Gennett works on sliding, close to rehab stint

June 7th, 2019

PHILADELPHIA -- When it comes to his long rehabilitation from a serious right groin injury, Reds second baseman appears to be nearing the home stretch. It's conceivable he could be activated from the injured list in a couple of weeks.

After taking grounders for a couple of weeks and beginning to take batting practice last week, Gennett started running the bases this week.

"I ran for the third time now, and today was sliding," Gennett said on Friday. "I slid into first base and I don't think they watered it a whole lot. Normally people don't slide straight into first. I just scraped up my knee a little bit. I need to get those strawberries out of the way."

On the 60-day IL, Gennett was injured March 22 trying to field a ground ball during a Spring Training game vs. the Brewers.

The current plan is for Gennett to remain with the Reds for the rest of the road trip. After they return to Cincinnati on Wednesday, he will head to the team's complex in Goodyear, Ariz., for a mini-camp with Class A short-season Minor Leaguers ahead of their regular season.

"They said there's a couple of pitchers there I could face in a game and just bounce back and forth where it's more flexible with what I can do," Gennett said. "Maybe [next] Friday or Saturday, I will probably leave and go [on a rehab assignment], I don't know where."

Partially complicating the timetable is many of the Minor League teams will be on All-Star breaks. But the expectation is that Gennett would not need many games to be ready to make his 2019 season debut for Cincinnati.

"The biggest thing is when I can play back-to-back nine-inning games without feeling sore. I think that's all they're waiting for," Gennett said. "I don't think it's how much I'm hitting down there. I don't want to waste any home runs, so maybe I'll just work on my bunting."

Bruce back in the National League
After being traded from the Mariners to the Phillies on Sunday, former Red got to see some old teammates and friends as Cincinnati and Philadelphia opened a three-game series on Friday. After the team's traveling party landed in town on Thursday night, Bruce was able to visit.

"It was great. It was always good to see those guys," Bruce said from his new home clubhouse. "So many great memories of Cincinnati and just the whole Reds situation -- from the players, to the front office, to [the media] and everyone involved. It was a great, great experience. My family loved Cincinnati and we always will. I wish them the best, after they leave here."

Bruce, now 32, was 18 years old when the Reds made him the 12th overall pick in the 2005 Draft, and he made his Major League debut at age 21. In 2010, the right fielder hit an iconic walk-off homer for Cincinnati to clinch the National League Central division.

Not many teammates remain since Bruce was traded from the Reds to the Mets on Aug. 1, 2016. He played with Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, Jose Peraza and Tucker Barnhart -- among others. And Bruce's close friendship with Votto hasn't changed.

"We talk pretty much every day," Bruce said. "We have a constant text conversation going on, for sure. He's a good dude and one of the closest guys that I've encountered in baseball. We came up together, and it's been amazing to watch him be him. He's an amazing player."

Since he left Cincinnati, Bruce has been traded each year and has now played for four clubs -- the Mets (twice), plus Cleveland and Seattle.

"It's definitely been kind of a revolving door for me, and hopefully this is a spot where I can land for a little bit and settle in and stick around a while," Bruce said.

Not many streaks
After the Reds opened the '19 season 1-8, with eight consecutive losses, they have stabilized around the .500 mark since April 9. They have not been a streaky team despite being at the bottom of the NL Central. Since winning three in a row May 9-11, the Reds have not had a winning or losing streak of more than two games.

"Since 10 days into the season, we've been pretty consistent, but the thing is it's not good enough either," Reds manager David Bell said. "That's just maximizing who we are every day and hopefully that will lead to a winning streak. We believe it probably will. We can't look ahead, you can't look past that. If we do that, that's when good things happen. That's when you get on a roll when you take care of doing everything you can today."

Bell takes a look at the division standings each day. The Reds entered Friday six games out of first place.

"I've done that my whole life. It's the one stat that means everything," Bell said. "You have all these other stats and information, but it's the standings. To win and win the World Series, you have to do well in the standings."