CINCINNATI, Ohio (FOX19) - Reds All-Star second baseman Scooter Gennett is back in the Reds lineup for the first time in the 2019 season.
Gennett missed the first 78 games of the season with a groin injury and will make his season debut against the division-leading Cubs at Great American Ball Park.
“I truly believe that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger," Gennett said, speaking with local media for nearly nine minutes on Friday afternoon. "I want to get out there. I want to contribute. I want to do the best I can for this team and this organization and the time has come.”
Gennett, who made his first career all-star game last season, pounded 50 home runs to go along with 189 RBI’s his first two seasons in Cincinnati. He also boasts a .303 batting average during his time with the Reds.
“He’s obviously a spark," said Reds center fielder Nick Senzel. "He’s a really good player and really good in the clubhouse. He’s like a spark plug or an energy battery in the clubhouse. We expect him to come in this lineup and do well for us.”
“I’m happy for him and us as a team," said Reds manager David Bell. "He’s a big part of this team and there’s no question he’s going to help us. He’s a big part of our offense. He’s going to play a lot. We’ll look for days that we’ll be a little careful about rushing him back, but otherwise, he’s going to be in there as much as we possibly can.”
Gennett could be eased back into the lineup on a daily basis, but told FOX19 Now and other reporters he would lobby to be in the lineup every day.
“I don’t think there’s anybody here who doesn’t want to play every day,” said Gennett. "We talked in spring training, there will be days that we get off. I’m all for helping the team. I’ve proven that I can hit lefties. This day and age, there’s a lot of people that look at paper and numbers and they don’t really understand the game. I think for the past couple years, I’ve hit over 280 or 290 against lefties. Ultimately, I want to be in there every day to help the team win.”
The Reds are 6.5 games out first place in the National League Central with nine straight home games ahead before the all-star break. They host the Cubs on Friday night at 7:10 p.m.