After a scare on Saturday evening in Toledo where Nick Senzel left the game after diving for a ball and hurting his shoulder, the Cincinnati Reds top prospect returned to the Louisville Bats lineup on Monday evening. And boy, did he ever return. In his first plate appearance of the game he clobbered a ball to center field off of the wall and raced around the bases for an inside-the-park-home-run. He would draw two walks later in the game, and steal a base. In the field he also made what has to be his best defensive play of the year so far. He ranged behind the bag at second and made a jump-throw to first to beat the runner. You can see it, and the home run, in the video below.

 

Nick Senzel is one of those guys who goes all out. On easy ground outs he’s the guy giving it 100% down the line. His inside-the-park-home-run went down, unofficially, in 14.54 seconds. The official tater-trot tracker didn’t last but for a few seasons, but that time would rank quite well for ones that they were tracked.

While there are probably a few defensive plays that I have missed this season for Nick Senzel, I have seen most of them. This one, if anyone had an doubt as to whether he had the range to play second base, should clear up any notion about if he can handle the position. Athleticism. Arm strength. He showed both on that play.

Zack Weiss & Phillip Ervin to the Louisville Disabled List

On Sunday afternoon Zack Weiss left his relief appearance in the middle of an at-bat after throwing a pitch. It was clear immediately that he knew he had injured himself. What wasn’t clear is what he had injured. With a pitcher you always worry about the elbow or shoulder. Fortunately it turns out that it was not either of those. Unfortunately it was his oblique that he strained, and we know that those can take a while to recover from.

Phillip Ervin was also placed on the disabled list on Monday before the game. He injured his thumb in the only game he played with the Bats after being sent back from Cincinnati. He’s not expected to miss much time, though, according to Jason Linden.

28 Responses

  1. Shawn

    You have to wonder why the Reds don’t think he can play SS

    • CP

      Agreed. I still think this is the greatest value play the Reds can make with Senzel. Long is playing really well in AA and if he keeps it up will be in AAA the second half of this year. Meaning the replacement for Scooter might be ready as early as ST next year. Put Senzel at SS everyday, and starting giving Pereza reps at CF/SS/2B/3B. I think Pereza becomes the super utility guy for the next good Reds team. He has the range to play a good CF, and is showing better promise offensively right now (.288, .308, .396, .704). Trade Scooter for some value if you can by All-Star break.

      Dick Williams said you always want to let you players play themselves out of more premium defensive positions, but immediately after ST was over they seemed to have taken a step back from that position with Senzel. He could have been getting reps at SS all this time. Maybe they plan on using Senzel as the super utility guy when he comes up. That would at least explain their approach with him….

      • Shawn

        I agree with everything you said. I hope the Reds don’t plan on bringing Senzel up to play a utility role tho

  2. Simon Cowell

    If speed for range and arm strength are the two main factors for shortstop why isn’t he playing there? Good lord that boy can scoot. I am still trying to figure out why he didn’t fall down between 2nd and 3rd when he turned to look at where the ball was at. That motion defies gravity…. one leg forward at greater than 60-degree angle… his head tilted back over his shoulder and still running max speed. If he’s that good. Trade Peraza today and let him learn SS with Barry Larkin on a daily basis all while playing the position in the pros.

    • Matthew O'Neal

      I would argue because the Reds believe that Jose Peraza is gonna figure out the plate for good. He’s shown continual improvement at SS over the first month plus of the season, and if his plate vision improves, he’s good for the next few years. And Senzel can replace Scooter.

      • CP

        I agree with you O’Neal that Pereza is showing promise, but unfortunately Hamilton is not. The Reds needs to be using this year to get looks at others at CF to see who could be a capable replacement of Hamilton at CF. Just about every other position has an average to above average option playing there.

        1B- Votto
        C- Barnhart
        3B- Suarez
        SS- Pereza (meh)/ Senzel
        2B- Scooter (next year Shed Long)
        RF/LF- Duval, Schebler, Winker
        CF- ????

        CF is the next great question for the Reds to answer (I know the jury on SP’s is still out too). The time for waiting for Billy to develop has passed unfortunately. Using Senzel to replace Scooter take a decent spot and makes it great yes, but I would rather take a very below average spot and make it solid. The net difference will be greater when considering the others that can very capably fill in at 2B (Scooter, Blandino, Pereza, Long, Herrera?).

      • Shawn

        I think Peraza will be a better hitter than Billy but he has no power and don’t walk. He will never be a good offensive player. He may not suck but he won’t be good.
        Long will be up next year. If you want both bats in the lineup Senzel will have to play SS or CF or Long will have to play CF
        Peraza would be very good on the bench. Can play CF and SS and has speed

      • Shawn

        1st Votto
        2nd Long
        SS. Senzel
        3rd Suerez
        C. Barnhart
        LF Winker
        CF Siri
        RF Schebler

        I think Fairchild and Trammell are about 3 years away but this could be our lineup by the 2019. Probably pushing it on Siri since he’s been injured all year. Need a 1 year “stop gap”
        Bench next year would be Peraza, Blandino, Catcher, Herrera and Herrera

    • Big Ed

      I would put him in center field. Got the arm, got the wheels, got the baseball instinct. And it would be easier to learn than shortstop.

      • redleggingfordayz

        While I agree I think he could play a pretty solid CF, I think the bigger issue is the Reds have no internal replacements at SS prospect wise besides Downs. We have Trammell, Siri, Fairchild, Gordon, Beltre, etc in the system already and each of them looks really solid for different reasons. Senzel\Long look like the SS\2B combo of the future to me. Let us all imagine the reds in 1-2 years.

        1. Winker LF
        2. Trammell CF
        3. Votto 1B
        4. Suarez 3B
        5. Schebler RF
        6. Senzel SS
        7. Long 2B
        8. Pitcher P
        9. Barnhart C

        Bench: Blandino, Fairchild, Siri, Stephenson?

    • MK

      If speed were the main factor in range then Billy Hamilton would still be a shortstop.

  3. The Duke

    I still say put Senzel at SS in Cincinnati once we’re past the super 2 date. Even with Peraza hitting right now he isn’t hitting for much power and virtually doesn’t walk. Looking at the defensive data in 2017 and so far in 2018, Peraza is one of the lower rated defensive SS in the bigs. He has the raw tools to improve there still and is still young, but I don’t know if the walk rate ever comes around and that tends to nuke his offensive value.

  4. Brent

    It feels like we are destined to wait till the Super 2 date has passed to call Senzel up. Do we have a firm date on when they are passed Super 2 status?

    • Colorado Red

      They date is set after the season, based on who an when they are called up.
      I think early June would be late enough.

  5. A.B.

    Has anyone seen an update on Jose Siri lately? Looking forward to seeing him (hopefully) progress again. Billy has what, one more year on his contract? Would be nice timing if one of Siri and / or Trammel is ready.

    • RedsinWashSt

      Just asked that question on the last thread maybe Doug can find something out.

    • Doug Gray

      I had an update last week on him. He’s doing cage work, but not ready for games yet.

  6. terry m

    Senzel is VERY athletic and looked great on that defensive play. Like him at 2nd.base. I would not worry about Long. Lets hope he keeps playing great baseball and who knows he could become a piece in a trade that would benefit the Reds.

    Somebody suggested Pereza moving to CF. Not the worst idea I have heard.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Moving Peraza to CF doesn’t fix his bat. Even after his little hot streak his OPB only topped out at .320. Slugging over .400 with his approach will be a huge challenge. That puts his OPS around .700, good for only middle of the pack for ML shortstops. I think we can do better, and Senzel has every defensive tool that Peraza has plus an elite bat. Nick has to play SS in my opinion.

      • terry m

        He does need to walk a Lot more than his current rate that is for sure. I think last night they said he was in the top five in hits. Think this has become somewhat of a throw away season. Lets find out what he can do. I worry a little that Senzel playing ss might take away from his bat.

        Anyhow perfect season to find out who can do what…

      • RedsinWashSt

        I love the idea of letting Senzel play shortstop. He seems to have the range, the arm and a good attitude for getting better. The bat also maximizes the position.

      • David

        I hate to be snarky (ok, maybe not) but let’s start with a list of people who don’t think SS would be a good SS. His college coaches didn’t think he would be good at SS or they would have gotten him a lot more games than the 3 or 4 at the end of his senior season. I didn’t see any of the draft “experts” view him as a SS. And the Reds coaches aren’t convinced he can play SS or he would have gotten more playing time at SS. Could he possible play a decent SS? My guess is maybe but I would expect him to bulk up a little over the years to have more power which doesn’t bode well long term. Would you be willing to put him into SS for 2 or 3 years knowing he has to move to 2nd or 3rd? Wouldn’t you want to find out if your current SS can make it and then you have you whole infield slotted out for the next 5 years? Just a thought.

      • Mike in Ottawa

        you are kidding right? Peraza is night and day better at the plate than Billy right now…..296/.320/.400/.720 for Peraza and .187/.288/.264/.400 for Billy. I always liked Billy but they should have quit the switch hitting experiment a year ago….

  7. Michael B. Green

    With Suarez, Peraza, Senzel and Long, we are set at 3B, SS and 2B. PT will get determined by health and productivity.

    We’ll need to start thinking about a backup C around Aug/Sep.

    Trammell is looking like the next CF. We’ll need to decide how we bridge the gap until he is ready.

    LF is likely Winker’s spot – which means we may have to figure out what we are doing with Duvall and Hamilton. They’ll need to increase their production as it stands though.

  8. Hanawi

    Think the Reds should trade from a position of strength and try to flip Senzel for Robles. Blandino and Scooter can cover 2nd for now and then Long (and maybe Herrera) are coming soon. Reds CF prospects are farther away, and they can always be switched to the corners.

    • jonathan

      Taylor Trammell isn’t too far off from being ready and can play CF. Maybe even ready for 2019 after the super 2 date.

    • Shawn

      If I were to trade him it would be for a SS