Alex Blandino tore his ACL last July while turning a double play against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cincinnati Reds infielder underwent surgery a few days later and was hopeful that he would be ready by the time that spring training rolled around. He wasn’t, unfortunately. The infielder joined the Triple-A Louisville Bats on June 3rd, playing for 5 innings before being replaced as scheduled. He went 1-2 that day and started at second base. The next day he went 0-3 with a walk and he scored 2 runs. That day he started at shortstop and played the entire game.

Last night, on the road in Charlotte, Alex Blandino announced his presence with authority. Batting leadoff the 26-year-old unloaded on a pitch for a 435-foot home run. The next time he came to the plate he did a little bit better. In the 3rd inning he once again crushed a long home run, this one nearly knocking over the scoreboard in left-center. It measured in at 441 feet. He would finish the game 3-4, adding a single in the 5th inning. Blandino started and played the entire game at third base, giving him 3 starts at 3 positions to begin his rehab assignment.

 

Alex Blandino, as a position player, gets to rehab for 20 days. That means on June 23rd the Reds are going to have to make a decision on what to do with him. Currently he’s on the injured list, but after that he will need to be activated. And when he is, the Reds are going to have to make a roster move. Whether that’s with Blandino, or with someone else going to Triple-A is unknown at this point.

But it’s going to likely be Alex Blandino that gets optioned. He doesn’t have the same position flexibility as the other “bench” guys do. Jose Peraza can play the same spots on the infield, and while we haven’t seen it in action yet, he’s probably the back up center fielder, too. And he’s been getting some starts in left when a lefty is on the mound. Kyle Farmer is the 3rd catcher and can also play the same spots Blandino plays. Having him allows the team to use either catcher during a game without worry. The short bench is coming into play here, but it just seems like Blandino will be the odd man out when it’s time.

 

37 Responses

  1. AJ

    I’m not sure if Blandino got stronger during the rehab process but that’s impressive power that I’ve never seen from him before. I think you’re right though Doug, unless Blandino makes a habit of this I think he’s destined for AAA this year.

  2. Wes

    Mlb needs to add 6 new franchises like tmrw. The talent level from teams 20th to 40th best player is minuscule for most teams so a lot of quality players whom teams invest millions into like a blandino never get a chance to earn a long term spot in Majors. Sucks for the players !

    And this is number one reason above average free agents don’t get huge deals anymore.

    Mlb could put a much better product out there but instead they settle

    • RojoBenjy

      Do you think the pitching talent pool would hold up also?

      Which cities could support a franchise?

      Not being snarky. I think it’s a good discussion.

      • wes

        Pitching will hold- it’s been up for a long long time anyway. Batting averages have been down league wide for a while so less quality pitching would probably be good for baseball (maybe not lengths of games)

        In this order:
        Vegas
        Mexico City
        Montreal
        Portland

        Next group in no order
        Monterrey Mexico
        Guadalajara Mexico
        San Juan
        Vancouver
        London
        There’s also room in CA and TX to expand

      • MK

        Wes where has the pitching been up. If each new team has 13 pitchers that is 78 additional big league pitchers. That is approximately 2 1/2 pitchers from the current franchises. There would be a need about 90 additional to fill out the 6 teams minor league systems,an additional 560 pitchers . It would certainly water down the finished product. If there are home run records being set by using the big league ball to AAA hitters can you imagine what big league hitters would do when those AAA pitchers suddenly become big leaguers versus big league hitters.

      • Wes

        Batting averages have been down for some time now. I think it’s 30 points in past past 20 years or 20 in past 30. There would also be that many new hitters to offset the added pitchers.

        Every year in free agency the pitching goes for pennies on the dollar. That’s the best gauge. Gio Gonzales has a plus war and did last year as well and a great career and can’t even get a guaranteed contract at 32.

    • Ryan

      Gio will be fine. He’s still making more this year than most Americans will make in their entire lives.

    • Oldtimer

      There have never been more than two franchises added at a time. Six would require cities with populations willing to spend $$$ on tickets (etc). Six of those are not there.

      Millennials and younger prefer soccer.

  3. AP

    Injuries will play a part in this, mark my word. What happens when Scotter is ready to go? Depth is a good problem as long as you pick the right guys.

  4. Krozley

    I think Blandino is a better option than VanMeter. They will probably both be back in Louisville once Scooter is ready.

    • asinghoff

      This is a good thing. Finally can tap into it instead of tapping into the washed up Cardinal pool for bench depth.

    • Ryan

      I too think Blandino will be a better option than VanMeter. Josh has made himself a lot of money the past few months. Thats big for a guy that didn’t get a huge bonus and is on the record saying minor league pay has made life harder. 2 more weeks in the show and then AAA(with 40 man pay) is probably best for him.

      Blandino and Farmer need to be on the roster. Winker, Puig, and Dieterich have no business facing lefty starters.

  5. SultanofSwaff

    Blandino> vanMeter and Peraza. Like Ervin (another 1st rounder), I think Alex has also matured and found himself and that the Reds will be the beneficiary of these two reaching their prime if they’re smart and recognize what they have before looking for alternatives on the free agent market.

    • Tom

      I don’t know who is better at this point. All 3 will struggle to own a starting job the next few years. It will be hard, especially when proven players like Gennett, Iglesias and Dietrich will seemingly always be around near the start of each year. Maybe the Reds will have better luck at trading from veteran depth this year. Still a gamble to call on Peraza, Van Meter, Blandino, Ervin, O’Grady, Aquino, etc. They’ve all tended to flop in limited starting roles. Calling up a 25-27 year old grizzled and hungry prospect from AAA isn’t always a bad thing, especially ones with a good deal of pedigree, so this story will have time to develop into next year.

  6. Jim Delaney

    Disagree regarding the current MLB talent level needing additional teams. I think attrition is needed, there should be at most 28 teams. There are some teams putting out lineups that are filled with backup utility players or 4-A minor leaguers… the pitching side is even worse.. Less teams would strengthen all teams and push for competitiveness and will either eliminate the TANK or make it where teams can be penalized severely for doing so… current major league product with many organizations is complete GARBAGE!!!

  7. Cguy

    Alex Wood was slated for a bullpen session the week of June 3rd. Has anybody heard if that session occurred?

    • Chris r

      Just heard on broadcast that wood is doing bull pen in philly tomo.. see how he responds day after them go from there.. getting close

    • William Kubas

      The voice on the 790 KRD broadcast on Bats’ Game 61, said both Wood and Gennett are heading Arizona next week.

  8. Simon Cowell

    Doug’s right. I feel bad for Alex. Unless he hits 10 Homer’s a week he is probably destined to spend the year in AAA

  9. Jon Ryker

    These juiced balls are an affront to the game, and attendance continues to dwindle….the people running this game have no understanding of it.

    • RojoBenjy

      Do you mean because there is so much swing for the fences and not enough strategy of get em on, over, and in?

      • Jon Ryker

        Yes. It also encourages strikeouts…which leads people to believe that nothing short of obp and power matters. This is utterly wrong-headed, but it only shows up against good teams…….it also leads to a mind-numbingly boring style of play…..which is why attendance is down.

      • Doug Gray

        Maybe attendance is down because half of the teams aren’t trying to win? Maybe it’s down because the powers that be try to suppress players having fun on the field?

      • Simon Cowell

        Doug is right! Attendance is down because owners are suppressing freedom of expression! It has nothing to do with feast or famon hitter mindset!

        Attendance is clearly down due to a lack of desire to win.

      • Oldtimer

        Attendance is down because #1 prices are up, and #2 Millennials and younger prefer soccer.

        Baseball (sadly) is a dying sport. I am lucky enough to have seen the Reds best years (1956 to 1981, best record in NL over 25 years).

      • Tampa Red

        Lol attendance isn’t down because of “powers that be” are suppressing fun. That’s an absolutely comical take.

  10. Rich Thompson

    I was at that game in Charlotte last night. Blandino was locked in all night long. The shot that hit the scoreboard in left field would have easily gone another 50 feet.

    • William Kubas

      The voice of the 790 KRD broadcast commented on the downtown aspect of BB & T Field in Charlotte. I drew from his comments that it is a very nice ball park.

  11. RedFuture

    Don’t forget that Blandino has a very mean knuckle ball. Perhaps Reds can deal with one less bullpen arm with him on the roster.

    • RojoBenjy

      I had forgotten this.

      Another two-way player! Lol

  12. Martino Amello

    For a very long time I had hoped ML baseball would expand internationally to all parts of the globe, but it just never happened. I used to hope to see teams in Asia, Europe, maybe SA and/or Australia. What I didn’t realize all these years is there just wasn’t the same interest in baseball as other endeavors. Whether it was horrible marketing by MLB or something else I don’t know. Maybe it’s just the simple things like travel times. What team would want to travel from Tokyo one series only to play in London or Hamburg the next?
    I know! Supersonic jets or even sub orbital planes JUST for MLB.. Never gonna happen, but my old 9 year old brain can still dream.. lol