Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett will begin a rehab assignment at the High-A level Monday, Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Barring setbacks, Gennett will have as many as 20 days to rehab.
This has been a long-awaited development for Gennett, who hasn’t played this season as a result of a right groin strain he suffered March 22. The injury has deprived the Reds of one of the game’s most valuable second basemen in recent years. Across 1,135 plate appearances from 2017-18, Gennett hit .303/.351/.508 with 50 home runs. He ranked third at his position in wRC+ (124) and sixth in fWAR (6.7) during that period.
Even with Gennett on the shelf for two-plus months, the Reds have gotten impressive production at the keystone. Offseason minor league signing Derek Dietrich has given the team a .236/.339/.559 line (136 wRC+) with 17 homers and 1.7 fWAR through 183 PA. The lefty-swinging Dietrich has been mired in a slump over the past couple weeks, however, and is only an option against right-handed pitchers even when he’s producing.
Although Gennett’s a fellow lefty hitter, the Reds should be able to deploy him and Dietrich in the same lineup fairly often. After all, one of Dietrich’s selling points is his defensive versatility. Aside from manning second, Dierich has totaled nine appearances each at first base and in left field this year.