyday player. If the reds fall to 10 under or 10 games out, he should be benched. Winker/Senzel/ and Ervin need to start in the OF most days.

  6. Michael Smith

    Last 28 days for Pereza he has a 797 ops, 108 ops+ with a how is he only hitting 209 babip. Once again why do we want to toss him away at 25? I know it is a smaller sample size but jeez guys. Also he has more walks than k’s since may 1st.

  7. Brian S Jolley

    I wish they could put all of their pretty good middle infielders into a machine and pop out two great ones.