Scooter Gennett spent a lot of time watching the Cincinnati Reds on television as his severe groin injury healed slowly over three months.

The Reds activated Gennett from the injured list Friday and had him in the lineup at second base against the Chicago Cubs. Catcher Tucker Barnhart went on the 10-day injured list with a strained right oblique.

The Reds are last in the National League Central with a .234 team batting average that's second-worst in the league. Until now, all Gennett could do was watch the struggles from afar.

"I'm not used to sitting at home watching baseball games, especially this time of year," Gennett said.

Gennett figures it could take some time to regain his timing, "but that's to be expected." He was only 4-of-26 in seven games on a rehab assignment in the minors.

In the last two seasons, Gennett had 50 homers and 189 RBI, joining Dave Parker and Deron Johnson as the only Reds with such numbers in their first two years with Cincinnati. He was an All-Star for the first time last year, when he finished second to Milwaukee's Christian Yelich for the batting title at .310.


 

Asdrubal Cabrera back

 

Texas Rangers third baseman Asdrubal Cabrera returned to the starting lineup Friday after serving a three-game suspension for hitting an umpire with equipment.

Cabrera missed a series in Detroit after Major League Baseball reduced his suspension from four games.

Cabrera initially appealed the four-game suspension and undisclosed fine that MLB handed down a week ago after umpire crew chief Bill Miller was hit on the foot by a small plastic guard or batting gloves. Cabrera had tossed the plastic guard with the gloves wrapped inside of it after his ejection in the sixth inning of a 4-2 win over Cleveland on June 20.

Also Friday, the Rangers claimed right-hander Jesse Biddle off waivers from Seattle and unconditionally released left-hander Drew Smyly after he cleared waivers.

 

Rays make moves

 

The Tampa Bay Rays added two-way prospect Brendan McKay to the taxi squad in preparation for his major-league debut in a pitching start Saturday against Texas.

McKay, taken fourth overall in the 2017 draft, was 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA in five games with Triple-A Durham. He also was a designated hitter.

McKay gives Tampa Bay the option of using four starting pitchers and an opener through a rotation turn. The Rays reinstated closer Jose Alvarado from the restricted list and recalled right-hander Casey Sadler from Triple-A Durham to help a taxed bullpen. Alvarado left the team June 2 to tend to a family issue.

Tampa Bay optioned left-hander Jalen Beeks and infielder Mike Brosseau to Durham. Minor-league catcher Nick Ciuffo was designated for assignment.