The Cincinnati Reds will have to make do without their All-Star second baseman Scooter Gennett for the first 8-12 weeks of the 2019 season.
It can always be worse, but the news wasn’t good for Scooter Gennett. The Cincinnati Reds‘ All-Star second baseman will be sidelined for 8-12 weeks with a strained right groin. For the time being, shortstop José Peraza will fill in at second base for Gennett while José Iglesias takes over at shortstop.
Scooter Gennett led the team in batting average last season and was in contention for the NL batting title until Christian Yelich pulled away down the stretch. Gennett was second on the team last year in home runs (23), RBIs (92) and doubles (30). His offensive production will be missed.
While some would argue that it makes perfect sense to install the team’s No. 1 prospect Nick Senzel at second base, José Peraza will take over during Scooter’s absence and non-roster invitee José Iglesias will man shortstop to begin the season. Utility infielder/ catcher Kyle Farmer, whom the Reds acquired from the Dodgers earlier this offseason, will be part of the Opening Day roster as well.
There’s two explanations for leaving Senzel in Triple-A Louisville. Either the team is keeping him off the Opeining Day roster in order to preserve an additional year of team control or the Reds are wanting him to continue to focus on improving in the outfield; which was their official reason for reassigning him to begin with.
Peraza has a fair amount of experience handling second base. In 2017, Peraza started 69 games at the position and he spent 72 innings playing second base during the 2016 season. He is definitely not a defensive liability.
As for Iglesias taking over at shortstop, there’s definitely not a drop off defensively. Iglesias, who signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds after playing his first 7 major league seasons in Detroit, was an All-Star in 2015 and had a .982 fielding percentage in 122 games at shortstop last season for the Tigers.
With Scooter likely to go on the 60-day injured list, there is no need to create more space on the 40-man roster. The current roster sits at 39, so now Derek Dietrich and Iglesias will be placed on the roster without having to sacrifice another player from the 40-man roster before Opening Day.
The Cincinnati Reds will definitely miss Scooter Gennett’s offense, but the argument could easily be made the team will now be better defensively. Look for Dietrich to get some opportunities at second base as well and don’t forget Kyle Farmer who’s played all over the diamond this spring.