Home > Uncategorized > What does Scooter Gennett’s demotion mean for future?

What does Scooter Gennett’s demotion mean for future?

May 20, 2015

This could have been the year of Scooter.

After splitting time with Rickie Weeks last year, Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett was given the chance to take over the full-time job. With a solid season, Gennett could have established himself as the team’s second baseman of the future, or at least the next few years. Instead, he’s squandered that opportunity through the first quarter of the season.

Gennett has batted just .154/.203/.200 over 21 games with 10 singles, one home run and three RBIs. He also walked twice — both intentional passes on April 17 as the Pirates pitched around him to face the pitcher — and was hit by a pitch, while striking out 19 times. Nineteen strikeouts in 69 plate appearances put his strikeout rate at 27.5 percent, or higher than his on-base percentage. Missing two weeks with a freak hand injury didn’t do him any favors, either.

So now the fan-favorite second baseman has been sent to Class AAA to figure things out. How long will that take?

When the Brewers made a similar move with Weeks in 2007, he batted .455/.571/.682 over six games before returning. Weeks went from a .212/.330/.363 slash line through July 31 to a .273/.442/.553 mark over his final 43 games of the season. Whether Gennett’s demotion has a similar impact remains to be seen, but the bigger question is whether it even matters.

Gennett entered the season as a career .300 hitter, but offered little more beyond his solid batting average. He can’t hit left-handed pitching — .112/.141/.124 career slash line in 89 at-bats — and appears to be best suited for a platoon role going forward. His defense, while adequate, is not good enough to make up for any offensive shortcomings.

It’s possible Gennett could return in June or even by the end of the month and look more like the hitter he was in 2013 and ’14. It’s also possible this demotion is the beginning of the end for Gennett as the Brewers’ everyday second baseman.

While second base is not a strong position in Milwaukee’s farm system, the club has a number of well-regarded shortstop prospects, with Orlando Arcia, Luis Sardinas and Yadiel Rivera being the closest to major-league ready. If one of them is given a chance to play every day this year or next, it could force Jean Segura over to second base and leave Gennett as the odd man out. Sardinas, who was acquired in the Yovani Gallardo trade with the Texas Rangers, joined the big league club when Segura went out with an injury and has an excellent opportunity to showcase his ability in Segura’s absence.

Meanwhile, Hector Gomez and Elian Herrera will get a chance to show what they can do at second base.

If he sorts things out in Colorado Springs, the second base job remains Gennett’s to lose. But he might do just that if it doesn’t translate to major-league success upon his return.

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