Cincinnati Reds have a shortstop that isn’t ready for the big time

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds are a young team, including starting shortstop.

Jose Peraza is the projected starting shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds.  He is also only 23 years old.  Somehow the Reds think making him the shortstop without a net is the best plan.

Last year the Reds planned to have Peraza be the starting second baseman.  They brought in Ryan Raburn on a minor league deal in the thoughts of having a net for Peraza.  In the end Scooter Gennett was the back-up second baseman.

Then Gennett was the starting second baseman.  Peraza was fine defensively, but couldn’t maintain the offensive output.  That made Peraza the back-up middle infielder.

Of all of the position players, only National League MVP runner-up Joey Votto is past arbitration.  Peraza, left fielder Adam Duvall, and right fielder Scott Schebler don’t even have enough experience to file for arbitration.  That is a young team.

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It’s that youth which could become problematic.  The only other shortstop on the forty man roster beyond Peraza is prospect Alex Blandino.  Blandino hasn’t even made his MLB debut yet.

Blandino batted .270 over 63 games in Triple-A last season.  His .382 OBP is cause for optimism.  He only hit six home runs, however, for the Louisville Bats.

The Cincinnati Reds need a veteran infielder to support the youth on the improving team.

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The Reds have signed Phil Gosselin to a minor league deal.  He played shortstop, along with second, third, and first for the Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates in 2017.  Three games at shortstop doesn’t mean that Gosselin can play there everyday.

Gosselin, though, would require the Reds releasing someone or a player being placed on the sixty day DL at the end of spring training.  Theoretically, third baseman Eugenio Suarez could occasionally play short, but the Reds need a longer term solution.  They need someone that can play there for a week or two if Peraza needs a break.

That leaves the Reds with a couple of good options.  They could sign an MLB player to a free agent deal.  That would put some pressure on Peraza.

The Reds could trade for a young MLB ready shortstop.  It may alleviate the roster issue, but it would leave the Reds with an awful lot of young infielders.  This is the move only if the Reds have actually completely lost faith in Peraza.

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Of course, the Reds could do nothing.  They nearly lost 100 games in 2017.  Losing a few games while Peraza learns short or shows he can’t play there probably doesn’t mean that much.