Reds manager Bryan Price says the team would like to get at least 60 innings pitched from flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman during the season, reports C. Trent Rosecrans. Chapman reached 71 2/3 in 2012 and 63 2/3 in 2013, so it’s not an unreasonable expectation.
Ex-manager Dusty Baker was not a fan of using Chapman for multi-inning appearances, despite recurring talk of moving the lefty into the rotation. Chapman lasted longer than an inning in only two of his 68 relief stints last season. Baker was also loath to use Chapman in non-save situations, like in a tie game on the road late in the ballgame. Perhaps Price, hired back in October to replace Baker, has plans of using Chapman more dynamically.
The Reds have sent second baseman Scooter Gennett in for an MRI exam after he was forced to make an early departure from Friday’s 6-4 loss to the Brewers. The exact nature of the injury has yet to be reported, but starting pitcher Robert Stephenson said Gennett may have hurt himself after he “rolled weird” while trying to rein in a ground ball. He appeared to be grabbing at his right thigh/groin area immediately afterward and was helped off the field.
Following the incident, the 28-year-old was swiftly replaced by veteran infielder Carlos Rivero, who went hitless as he finished out the game. Though Gennett went 0-for-1 in his lone at-bat on Friday, he’s been tearing through the Cactus League competition this spring with a .351/.405/.486 batting line in 42 plate appearances so far.
The extent of Gennett’s injuries have not been disclosed — and may still be unknown to the team as well — but any significant setback would undoubtedly throw a wrench in the Reds’ plans this season, as he was the presumed starter at the keystone after turning in his first All-Star worthy performance in 2018. Although they have a promising alternative in top infield/outfield prospect Nick Senzel, the 23-year-old has not seen any time at second base this year and was recently reassigned to Triple-A Louisville to start the 2019 season.