Nick Senzel entered spring training looking to win a job with the Cincinnati Reds. Without getting into the debate about why or why he didn’t make the big league squad, the team sent him back to minor league camp with a few days left in spring training. A few days later while playing in a game on the backfields in minor league camp, Senzel slid into second base and injured his ankle as a spike got caught in the ground.

That would put the Reds top prospect in a walking boot for over a week before he’d start back with some baseball activities. This past week he began to play in games in Goodyear during extended spring training. He worked his way up to playing back-to-back days and is now heading to join the Louisville Bats in Triple-A. He’s expected to play on Tuesday, which was originally reported by C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic.

When he takes the field next, it will be the first official game that he’s play in since June 22nd of 2018. That was the day in which he injured his finger for the Louisville Bats on a relay throw while playing second base. He had been swinging a bat that was seemingly made of magic at the time – Senzel was hitting .440 over the previous 11 games with eight extra-base hits. Unfortunately the finger injury required surgery and cost him the remainder of the season.

Following the season Senzel spent time working on learning to play in the outfield. He remained in Goodyear at the Reds facility all offseason, first rehabbing from surgery to have his elbow cleaned up from bone spurs, then for several months prior to the start of spring training working on a new position. During the spring he hit .308/.300/.462 in 12 games while playing center field. Speaking with scouts and other baseball personnel while I was in Arizona the reports on his defense were good, with everyone I spoke with noting he was the Reds best defensive center fielder among the five players that were being considered as outfielders (Puig/Schebler/Winker/Kemp).

The Reds noted before the ankle injury that in Triple-A that Nick Senzel would play center field for the Louisville Bats. That’s still the case. In the Major Leagues this year the Reds have used Scott Schebler on most days, but have also given Jesse Winker a few starts in center. Michael Lorenzen has also spent a few innings per week coming in and playing center late in games.

22 Responses

  1. gregmlb

    What’s the Roster move Reds will make when he’s ready to be added to the 25 man roster?

    • Doug Gray

      Go to a 7-man bullpen. Send Schebler down, fair or unfair. 40-man would be probably just 60-day Scooter Gennett and worry about that move when he’s ready.

      • jbonireland

        Doug I guess my out of the box thinking would be either to send Kyle Farmer to Louisville or more practically (but not monetarily) to DFA Matt Kemp. As a lesser evil and going with a 7 man bullpen DFA Zack Duke. Less money then Kemp’s

      • Doug Gray

        If they send Farmer down that essentially means they can’t use Casali/Barnhart as a pinch hitter. I’d be surprised if they made that move.

      • Wes

        What’s that Doug ? Predicting the for Schebler ?? Even if they do another one of those moves Phil Ervin has done more to earn Scheblers spot than he has done to retain it. Time to move on.

  2. ohiojimw

    When Senzel is brought up, unless there is an injury which clears a spot, it will be a telling moment for the Reds.

    I agree with Doug the move should be to option Schebler. He has been an approximate league average bridge player; but Senzel is the future hope for more. Same for Winker.

    If they take the easy way out by optioning Farmer, I’ll be disappointed.

  3. Choo Choo Coleman

    Farmer has earned a very important slot! Versatility.

  4. MK

    Blandino to 60-day DL for Senzel’s 40-man spot. Would like to see them give Jose Iglesias a one or two year extension. This would allow Trahan to be DFAed opening a spot and Alf Rod promoted(or Luis Gonzalez)

  5. Simon Cowell

    The insistence that Senzel plays at the majors is disturbing. He has 0 MLB experience. He is learning a new position. Until the Reds make transaction moves via trade or release Nick should have patience (like the rest of us) and improve on his health and his craft at AAA.

    • DrBagel

      What does he have to do to prove he is ready besides being healthy? He crushed AAA last year.

      • Doc

        He had a very hot stretch in AAA. What did he do the rest of the season before the hot stretch considering that his average for the year was considerably less than it was during the hot stretch, and what makes someone think that the hot stretch (1) carries to MLB, or (2) would have carried much further in the AAA season. .310 in ST with OBP .300 doesn’t seem all that great.

        He’ll get his MLB experience when the time is right, not just because he doesn’t have any.

    • Doug Gray

      The best way to ensure that he keeps having 0 MLB experience is to not give him any.

    • DHud

      “Why should he play in the majors because he’s never played in the majors”

      What??

  6. Ryan

    He’s missed enough time to warrant getting a week or two in AAA to make sure he’s sharp. Also gives him more reps in CF, which can only help. I think hindsight is 20/20 that he should of broke ST with the club but we cant go back. Get him in top form and watch out NL. I probably send down Peraza, as much as I think he got shafted having SS ripped out from under him, to get him going and maybe get some confidence back. Senzel can play 2nd with , Kemp(Irvin eventually) Winker, Puig in OF against LHP.

    • Ryan

      To clarify. When i say Peraza got shafted, what i mean is that Iglesies should of been the one to move over to 2nd base to platoon with Dietrich. I know Iglesies is better at D, but he’s probably a world class 2nd baseman too. Last year was the first year they let Peraza play SS everyday and I think he did a pretty darn good job, especially given his age.

    • Doug Gray

      Yeah – no. We aren’t having wild theories like that.

    • Andy Jennings

      I don’t think they will move him that fast. I think when they finally
      return home May 3rd vs the Giants would be my guess.