Cincinnati Reds add Scooter Gennett to bench for veteran leadership and left handed bat

Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Reds claimed Scooter Gennett off of waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers just before Opening Day.

A week into the season, the Cincinnati Reds look like geniuses for claiming Scooter Gennett off of waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers.  The one team in the National League Central that looked to be obviously worse is an unusual place for the Reds to go looking for talent.  So far, it appears to have worked out perfectly.

Gennett was the starting second baseman for the past three years in Milwaukee.  Having been replaced by Johnathan Villar this off-season, Gennett was destined for the bench.  The Brewers decided to release him rather than pay him to be on the bench.

The Reds on the other hand were somewhat desperate to find a back-up infielder after the Ryan Raburn experience didn’t materialize the way that they wanted.  Raburn was close to as advertised, but he couldn’t field the way that the Reds anticipated.  By the time the end of spring training had rolled around both Raburn and Desmond Jennings had been released.

Gennett can play second and third, while providing a left-handed pinch hitter off of the bench.  He also is the sole veteran on the four person bench.  Only Arismendy Alcantara has any MLB experience to speak of among the rest of the bench players.

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Scooter Gennett has started his season with a bang, but the Cincinnati Reds need his substance, not just sizzle.

On Opening Day Gennett hit a home run in his first game as a Red.  It was unfortunately a loss, but seeing him hit was a good sign.  Gennett is a career .278 hitter, but his OBP has fluctuated wildly.

Gennett didn’t have another hit for an entire week including two starts, until the Reds’ first game of the season in Pittsburgh.

n that game he went 1-for-4 with a two run home run.  This time the Reds’ won the game.

That is not what the Reds need from Gennett, though.  They need him to be similar to Zack Cozart.  They need Gennett to have an OBP of at least .300 and make consistent contact.

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The Reds also need him to provide good defense backing-up first time starter Jose Peraza at second base.  There will likely be a drop off from Brandon Phillips to Peraza, but the Reds want to minimize that difference.  Gennett just needs to be the player that earned him the starting nod for three season in Milwaukee.