This probably isn’t a big surprise, but John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote earlier today that we shouldn’t be expecting to see Nick Senzel soon in a Reds uniform. Senzel, who is back and playing well in Louisville after a bout of vertigo put him on the disabled list for nearly all of May, has been spending most of his time at second base with the Bats. Twice a week or so, he will also slide over and play third base.
The Cincinnati Reds have pretty good options at the Major League level right now at both of those spots. Scooter Gennett is leading the league with a .340 average, and he’s slugging .556 on the season with 28 extra-base hits while playing second base. Over at third base there is Eugenio Suarez. He too is having a strong offensive season. Suarez is hitting .301/.386/.568 with a league best 48 RBI.
So, is there a position change coming? Not for Nick Senzel, according to Reds new General Manager Nick Krall.
There was some talk in the offseason about Senzel getting some reps in the outfield. That hasn’t happened and probably won’t in the near future.
“There hasn’t been a whole lot of discussion about that,” Krall said. “We want him to get everyday at-bats. He’s still coming back from vertigo. Learning second base was enough of a challenge for him.”
This was brought up in the comments yesterday, so I will just add it here as it’s topical. I do not want to see Nick Senzel in the outfield. Ever. There are two reasons for that. First, he’s athletic enough to play on the dirt, so you should keep him there for value reasons. He’s a strong defender there, and moving him to the outfield diminishes that value. But second, and perhaps far more important as it relates specifically to Nick Senzel: I don’t want him running into walls. He’s battled two different bouts with vertigo in the last year.
One thing that can trigger it is certain head movements, and “jarring” head movements. I’m not a doctor, and it’s been a while since I’ve stayed at a Holiday Inn Express, but those types of things seem more likely to be triggered in the outfield than the infield. While there is an occasional play at second base where a fielder is upended, it’s rare these days. Outfielders run into walls quite a bit more often. I’d rather not see Nick Senzel hitting walls. I’ll take my chances at second base. Your mileage may vary.
Waiting for Jonathan India
Last night the Florida Gators advanced to the College World Series. That means that Cincinnati Reds 1st round selection, and the #5 overall pick Jonathan India is going to have to wait a little longer to begin his professional career. The same goes for 14th round selection Michael Byrne, also a Gator. It’s possible that the two players, if Florida goes to the championship series, wouldn’t be finished playing until June 27th.
In the regional finals against Auburn last night, both Reds selections had a big impact. Jonathan India homered and drew three walks in the 3-2 extra-innings win. It was his 20th of the year. He also now has 56 walks with 53 strikeouts in 64 games. Michael Byrne entered the game in the 8th inning. It was tied up at 2-2 and he came through with 4.0 shutout innings, walking one batter and striking out five. He threw just 49 pitches as he carved through the Auburn lineup, picking up the win.
Dilson Herrera is on fire for the Louisville Bats
When the Reds designated Dilson Herrera for assignment during the spring, I noted that for the long-term of his career, it could be a good thing. The reasoning was that he could get daily playing time and show what he can do at the plate in the minors instead of likely sitting on the bench most of the time in Cincinnati and being a pinch hitter. Time will tell if that thought process will have made sense or not. But, right now, playing every day is certainly working for Herrera and he’s hitting very well for the Louisville Bats.
Over the last three weeks, Dilson Herrera has been beating up on Triple-A pitching to the tune of .333/.395/.522. Last night he hit a laser into the left field seats, just clearing the wall (video above). He had a bit of a hiccup when he first got to Louisville, posting a .685 OPS in his first 11 games. Since then he’s been on a roll. For the season, between his two stops in Daytona and with the Bats, he’s sitting at .302/.365/.448. The power is starting to show up more in Louisville, too.
With the the guys mentioned above in this article, there’s still some big questions as to whether or not Dilson Herrera fits into the Reds future plans. He, like Senzel, has only played at second base and third base this season. But, if he continues to hit like he has essentially always hit when healthy, if the Reds can’t find a place for him, someone else will.