Over the next 10 days we will be looking at possible September additions to the 40-man roster of players who could perhaps help the Cincinnati Reds. Kicking off the series, we will be looking at infielder Alex Blandino. The former 1st round pick (2014 – 29th overall) has split his time in 2017 with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and the Louisville Bats.

In April the season got out to a tough start for Alex Blandino in Pensacola. It seemed like more of the same – as he had struggled there to end 2015 and all of 2016. He hit .182/.357/.236 on the month. The plate approach seemed right, he walked as many times as he struck out, but he simply wasn’t hitting. Everything changed when the calendar flipped over to May.

In the next 44 games, from May 1st through June 18th the hits started coming and the quality of those hits was strong. Alex Blandino would hit .289/.382/.549 over 165 plate appearances in that span and be promoted to Triple-A Louisville.

While things have slowed down a little bit, he’s still hitting very well for the Bats. In the 47 games since being promoted Alex Blandino is hitting .278/.399/.465 in Triple-A with 24 walks and 29 strikeouts. He’s hit a career high 11 home runs and a career high 32 doubles on the season.

After a disappointing 2016 season, one that was plagued with injuries, Alex Blandino has turned his outlook around. His walk rate is up, his strikeout rate is down and he’s showing more power than he’s ever shown before. In order to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft he will need to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason. It’s hard to see where he won’t be protected, so it could make some sense to call him up in September to get his feet wet and see what he can do as a possible utility guy for now. Defensively, at least from a utility role, he can cover you at shortstop, second base and third base. He’s probably not a guy you want at shortstop every day, but as a fill in every so often, he can cover you there.

The current 40-man roster only has 39 players on it. That roster spot is very likely to be taken by a catcher at the end of August when it seems both Tucker Barnhart and Stuart Turner will be on paternity leave at the same time as they are both due to become fathers – leaving the team without a catcher for a few days. With that said, the team could create a roster spot if they so chose in several different ways. If Scott Feldman’s knee isn’t exactly right, they could slide him from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day list to open a spot that way. They could also open a spot by designating someone for assignment that’s on the current 40-man roster.

 

14 Responses

  1. Pat

    Wondering how many call ups will happen…Blandino deserves a look/experience especially with future unknowns on Cozart and questions on Peraza. Will Garrett, Davis, Reed or any other pitchers get another look?

  2. Brad

    Along with move to trade Broxton for Astin and Shackelford, the move to not re-sign Shin Soo Choo and use the Comp Pick on Alex Blandino has been a very underrated move. Even if Blandino is a utility/bench player, move has a ton of value along with cost savings.

  3. Clammy

    A real bad break for Turner with his and Barnhardt’s wife on the same schedule. Poor guy hardly plays and this would have been a great opportunity for him to play three games in a row.

  4. Bill

    He’s definitely earned a 40-man roster spot for the Rule 5 draft. The only reason not to add him would be if the Reds see Blandino as a front-runner to start at 2B next year. If you believe he’s a long term starter, perhaps you hold off to delay service time. I think it’s too early to make that assumption and expect him to get called up in September.

  5. The Duke

    The promising part about Former Stanford Cardinal Alex Blandino showing more power this year is that he has done it in two pitcher friendly parks. If he does get into a scenario where he gets every day playing time, I wouldn’t think it out of the realm of possibility that he provides somewhat similar offense as Gennett with better defense. Probably not like this career year for Gennett, but Gennett’s career averages or a tick above his career averages before this year.

  6. Ryan

    Doug, where do you think Blandino and Herrera are ranked on the depth chart for the Reds? Does Herrera get more of a chance first since he will be out of options next season? Where will the Reds play all these middle infielders?

  7. Herzog

    Even though I highly doubt it happening; if the future of the Reds middle IF looked brightest with Blandino and Scooter, would you be fine having one of them as the daily SS? Or do you move Suarez back to SS? And that’s not even accounting for Senzel taking over third soon. That said, with Peraza definitely taking a step forward in the second half, I still believe in him as the future at one of the spots.

  8. MK

    Scooter is an average defensive 2nd baseman at best and has appeared in nine games at short. Just from an eye test I have never thought Blandino had the range to be a shortstop, was not even the Stanford Cardinal shortstop. Suarez probably still has the ability to play average defense there, which he showed as a young man in Detroit but he would probably need to reduce some body mass. Peraza is just far ahead defensively of your other candidates.

  9. MikeinSoCal

    The Reds spent all that money on AlfRod knowing that he was all glove and little bat. The glove is already there and the hitting is not going to come out of no where, so what are we waiting for? Factoring AlfRod into the equation would put Senzel at 3B, AlfRod at SS, and Suarez makes another switch and goes to 2b. Ginnnett is the super sub. Unless of course the Reds made a very huge mistake signing AlfRod. If the argument is that AlfRod is not ready, in what way is he not ready?

    • Doug Gray

      In the way that they probably think he can continue to develop his bat a little bit more.

  10. Bill

    Doug, you wrote an excellent analysis showing how good Adelman is his first time through a lineup. Did we get a glimpse of his potential in the bullpen last night in Atlanta?