The Cincinnati Reds have made nine moves today as they continue to cut down their roster as opening day gets closer and closer. The biggest move that they made was sending top prospect Nick Senzel to the minor leagues. He had been having a solid spring at the plate, and had looked good in his transition to center field on the defensive side of things. The other surprising moves were that relievers Cody Reed and Sal Romano were both optioned to the minor leagues. Also heading to the minor leagues today are Ian Krol, Lucas Sims, Juan Graterol, Kyle Farmer, Blake Trahan, and Phillip Ervin.

With Nick Senzel and Phillip Ervin being sent to the minors it would seem to settle the outfield to begin the season with Jesse Winker, Scott Schebler, Yasiel Puig, and Matt Kemp. It’s interesting to note that at this point the only two players in camp who have played an inning of center this spring are Scott Schebler and Michael Lorenzen. That’s interesting to think about from a “what happens if” kind of situation. Would Yasiel Puig be the backup option? Would Jose Peraza be the option if a 1-day situation in center until a call up could arrive? Also, for those wondering, Nick Senzel will continue to play center field in the minors this year, as reported by C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic.

The other question is, how long will Nick Senzel be kept in the minors? Is he there for 11 days? Is he going to be there for a month? Time will certainly tell whether this is more of a “service time” situation or if it’s one where they felt that there wasn’t room for him on the team right now. If he’s up in two weeks, we’ll have the answer. If he’s not, then exploring what’s happening will be open for some more debate.

When it comes to the bullpen, there seem to be two spots that could be up for grabs. And those two spots seem to be down to Robert Stephenson and Matt Wilser – both of whom are out of options – as well as Wandy Peralta, Matt Bowman, and Anthony Bass.

43 Responses

  1. AJ

    Not surprised by any of this. My best guess for the last 2 spots in the bullpen is Matt Wilser and Wandy Peralta with Stephenson to start on the DL.

    • CP

      Are they allowed to start Stephenson on the DL now that he is pitching again? How does that work?

      • Stock

        You can start anyone on the DL but he could without a doubt force the club to release him if he isn’t injured. he will either be in Cincinnati on opening day or in another organization.

  2. Will

    Interested to know how many players missed the roster this year who made it last year
    Bell already has shown he identifies talent much better than Price who was a disgrace as a manager

    • Doug Gray

      Bell has a whole lot better group of talent to choose from than Price ever did.

      • Will

        I disagree with you. Look up his first season when the cast was together-the team was in 1st place right before the all star break and then took a nose dive shortly afterward, losing I believe 3-4 straight games and resulting in the front office pulling the plug the next season.
        My theory is the FO did a fire sale that next season because they wanted to give Price another year to prove he was a competent manager and when he failed them they knew right after the ASB they had to start selling off pieces to make it seem like a fire sale instead of in fact admitting that they hired a horrible leader who chose Brennan Boesch and Patrick kievlahen to make an opening day roster.

  3. CP

    Man I really don’t like the call to send Senzel down. This is the kind of thing a young man will not forget. We can try to blame shift and say the rules allow it, but things that are permissible are not always profitable. We would be naive to think this action will not be part of how he considers whether or not to sign an extension with the Reds down the line. And this isn’t even getting into the obvious point that there can be no argument that he is one of the best 25 players the Reds have. If they were serious about truly competing this year, they would take seriously about putting the most competitive team on the field.

    • Colt Holt

      All the talk about Blake Snell was that the 2019 salary was short sighted and cheap and would not be forgotten. Before he earned a penny of it, he signed a long term deal. Eloy, knowing he would be sent down, signed a long term deal on the basis that the Sox had 7 years of control. For some players, maybe it will drive an emotional reaction. For most, it clearly doesn’t matter.

    • MK

      Senzel will now have 7 years instead of 6 before he and his agent can get their revenge.

      Didn’t Cubs make playoffs the year they started Bryant in the minors? Didn’t mean much to them.

      With stronger starting pitching I’m not sure why they can not go with 7 instead of 8 in the bullpen. The flexibility it would give the bench would be tremendous.

    • Doc

      Which of the four OF they kept should have been sent down instead of Senzel? And why would Senzel have been kept over Ervin, based on last year and ST results?

      Senzel is not clearly “one of the best 25 players”, at the present time, though that time will likely come. Schebler out-played him offensively and defensively this spring and has a major league CF track record, albeit only around 50 games. Puig was clearly better offensively. Kemp returns as a 2018 All Star and had a good offensive spring. Winker is the only possibility based on spring results but his 2018 was comparable to Senzel’s 2018, except that Winker performed at the major league level. Ervin out-performed Senzel all spring.

      I have seen four games so far this spring. In those four games, three of which Senzel played CF, I saw two balls drop between CF/RF due to communication errors, and a ball on Sunday hit directly over Senzel’s head in which his feet got tangled up, he stumbled, the ball hit at the base of the wall for a triple. He made most of the routine plays, but the two fly balls that dropped should also have been routine plays for an experienced CF. The major leagues is not the place for a career IF rookie to learn CF. No doubt he can do it eventually, but if the goal is to compete this year, the Reds made smart moves. Senzel will learn CF at Louisville, then take over 2B when they trade Gennett!

      I think to bring up service time issues, especially after Doug’s excellent review of the Reds history in this regard, is fantasy, and begs credulity.

      • Wes

        Spot on!

        Senzel didn’t earn his spot. I’ll give it up to Schebler for earning the chance to hold down the cf spot. And it’s not fools gold. Reds will give Schebler chance to keep it so no 11 days down and then called up. Senzel will have to earn his spot and that’s how it should be. I still think senzel gets majority of cf starts this year but it shouldn’t be his inheritant right

      • Dollar Bill

        I suggested a couple years ago that the Reds groom Senzel for CF . The Reds were slow on the draw. To me it was a no-brainer.

      • Muddycleats

        Agree completely, but 4 Reds not to consider service time would b irresponsible. Reds made improvements, but 2 think they have a WS run this yr w/ avg SP is silly. Save service time & hope a few more SPs develop or R acquired

    • Manny Redruello

      If when hes up for a contract extension the team gives him the $$$, trust me that he’ll forget real fast bout the service time issue. Money talks…

    • Shamrock

      Even if the Reds had gone with a 5 man outfield to start the year, Mr. Magic Ervin beat him out for the “would have been” 5th OF spot this spring plain and simple.
      Heck, in my opinion, Ervin deserved the 4th OF spot over Winkler. PE is also an extremely talented Reds 1st round draft pick.
      The only difference is that you don’t see Philip and his clan whining about it like a little female dog (children present).
      My question is: did Nick’s agent Wolfe get his permission prior to going on his pathetic little rant?

  4. Bob Anderson

    Bet he plays a bunch of 2nd base in AAA………….

  5. Norwood Nate

    So the Reds were at 40 in camp after the last round of cuts (I think). They traded Joe, assigned 9 more to the minors today, and have two guys in Wood and Blandino who won’t be ready to start the season on OD. By my count that leaves 28 guys for 25 spots.

    The position players seem set with Barnhart, Casali, Votto, Gennett, Peraza, Iglesias, Suarez, Dietrich, Winker, Kemp, Schebler, and Puig.

    The first four in the rotation are known and six in the bullpen. So the remaining three roster spot battles will be between Stephenson, Wisler, Bass, Peralta, Bowman, and Mahle.

    Do the Reds carry an additional reliever until a fifth starter is needed? Does Bass have a tougher task not being on 40-man with one spot still needed for to add Iglesias and Dietrich? Does Peralta have an edge by being a lefty and on 40-man? Will the Reds monitor the waiver wire?

    Some interesting questions still remain.

  6. James K

    First, Senzel was blocked at 3B by Suarez, then at 2B by Gennett, now in CF by Shebler’s outstanding performance in spring training. Hmm. Maybe Senzel can turn to catching?

    • MK

      Know you had tongue in cheek but not sure that is spot for a guy with vertigo history.

  7. Stock

    Senzel may be back. Gennett looks like he starts the year on the DL. Maybe a Iglesias/Dietrich platoon though.

  8. Bob Anderson

    Scooter just blew his pooter out. May have torn it. He won’t be back until summer if that is the case.

    • MK

      I missed the pooter muscle in my college anatomy class.

      • Doc

        So did I, and my class was gross anatomy in medical school. I hope I didn’t errantly diagnose any pooter pulls as something else! Is there any history on how long a pooter pull sidelines a guy?

  9. Brian Stupek

    There was an open competition to be the team’s starting CF with schebler…. and he got beat. Simple as that. Anybody who cries service time is simply ignoring the fact that schebler has outplayed him when he saw a window. Now I realize senzel will probably end up being the better player. But when you’re coming into camp with only 109 games above A ball and no career innings in the outfield, you need to show you’re the best option to win the job. He did not do that

    • Bob Anderson

      Using Spring Training numbers is a waste. Senzel didn’t have a chance from the start and knew it being you know…………..he isn’t a outfielder. I wasn’t impressed with him out there. He doesn’t have the same instincts he does in the infield.

  10. Doc

    Stephenson with two shutout innings, no walks, one hit and one K. Pretty stout for his three innings in ST. Good enough to stick? Hope so!

  11. Cguy

    So now the Dietrich & Iglesias signings become even more important in the wake of Scooter’s injury. Reds may get an extended look at both reserve infielders before Senzel, Blandino, & Scooter arrive on the active roster.

    • Krozley

      I’m wondering if Farmer will take that spot off the bench until the others are ready.

  12. Phil

    The Senzel decision went the way it was always going to go. Management should give Schebler a bonus for giving the team cover from all angles.

    • Cguy

      Perhaps they should. Apparently Schebler & Ervin spent the offseason in Goodyear working on their game. Schebler has earned the cf job- at least for the first month or so. How soon Senzel can challenge to replace Schebler as the Reds cf is entirely up to Nick. Frankly, I think the Reds should take Ervin north with the team & let Winker work on his game in Louisville, but that’s not going to happen.

      • Michael Smith

        If Scooter is out for a month or more at 2B then it is a no brainer that Senzel should start with the reds. He is by far the best option and Scooter being around is the only reason he was not up last year.

      • MuddyCleats

        Dittos, Ervin earned a spot. My guess is Ervin gets back quickly if he can maintain performance & Kemp is moved

  13. Shamrock

    Now that both Joe and Senzel are gone (after those agent comments i think we may have sent the wrong one out to San Francisco):
    a) hope Scooter’s injury isn’t serious
    b) 2B should be Dietrich’s spot to lose until Scooter gets back

    • Michael Smith

      When did Senzel get hurt? He was reassigned to the minor league camp but can still be on the opening day roster.

      • Shamrock

        Roster spots shouldn’t go to whoever’s pathetic little agent whines and irritates the team and fans the most.
        If a 5th Of is going to be called back up while Scooter sits then i certainly hope it’s one Mr. Magic Ervin.
        Of the two former 1st round draft picks (Ervin and Senzel) Philip has outplayed little nicky boy by a country mile so far this year…