Reds should option Alex Blandino and promote Alfredo Rodriguez

Cincinnati Reds third basemen Alfredo Rodriguez (69) looks down the line.
Cincinnati Reds third basemen Alfredo Rodriguez (69) looks down the line. /
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With Vladimir Gutierrez finally getting his taste of the major leagues today in Chicago, it’s past time for another one of Cincinnati’s languishing prospects to get his opportunity. Cincinnati Reds shortstop prospect Alfredo Rodriguez, who’s now 26-years old, deserves to prove his mettle.

On the other side of the coin, Alex Blandino, who’s been thrust into emergency duty at first base with the absence of both Joey Votto and Mike Moustakas, has shown that he may not have what it takes to compete at the highest level.

Reds SS Alfredo Rodriguez is a better option than Alex Blandino right now.

The one position Cincinnati failed to address this offseason was shortstop. The front office, after watching several players attempt to snag the starting gig during spring training, eventually went with Eugenio Suarez as their Opening Day shortstop.

Since injuries have been the name of the game lately with Mike Moustakas, and Nick Senzel all absent from the active roster, David Bell has had to adjust his lineup. Adding Alfredo Rodriguez would add even more flexibility to the Cincinnati Reds roster and add a stellar glove to a struggling infield.

Rodriguez is certainly a glove-first shortstop who can field the position with he best of them. While Jose Garcia gets a lot of hype for his glove work, Rodriguez might be a touch better. He’s also hitting, something Cuban native failed to do for so long.

Alfredo Rodriguez is currently hitting .300/.373/.400 at Triple-A Louisville. Alex Blandino, in his last seven games, is 2-for-16 with eight punch outs and no walks. Over his last 15 appearances, the former first-round pick has just four hits in 30 at-bats and has be struck out 11 times. Blandino’s calling card has long since been his ability to get on base, but he’s not doing that right now.

Alfredo Rodriguez would give the Reds defensive flexibility.

With Eugenio Suarez returning to the familiar hot corner, Kyle Farmer has been inserted as the Cincinnati Reds primary shortstop. I’ve got no problem with Farmer taking the majority of reps at his college position. The 30-year-old is Cincinnati’s best infield defender.

However, by keeping Farmer at shortstop, the Reds have been forced to use a combination of Tyler Stephenson and Alex Blandino at first base. I love seeing Stephenson taking reps at first base, but if the Reds are serious about developing the rookie as their catcher of the future, he needs to gain playing time behind the dish.

Farmer is quite capable of playing first base, and we’ve even seen Max Schrock log some innings at first base. Scott Heineman is another option, especially when the opposing team sends a left-handed pitcher to the bump.

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The Cincinnati Reds cannot afford to keep Alex Blandino on the active roster while the team is missing so many key pieces. David Bell needs as many hot bats as he can get, and right now, Blandino does have it. Alfredo Rodriguez does, however, and he’ll improve the Reds infield defense as well.