Nick Senzel homers twice; Josiah Gray shines in debut Doug Gray June 22, 2018 60 Comments Nick Senzel homered twice for the Triple-A Louisville Bats on Thursday night. His first home run was a shot to dead center field on a fastball. His second home run came on a hanging breaking ball that he crushed into left-center. Senzel finished the game 2-4 with three runs batted in. Dating back to May 31st, a span of 19 games played, he’s hitting .380/.432/.608 with 12 extra-base hits. http://redsminorleagues.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Nick-Senzel-2-home-runs.mp4 While carrying an OPS over 1.000 in that stretch is impressive in it’s own right, that’s not the most impressive thing. Among those 19 games, Nick Senzel has reached base at least twice in 14 of those games. The Cincinnati Reds don’t exactly have a place to play Nick Senzel in the Major Leagues right now. Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Suarez are arguably the top performing players in all of Major League Baseball at their respective positions. As I’m sure you know if you are reading this particular website, Nick Senzel plays the positions that those two guys play and doesn’t really have experience anywhere else. It’s an unfortunate situation for Senzel, who has seemingly done everything within his power to show he’s ready for the Majors. Josiah Gray shines in his pro debut The Cincinnati Reds selected Josiah Gray in the competitive balance 2nd round of the 2018 Major League Baseball draft. The right-handed pitcher made his professional debut last night, and it barely could have gone better. Gray took the mound for the Greeneville Reds and proceeded to strike out the side on 15 pitches in the 1st inning. The next inning began with the only hiccup of the outing, and it wasn’t one made by the 20-year-old. Gray induced a ground ball, but a fielding error allowed the runner to reach base. No big deal – he would pick him off later in the inning and also record his 4th strikeout of the game. The 3rd and final inning was perfect with his 5th strikeout of the day. In total he would throw 39 pitches over his 3.0 innings of work and the only batter who reached base got on via an error. Not a bad way to begin your professional career. Debby Santana homers for the Arizona League Reds 17-year-old Debby Santana homered last night for the Arizona League Reds. It’s fairly rare that someone that young is in the United States and playing baseball. It was the first time that a 17-year-old had homered in the US for the Reds since Jake Turnbull did so back in 2015. That home run also came for the Arizona League Reds. Prior to Turnbull you have to go all the way back to 2010 when Yorman Rodriguez did so (he also homered as a 16-year-old in 2009). A few players homered in their “age 17” season in the seasons between 2009 and now, but those home runs came after the player had turned 18. Just thought that was a cool stat. 60 Responses Simon Cowell June 22, 2018 Either the Reds Trade this guy for pitching, outfield help, or give him the rest of the year learning to play the outfield in Louisville. I’m not sure what the Reds plan are with Little Nicky but they need one and it probably doesn’t involve second base. Doug Gray June 22, 2018 I honestly think their plan absolutely involves him playing second base and that their plan for Scooter Gennett doesn’t. Whether that means trading Gennett, or extending him and trying him in the outfield, I do not know. Jim t June 22, 2018 Doug right now I don’t think extending Scooter is a option. With the year he is having after his performance last year I really think he owes it to himself to finish the year and explore all his options. I understand he would like to stay here but he also has to look at his situation from the business side of the game. It’s my opinion the reds will trade him at the deadline if a deal is to their liking. Simon Cowell June 22, 2018 I hope that is not true. It is the least logical play. We have a Major league talent currently at that position. We have other minor leaguers that have talent at that position. Goodness if a prospect fails we still have Blandino to fall back to as our 4th or 5th option. We should use logic and try to cover positions that we are weak at such as Shortstop and Center Field. Not saying that Little Nicky should be our future CF or SS but… moving him to the outfield creates the opportunity for more youthful bats to play to their potential at the major league level. Wes June 22, 2018 Jim what kind of money do u see scooter getting that reds can’t afford ? Outside of a couple really bad contracts like cano most good to elite 2nd basemen don’t make much more than 10 mill a year and contracts are trending down in both years and total salery. He’s reds for the keepingw if they want him. Also he’s arbitration eligible still so he’s under contract for reds next season already. Stock June 22, 2018 Wes, That is because most 2B have less than 6 years experience. To be fair only 3 players have signed contracts that cover more years outside team control than inside. Sure, you can argue that Scott Kingery just signed a 6 year $24 million contract this year but none of those 6 seasons was he not within their contol. His three option years ($42 million) come at a discount for this lifetime security. Likewise, Dee Gordon has an option outside his control period and that is also for $14 million Altuve 7 years $163 Cano 10 years $240 Kinsler 11 yers $102 (but signed in 2008 when salaries were not what they were today) Gennett is better than Gordon and Kingery so you can bet it will cost more than $14 million a year to buy out his FA years. wes June 22, 2018 Stock, If a team is willing to pay Scooter 17 million a season then that team will be willing to part with their best prospect to obtain him and save 10+ mil over next season and a 1/2. We all thought Cozart was going to get more than 13 million a season and possibly a longer contract, but he signed right away showing the market was bleak and he was correct to do so. Phili’s gave Kingsley a contract expecting him to become one of the most elite players in the league; Altuve already is. Scooter will never be and GMs know that. If not, Scooter would be getting a lot more attention than he is. Seattle didn’t even inquire about him! That says a ton. He will be lucky to get 12 mil. He would sign 4/40 with reds and I am almost certain of it. Better to be rich and happy than richer and miserable. Doug Gray June 22, 2018 I think Scooter could get something like 4/60, IF he keeps doing what he’s done. Maybe a tad more. Stock June 22, 2018 1. I think the Reds can get a top 25 prospect for Scooter. 2. I was all for offering Cozart arbitration. If others thought he was worth more than $13 million why didn’t the Reds offer him arbitration? Makes no sense to me. This site was throwing out $10 million a year. So if you thought $13 million was low you are alone. 3. How do you know Seattle never inquired about Scooter? Do you have inside information that is not available to us. I think not. Maybe they did and the Reds were smart enough to say you don’t have enough. 4. Scooter is in the top 20 in WAR this year (offense and defense, even better if you look at offense only). A player this good will not settle for 10 million a year. Wes June 22, 2018 Stock, you didn’t address it in your last post. How is scooter worth a top 25 prospect when Stanton, yelich(Brinson was obvious bust),Ozuna, Cole and mccutchen could not? Rumor has it Machado can’t even fetch a top 20 prospect. Was said here and other places, even heard on radio Seattle and reds didn’t talk to reds. More likely than not and it makes sense since they got spam and Colome for acquiring their contracts. Trade market is what it is and it ain’t how u see it. You can fault management for not playing scooter in OF but can’t fault them for not trading him bc there’s no way they will get decent value for him or Iggy unless WAY better players are moved first for decent value. Sorry if you see me as barer of bad news Kindell June 22, 2018 If the Reds viewed Scooter as the long term answer at 2B, Senzel would be at another position. The truth is, we as Reds have just valued Scooter Gennett much more than the rest of the league does right. He is much closer to his decline than Senzel is. Joe June 22, 2018 Jonathan India has been on fire hope it carries over n he gets fast tracked to play with senzel in cincy by 2020. The Duke June 22, 2018 I don’t know if you could say he’s on fire per se, as he’s been doing this all season. 1.205 OPS in the collegiate regular season. Nick Senzel’s junior year he produced a 1.051 OPS in the same conference (granted India doesn’t have to face Florida’s pitching). If it weren’t for the K’s India would look like Senzel with more power. Joe June 22, 2018 I agree plus he been drawing walks at a great rate here lately.. it seems to me that he jus now starting to scratch his potential this yr he seems more than jus a safe pick th me cuz he a lot of upside it seems Gilbert Keith Chesterton June 22, 2018 Of course, over their careers in college both Senzel & India were identical OPS guys (0.934 Senzel vs 0.931 for India) Senzel also had fewer K’s than BB’s in college, while India had about 2 K’s per BB until this year. Hopefully India just isn’t having a fluke career year, but has truly figured it out and has stepped up his play. Kap June 22, 2018 Kind of a shame that we can’t get Senzel up to Cincy now. I’m torn between keeping and trading Gennett. How do solve this issue? Try Gennett in the outfield and trade one of Winker, Duvall, or Schebler? Trade Gennett and continue with the current outfield? Once Gennett is traded, do you bring up Senzel and Herrera (who has also earned a shot here or somewhere else) or just one? Will the Reds dare trade senzel for a top of the rotation pitcher this offseason? Many questions need to answered and these are just the ones I can think of at the moment. July is going to be a very interesting month for the entire organization. The Duke June 22, 2018 What a first start for Gray. If he can continue that kind of start, I wonder if maybe he sees some time in Dayton this season. I’m not sure given his relative inexperience on the mound, but until you hit AA I tend to think push them until they are challenged. Give him at least 4-5 starts in Greenville, and if he looks good enough move him up to Dayton with maybe an eye on starting him in Daytona in 2019. I might be getting a little ahead of myself here, but it’s nice to see that kind of debut from a top 100 pick. Stock June 22, 2018 I like your timeline. I don’t necessarily want to push him too fast but Daytona in 2019 would work if he continues to dominate at Greeneville. RedsinWashst June 22, 2018 Checked his stats and he has already thrown 93 innings this year. Probably why they only threw him 3 innings. RedsKoolAidDrinker June 22, 2018 Yeah, I know this is farfetched, but if you called Senzel up now and started him right away at SS, would that experiment possibly go so bad that we might miss the playoffs because of it? He’s such a good athlete that even without the experience he wouldn’t embarrass himself and he seems to be mentally tough so it’s not going to destroy him mentally. CP June 22, 2018 I would love to see them give Senzel a legit shot at SS, but that ship seems to have sailed. I guess they could always give him a shot there later, but they seemed committed to Pereza at SS for now. Not sure why either. Pereza is OPSing .646 to date, and isn’t elite defensively to make up for it. They have got to figure things out up the middle of the field. SP, SS, CF Doug Gray June 22, 2018 The only thing that makes sense is that they have zero faith that anyone else in the organization is a big league caliber defender at shortstop that would also be able to OPS .600. Steve Stockman June 22, 2018 For a hitter like Peraza you are more concerned with OBP than you are with OPS. His OBP since May 26 is .386. That works for me. He is 23. Seems like he may work out at SS. Give him time. This is a lost year we may as well give him 3 more months to see if these last 3 weeks are a streak or really growth at the plate. But BB do not usually come and go. In his last 6 games he has 4 BB. In his last 8 he has 5BB. In his last 27 games he has 10 BB. In his first 45 games he haad 4 BB. I think he is figuring it out. As I said drawing BB is something I find maintains consistency if you have that ability you always will even when you slump. Doug Gray June 22, 2018 When you start the conversation with “like a hitter like”, you know it’s an issue. All hitters should be looking at their OPS. Yes, OBP is more important than SLG, but SLG is absolutely important. Peraza needs to find more power. And he needs to walk more. He’s been doing the latter recently, but he also did it some last year, too, for a few weeks in August or September. Then he went back to a guy who walks thrice a month. Justin June 22, 2018 Sometimes it seems like we talk about players like they all need to be 800+ OPS guys, but by “type of hitter” I read it more to speak to what he offers overall. .386 on base with speed might balance a .550 slugging guy with a refrigerator on his back. A team full of Manny Machado’s sounds too expensive for the Reds I know. Billy June 22, 2018 Doug, just my two cents here, but I’d like to see a post laying out the pros and cons of bullpenning with this Reds team. It seems like the pen is pitching well, and the starters have been struggling this season. It seems like the perfect storm for some outside the box use of the pitching staff. Do the Reds have enough bullpen depth to make such a move work? If so, how much would they be able to use it, and what are the options for what it might look like? And if they did try it, would there be negative impacts on developing starting pitching for next season. I’m just intrigued by the idea. CP June 22, 2018 Perhaps the Reds FO seemingly lacking a clear plan to get Senzel to the majors is revealing of their plan? What I mean is that they have revealed by their lack of playing Senzel and Scooter at other positions, that they don’t think moving either of them off 2B/3B is the right move. That leaves the only solution to getting Senzel up this year being a trade. The best case scenario very well may be this, if the Reds can get a good enough piece for Scooter. It would be a shame to see him go, but even if he only brings a legit bullpen arm (w/ years of control) the domino effect could be substantial. Scooter traded ==> Reds receive legit bullpen arm ==> Senzel can now play 2B ==> Legit bullpen arm free’s up Amir to take a shot at rotation next year ==> Rotation goes from legit weakness to perhaps at least mlb average (w/ other SP’s developing as well) Long story short it doesn’t take much to make a decent impact on the club as a whole. May never play out this way, but what seems like a lack of a plan might very well be revealing of their plan… Kindell June 22, 2018 I agree with this, but I think there is also another variable. Scooter has proven that he can handle LF last year. I think they are holding their position because they also want to see what Jesse Winker can do with the majority of AB’s in LF. Winker’s only position is LF, so they also need to figure out a plan for him. If he struggles, you can slide Gennett to LF and move Senzel up to 2B. If Winker shows you can that he can hit for some power and be an asset in LF, now they move Scooter at the deadline for the best possible deal. CP June 22, 2018 Agreed, there is more at play, like the OF shuffle. I hope that Winker is proving himself. Boy that grand slam last night sure looked good! But it is going to take better production the rest of the year to really prove anything. And maybe I missed it last year, but did Scooter really prove himself in LF last year? According to statcast he played 9 games in LF last year and 6 in RF. That an awfully small sample size. I honestly don’t remember how he looked. Is he any better than Winker out there? HavaKlu June 22, 2018 I don’t agree that Winker’s only spot is LF——he is a better OF than most of you are giving him credit for and can play an adequate RF in the Reds small OF ballpark. His arm is also much stronger than credited. SteveLV June 22, 2018 Again, I would focus on building for 2021. While the Reds can “afford” Scooter, they are going to have a total payroll budget and I think they should direct that budget at solutions to the highest priority position issues – starting pitching, shortstop, and CF. Doug says Senzel is at 2b and he sure looks right about that despite my hope the Reds would try him at a position of need. I would take Winker, potential, inexpensive team control, and additional resources to fix critical positions over Gennett at $10 million a year in left. Tom June 22, 2018 I agree. Reds need every penny for pitching. Keuchel and Gonzalez! Gilbert Keith Chesterton June 22, 2018 I think the Reds lineup in the near future (2019 and 2020) is essentially: C: Barnhart 1B: Votto 2B: Senzel SS: Peraza 3B: Suarez OF: Winker OF: Schebler (younger than Duvall and a better hitter) OF: ….. And the question is what do you do with that 3rd OF spot? Use Duvall who is going to be 30 next year, and will always be a subpar hitter with big power? Use Hamilton who has an OBP very similar to Duvall, but brings great defense and speed instead of occasional home runs? Use Scooter, who is by far the best hitter of the three, and hope he isn’t a defensive liability in the OF like he is at 2B? kevinz June 22, 2018 I am hopeful Trammell will be in that OF at some point it 2020. Even if it is a call up later in the season AirborneJayJay June 22, 2018 Doug, you mentioned above you think the Reds have a plan for Senzel and that it includes 2B. If that is the case, shouldn’t the Reds be playing Scooter inhis new position to see if he can even play defense in that position before the trade deadline? It seems settling the Scooter question is paramount between now and July 31? But it isn’t happening. What is the plan? Is it Suarez at 3B, Senzel at 2B, Peraza at SS until India is ready? What is the plan for the OF? Scooter in LF, Schebler in CF and Winker in RF? That seems somewhat bass ackwards. Doug, can you or anyone else out there actually put your finger on what exactly the plan is? The front office has been very negligent in their duties. There was no path created for Winker and there looks to be no path created for Senzel? I mean, Dick Williams looks awful funny walking around with his thumb up his butt. Will any paths be created by the July 31 trade deadline? With the Reds front office that seems highly doubtful. What is the plan? Keep throwing crap ideas against the wall and see what sticks? The Reds Way!!! Doug Gray June 22, 2018 I think that right now, Scooter’s shoulder isn’t ready to make those long outfield throws yet, which is one reason why it’s not happening. MK June 22, 2018 How do all our experts here know that the Front Office has no plan for what to do with their old and new talent. Just because they have not shared the plan with wannabe GMs who want to know doesn’t mean there isn’t a plan. CP June 22, 2018 Agreed MK, but you don’t have to only follow their lack of words to wonder what the plan is. The concern is the lack of action. It is hard to determine what their potential plan might be based off any actions they have taken, or lack thereof…. I’m right up there at the top to wanting to give the Reds FO the benefit of the doubt, but they have dropped the ball a couple times now in creating the needed space to open up spots for guys that we could see coming from a long ways away. Winker and Senzel have not snuck up on anyone. We all have been anticipating them for many years. This is not to even mention how they handles the SP’s last year…. I don’t want to throw the FO under the bus yet, but I do also think that they are not without blemishes in how they have handled where they have surplus in the system (2B/Corner OF), and using that to address areas of weakness (SS, CF, SP). It’s in these moments I try and remind myself of how we came to acquire Suarez, Castillo and Gennett. MK June 22, 2018 But Gennett a guy acquired to be a backup utility guy and pinch hitter and the stupid four home run game legend as well as great seasons did sneak up on them. Now every little kid has a Scooter t-shirt and he is more difficult to trade from a PR standpoint The power Jesse showed late last summer and the poor performance of Duval this year has rearranged the outfield plans as well, has snuck up on them. AirborneJayJay June 22, 2018 Actions speak louder than words. Their actions would suggest that a plan is not evident. What evidence is there that there is a plan? If there was a plan this organization would not be sooooooooo rudderless. The best I can see their plan is to take the path of least resistance. Just like a lazy river. IndyRedsFan June 22, 2018 I’m with MK 100% on this. I was about to make the same comment. I don’t know what people expect. It’s pretty clear to me…based on their actions….that they plan to trade Scooter and play Senzel at 2nd base. (they are playing Senzel primarily at second, and they are not playing Scooter anywhere else). Do those of you clamoring for a “plan” want to have them come out and say “We’re going to trade Scooter”. ? What would that do to team morale? what would that do to his trade value? I’ve followed the Reds going back to 1970. I don’t recall Bob Howsam saying “we’re going to trade Lee May and Tommy Helms to the Astros for Joe Morgan and whoever else we can get.” Nor do I recall them saying “we’re going to trade Tony Perez to create a spot for Dan Driessen”. I have my share of criticisms for this front office as well. But to criticize them for not having a plan just because they don’t come out and disclose it is just silly. Champ Summers June 22, 2018 This is correct. They have not laid out a plan in words but their actions reveal the plan. Suarez is signed for 7 years. He’s the 3B. Senzel is not playing all over the diamond. He’s not going anywhere either. He’s the 2B. Doug’s point about Scooter’s shoulder hindering OF play may have merit. If not, it means the FO has every intention of shopping Scooter. If they wanted to extend Gennett there would be some shuffling going on position wise with SG and NS. I feel shopping Scooter is the right move but I fear we over value him and we will be very disappointed in what’s offered in return. Norwood Nate June 22, 2018 I agree, the Reds plan, even if not publicly stated, seems pretty evident. Someone would be playing somewhere else on the field if the plan was to keep both into the future. redleggingfordayz June 22, 2018 I don’t think I have ever agreed with a comment more MK. We all need to take a small step back and remember that we really don’t know what goes on in the FO, and even what Williams says to reporters or the public could easily be a misdirection (possibly to help trade value or something else entirely). The Reds are drafting and amassing solid talent, that is how you build perennial contenders. The Scooter stuff will be worked out via trade or moving positions. This is a lost year for the Reds, lets see what happens this offseason and what kind of moves are made to add to the roster (hopefully a decent SP if possible). Unless the Reds are putting up losing seasons for 20 years in a row (a la Pittsburgh Pirates), we just need to have some patience. DX June 22, 2018 Thats just it. Nobody has any idea of what to do. Nobody. Hoyce June 22, 2018 Hopefully Harvey has a few more good starts: Trade Harvey, scooter and Izzy to dodgers for buehler and minor league OF (dodgers #4 prospect) And if the reds love scooter soooo much resign him after 2019. (Which I wouldn’t) Scooter prob solved A.B. June 22, 2018 These lopsided trade proposals are my favorite part of reading comments here. Horrible…just horrible. Dodgers would laugh so hard at that proposal. kevinz June 22, 2018 what is even more horrible is when someone puts down someone then has nothing else to add beyond that. Hoyce June 22, 2018 The dodgers need bullpen help and 2B help. And everyone needs starters. So what do u think the dodgers would have to trade to get Iglesias, scooter and Harvey? Hoyce June 22, 2018 Iglesias should bring back a top 30 prospect along w a top 100 prospect. Scooter should bring back a top 100 prospect. And if Harvey keeps performing, he should bring back a teams top 10 prospect. Add those all together and u don’t think u can get beuhler? Maybe not- but it has to be close. kevinz June 22, 2018 Reds still have a crappy record at this Point but have about 500 record over about 50 games. Seems team coming together young players improving which takes time Liking the signs i am seeing getting better little by little. Go Reds kevinz June 22, 2018 I am sure you all did but i like how Cargo for the Rockies giving Winker Tips and his Gloves lol. First thought was where the heck is Votto with the help or the tips Then see how both Winker and Cargo stand more straight up in there stances There stances more Similar than Winker and Vottos. kevinz June 22, 2018 I know most get on Winkers Power as i do as well. He has hit 11 Home runs in over 300 abs from last year to this year. So mayb Winkers HR power understated so far could mayb hit 22-25 a year. Going off the sample size have at this moment. Tom June 22, 2018 WInker is rotating more and trying for more power. I’m interested in how he plays. kevinz June 22, 2018 I am interested as well because he got the strike zone thing down already. Adding Power to that skill would make him really Dangerous hitter Jim T June 22, 2018 While watching the game last night A graphic was displayed showing the reds in some very nice company. They are in the top 4 offensively with the Astros. Red Sox and Yankess. Anyone else see this.? We spend a bunch of time debating who should play were and who should be called up but the real Difference makers for this team is going to come from who is doing the starting pitching. Haven’t looked up the numbers but it seems that when we get a quality start we compete very well. In the future what will make the difference in this team will be how much we improve our starting pitching. This isn’t the BRM but they score well enough to win a lot more games if we pitch well right now. Playing scooter in LF or Schebler in CF or Senzel at 2nd may light up the score board but if we do not pitch more effectively with our starting staff we will never sniff the playoffs. kevinz June 22, 2018 I agree with your whole Pitching Point Jim we need that before a winning team. If was the same graphic as the one i seen it was for the Top infield Offense that the reds were in great company with. Michael B. Green June 22, 2018 The Reds’ June pitching stats is quietly looking adequate now. No longer are they last in the NL in about every category. The best metric is perhaps that their bullpen has the 2nd lowest HR/9 in the NL in June. This looks like a very positive transition. With the hitting and defense, an average pitching staff makes for a possible wild card candidate in 2019. Go Cinci go! kevinz June 22, 2018 what happened to Senzel? hope not dizzy spell kevinz June 22, 2018 I missed it but really hope not the dizzy spells from Vertigo. If it is i hate to say what did before about cannot rely on him going forward. Hope scooter plays nice with money because noway trade him away If Senzel could stay on the field would be different decision. Cannot trade Senzel with health issue plus cannot get proper value for scooter Seems like a messy situation that could send us back more quite a bit. Hope all is well and did not leave game from spells. Really would Hate to have to wait for Trammell and him being our number 1 prospect to look forward to make the bigs Hopfully.