The Cincinnati Reds have options if the injury news on Scooter Gennett is as bad as we fear, but the best choice would be to go with Nick Senzel as the team’s primary second baseman until Scooter returns.
If you haven’t already heard, Scooter Gennett suffered an injury to his right groin during yesterday’s spring game. The Cincinnati Reds have a few different ways they could go if this injury is going to keep Gennett sidelined for some time, but the obvious choice is the team’s top prospect Nick Senzel.
We don’t yet know the extent of the injury and hopefully it doesn’t keep Scooter out too long, but watching how gingerly he was moving following the event, I have to believe that Gennett will begin the season on the 10-day injured list. Gennett underwent an MRI yesterday and we’re likely to hear the results of the testing later today.
Now, back to the matter at hand. If Gennett is out for a prolonged period of time, it makes the most sense to plug Senzel into second base. Yes, Derek Dietrich is also an option and certainly a very viable one, but Senzel makes the most sense.
Now, before anyone reacts with the notion that this is a bad business move and Nick Senzel needs to start the season at Triple-A in order to preserve an additional year of service time, it was said yesterday by the Reds’ brass that Senzel’s reassignment had nothing to do with service time. So, to me, that argument is void.
If you’d like to say that Senzel is a poor choice because he’s spent the entire spring learning a new position and hasn’t played second base all offseason, I’ll listen. However, I believe that a player of Senzel’s immense talent who’s spent his entire professional career except for this spring playing the infield will have very little trouble readjusting to his natural position.
Senzel very easily could’ve been chosen to begin the season as the team’s Opening Day starter in center field, but he was reassigned to minor league camp on Friday. Manager David Bell cited Senzel’s lack of major league experience playing the position as one of the overriding factors behind the decision. Scott Schebler will now start the season as the team’s primary center fielder.
Dietrich is not a bad choice to replace Scooter for the interim, as he provides power from the left side of the plate and he’s had a very nice spring. Dietrich his hitting .275 during Cactus League play with 2 home runs and 9 RBIs. However, while Dietrich is capable of playing second base, he spent only 4 games there last season with the Marlins and just 10 the previous year.
If Dietrich is plugged in to play second base exclusively, then who to the Cincinnati Reds turn to in order to fill his spot on the bench? Phillip Ervin is a possibility, but he was just sent down to minor league camp too. Even with his fantastic spring, you’d have to feel that Ervin is behind Senzel in the pecking order to be called up if the vacancy was in the outfield.
José Iglesias hasn’t played second base professionally since 2013. While I’m sure he could adapt quickly, Iglesias doesn’t have near the offensive type of production that Senzel or Dietrich would. The same can be said for Blake Trahan.
We’ll know more about the severity of Gennett’s injury later today and every Cincinnati Reds’ fan is holding their breath and hoping for good news. However, if Scooter is deemed out for any length of time, the team has options until he returns. Senzel makes the most sense, but we’ll see what the Reds decide to do.