We all know, Scooter Gennett made Major League history by hitting four home runs in a game this week, while driving in 10.
The answer to what the Reds should do with Gennett is simple: play him. The how is a little more tricky.
With Jose Peraza playing very average at second base, with above average speed and youth, it is hard to sit Peraza. Especially since we were all clambering for him to get more playing time at this point last season.
It is impossible to sit shortstop Zack Cozart, who is having likely his best season as a professional. Also, with his trade value rising daily, as it is unlikely that the Reds give a large extension to an aging shortstop, regardless of sentimental feelings and how well he is playing.
However, the Reds should be playing Gennett over Peraza at the moment. Gennett is only freshly 27 years old and has already over 1,700 big league at bats. Just because the Reds got him for nothing off the waiver wire does not mean that he needs to sit.
Gennett tends to be streaky, as shown by his 0-for-19 slump prior to this surge. However, if you remove that stretch, where Gennett got those 19 at bats in a span of 10 days, he is hitting .356.
Sure that is a small sample size of consistent playing time, but we all know that you ride with what is working and don’t mess with a good thing in baseball. Gennett’s career numbers do not show a huge drop off in production either. He is a career .281 hitter, but the spike this season is the .900 OPS. He has only been over .754 once in his big league career.
Much of this improvement is the power figure, as his slugging percentage is through the roof. There are things that aid this, like a small sample size, and say a game with huge power numbers. However, Gennett is not far off his career averages outside of that, and has been solid all year as well.
As for how to handle this situation, Bryan Price needs to play Gennett as much as possible, give Peraza a platoon-type breather for a month until Cozart is traded. Peraza then slides into shortstop, where the Reds have plans for him to play anyway long-term.
The clearest aspect is that Gennett has the look of the second baseman of the future. A title that Dilson Herrera appeared to have after the Jay Bruce deal, but now he is a forgotten man due to injuries and ineffectiveness.
Simply, give everyone what they want and let Gennett keep raking.