The Cincinnati Reds have been missing two key players all season that they planned on having. Second baseman Scooter Gennett injured his groin near the end of spring training and has not played since March. Alex Wood, the left-handed starting pitcher acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in December was injured much earlier in the spring. His back issues popped back up several times as he attempted to work his way back. This week there was some good news on the status of both.
Scooter Gennett, who has been traveling with the team and taking ground balls and some light batting practice before games, will head to Goodyear this week to start getting some in-game action. What’s important here, is that this doesn’t begin his rehab clock, which would be 20 days. In a very short period of time between the weekend after the draft (which was this week) and the start of short-season rookie leagues beginning (Friday kicks off the Billings Mustangs season), the Reds will have the newly drafted and signed played join the players who have been in Goodyear for extended spring training as they get ready to join one of three rookie teams. That time spent in Goodyear may be short lived, with Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reporting that it may only last 3 days. After that he would officially go on a rehab assignment.
Where Scooter Gennett begins his rehab assignment hasn’t been stated yet. Given the schedules of the teams, though, it would appear that Louisville is the most likely bet. Both Dayton and Chattanooga have their All-Star breaks after next weekend. The Reds haven’t sent guys to Daytona on rehab too frequently.
Alex Wood is also getting closer
On the Reds pre-game show it was announced that left-handed pitcher Alex Wood was feeling great and that he will throw a bullpen session Saturday. This won’t be the first time that he’s thrown as he’s tried coming back from the back issues that kept him out most of spring training. He had to be shut down completely after throwing earlier this year because his back didn’t recover as they had hoped the following day.
Alex Blandino goes deep twice for Louisville
While Alex Wood and Scooter Gennett are awaiting their chance to go on their rehab assignments, infielder Alex Blandino began his rehab assignment earlier this week. The 26-year-old has reached base in all four games he’s played in. Defensively he’s started two games at second base, one a shortstop, and one at third base. On Thursday night the infielder hit two home runs – both of them over 425 feet.
Position players get 20 days of rehab. For Alex Blandino that means he will be able to play through June 22nd before Cincinnati will have to activate him. He has two options remaining, so it’s possible that when he rehab assignment is over that he’s activated and optioned to the minor leagues. With the Reds using a short bench, this is a likely possibility as he has less position flexibility than guys like Jose Peraza, Kyle Farmer, and Josh VanMeter (who may not be around much longer, either, as Scooter Gennett is going to need a spot on the roster soon, too).