Cincinnati Reds Alex Blandino about to make the team

(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Reds looked for a back-up infielder and found one in Alex Blandino.

With the departure of All-Star shortstop Zack Cozart the Cincinnati Reds needed to add a back-up infielder.  The Reds brought in several non-roster players to battle for the role.  They also added a pair of prospects to their forty man roster.

This off-season, the Reds added second basemen Shed Long and Alex Blandino to their forty man roster.  They are both in the Reds’ top thirty of prospects with Long at seven and Blandino at twenty-five.  Long, though, only batted .167 this spring before the Reds sent him to minor league camp.

Blandino on the other hand looked like a player ready to contribute to the major league team this spring.  He still is fighting off fellow prospect Brandon Dixon and veteran infielder Phil Gosselin for the back-up infielder role.  They have both been strong this spring.

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Dixon is batting .325 with four home runs.  He also owns an OBP of .372 to go with a slugging percentage of .650.  His OBS of 1.022 is one of the most impressive stats this spring.

Gosselin is also hitting well.  He has a .289 average with an OBP of .300.  Gosselin’s advantage in this competition is his ability to play shortstop at the MLB level.

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Despite the strong offensive showings of the challengers, the Cincinnati Reds appear ready to go with Alex Blandino.

Blandino has played all around the infield this spring at second base, third base and shortstop.  He was a shortstop when the Reds drafted him and then moved to second base.  Having the flexibility to play third will help him stay around.

As a former top prospect, his offense is important.  He is batting .364 with an OBP of .432 this spring.  Despite not having a home run this spring, his slugging percentage is .455.  His OBS of .887 is solid, if not elite.

That sort of production probably isn’t too far off of mark for Blandino based on his minor league career.  He is a .262 career hitter with an OBP of .361. A .364 average isn’t what anyone is expecting, but an OBP between .360 and .410 is what the Reds should anticipate.

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Dixon or Gosselin may still make the team thanks to the Reds apparently going with a four man rotation in the outfield.  They also recently sent down Ben Revere to their minor league camp, singling that either Phil Ervin or no one will be the back-up center fielder on the team.  This is all great news for the flexible Blandino.