Cincinnati Reds: Scooter Gennett’s imminent return will spark the offense

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: Scooter Gennett #3 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a tripple in the 7th inning against the Kansas City Royals at Great American Ball Park on September 25, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: Scooter Gennett #3 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a tripple in the 7th inning against the Kansas City Royals at Great American Ball Park on September 25, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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The injured list is not where Scooter Gennett wanted to start his 2019 season. But, his return could be just the spark the Cincinnati Reds offense needs.

After a groin strain at the tail end of Spring Training, Scooter Gennett has missed the first two months of the 2019 season. However, reports on his rehab have indicated that Gennett will be rejoining the team very soon. Will Scooter be the spark that the Cincinnati Reds need to set off what should be an explosive offense?

There was a big jolt to the Reds’ offense following the call-up of rookie Nick Senzel. The Reds have been racking up more hits and scoring more runs since Senzel made his debut nearly a month ago. In 2018, Gennett had 181 hits, 23 home runs, 30 doubles, 3 triples, and 92 RBIs. Those numbers cannot go unnoticed and are certainly missed.

Last April, Scooter Gennett was slashing .267/.319/.381 with 28 hits and 2 home runs. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but only Curt Casali and José Iglesias had better than a .267 batting average last month.

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Gennett put up career numbers in May of last season. Scooter was slashing .398/.418/.720 with 37 hits, 8 home runs, and 24 RBIs. After a seemingly endless drought with a team batting average of .219 to end the month of April, the bats are finally heating up, but the team average is still only .253 so far this month.

There are some questions about where exactly Scooter Gennett will play when he returns since both Derek Dietrich and Jose Iglesias have proven to be useful in the middle infield. Kyle Farmer, who’s also seen some time at second base, has been a solid clutch hitter this season as well.

In order to call up Nick Senzel, Scooter was moved off the Cincinnati Reds’ 40-man roster. Who might be moved off of the 40-man when Gennett is ready to make his return. The Reds have several options for how to make room for Gennett on the rosters.

The Reds could designate Josh VanMeter for assignment and attempt to send him back down to Triple-A Louisville. However, that would open up VanMeter to being plucked off waivers for team needing a left-handed bat in their lineup.

Perhaps the Cincinnati Reds would move Alex Blandino to the 60-day IL and then option VanMeter, Jose Peraza, or Kyle Farmer to Triple-A in order to make room for Gennett on the 25-man.

Does Scooter get an uncontested return to his old position at second base? The short answer is yes. I’d also argue that Jose Iglesias should remain as the regular shortstop. José Peraza and Derek Dietrich  could then be super utility players since they have the most versatility. David Bell could get even more creative with the lineup.

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Regardless of what moves are made, adding Scooter Gennett back into the Cincinnati Reds’ lineup this season is still an unknown factor. But at this point, I think Scooter’s track record speaks for itself and getting him back from the injured list will provide the final spark that fully wakes up the Reds still struggling offense.