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.