Cincinnati Reds should have had Alex Blandino here all along

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds wasted a month of Alex Blandino’s career.

The Cincinnati Reds sent their back-up infielder of the future to Triple-A instead of keeping him on the big league team.  The Reds decided to keep MLB veterans Cliff Pennington and Phil Gosselin around. They were both brought in on minor league free agent contracts.

Pennington is a career .243 batter with an OBP of .310.  Last season Pennington played 87 games for the Los Angeles Angels mostly at second base.  He batted close to his career norm at .253 with an OBP of .306

His best career year was with the Oakland Athletics in 2011.  He batted .264 with an OBP pf .319. However, his run created score was 73 that season or about what for Reds’ second baseman Brandon Phillips did on a yearly basis.

Gosselin, meanwhile, has never been more than a sub in his MLB career. He is a career .270 batter with an OBP of .318.  Last year he played a total of 113 games among two Triple-A teams and two MLB teams.

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His best season was 2016 with the Arizona Diamondbacks.  He batted .277 and played in 122 games. However, he was a bench player, only getting 220 at bats and creating 24 runs.

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Alex Blandino should be able to do better than that for the Cincinnati Reds.

Blandino has had an up and down minor league career.  At one time he was thought to be the heir apparent to Zack Cozart at shortstop.  Unfortunately, neither his offense, nor his defense was consistent enough.

However, Blandino is a .261 career minor league hitter with an OBP of .361.  He continues the recent trend of Reds’ prospects to have a strong OBP throughout their minor league career.  In each of the past three seasons Blandino has played more than 100 games, but he only has one season of over 100 strikeouts.

So Blandino started the season in Louisville, playing three games before the injury to Eugenio Suarez.  So far Blandino only has his first MLB hit among his seventeen at-bats..  The Reds have let him start four games at third base.

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The Reds shouldn’t have put Blandino in this position.  He earned the right with his .325 and .400 OBP in spring training to break camp with the Reds.  They put him on the forty man roster this off-season and need to start treating Blandino like a prospect that could be around for a while