Photo: Doug GrayReds Nick Senzel expected to get live at-bats today Doug Gray April 11, 2019 28 Comments Cincinnati Reds top prospect Nick Senzel is still on the injured list after injuring his ankle in spring training. Near the end of big league camp he was sent back to the minors. A few days later he slid into second base in a minor league game, caught his cleat in the dirt and injured his ankle. It’s been about two-and-a-half weeks since the injury. Mark Sheldon of Reds.com notes that today, via Dick Williams, that Senzel is expected to get live at-bats today out in Goodyear. For the two weeks after the injury, Nick Senzel was in a walking boot in an effort to heal. Early reports had the ankle doing better than initially expected for the outfielder. He’s been throwing, running, and taking swings off of the batting tee in the last few days. There’s going to still be some time between what happens today and when Senzel will join the Louisville Bats. He’s currently on the Louisville roster, but on the injured list. However, it’s still likely to be a few weeks until he’s going to be in games. David Bell said Nick Senzel’s progression has been encouraging, but he’s still a couple weeks away from playing games at any level. — Fletcher Page (@FletcherPage) April 11, 2019 The Reds reasoning for sending Nick Senzel to the minors was to work on his defense. He’s transitioning from the infield to the outfield this season. From 2016-2017 he spent time playing third base in the farm system. But then Eugenio Suarez broke out. And then signed a long-term extension. That meant that Senzel was in need of a new position on the field. So he was moved over to second base when he arrived in Triple-A, but then Scooter Gennett continued to rake, and despite rumors that the Reds were looking to move him in a trade, there were no takers. That left Senzel without a spot on the Reds once again. After the year they decided to give him a shot in the outfield. After recovering from surgery to remove bone spurs in his elbow, Nick Senzel spent the offseason in Goodyear working on learning to play the outfield. He came to spring training ready to go and by-and-large he was impressive while playing center. Still, he was sent to the minors to “get more experience in center”. What is almost a certainty is that he was sent to the minors to gain an extra year of team control given that this is the same team that started Jesse Winker in center field the other day, who has less game experience in center than Senzel and is substantially slower, too. Once he gets back to Louisville, expect him to spend at least a couple of weeks with the Bats. The Reds are going to want to get him some at-bats. And they are going to want him to get back in center and make sure he’s up to speed – both figuratively and literally – coming off of the ankle injury. Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditPocket 28 Responses kevinz April 11, 2019 Love Senzel hope see him at some Point. He has to play a month straight, see if can stay healthy first. If he does that, then he should get the call. Doug Gray April 11, 2019 He should get the call the second they think he is ready to play in the Majors. He shouldn’t have to play some certain amount of time to show he can stay healthy. If he’s going to make the team better, call him up. Right then. kevinz April 11, 2019 I agree to a point. he has not played much baseball the last 2 years. If injuries hit in MLB and a Big if Senzel is Healthy at that Point, he will get the call. Barely any ball played plus learning new Position. Doug Gray April 11, 2019 None of that matters. If he’s ready, call him up. Period. kevinz April 11, 2019 I agree with the Part when he is ready Doug. I just don’t see him up until June. Unless injuries hit, it is just my Opinion bud, no hard feelings. If had it my way , he would be up now healthy raking it lol . Doug Gray April 12, 2019 You are saying something very different here (I agree with the part when he is ready) than you were in the other post (he has to stay healthy and play a month straight). Those are very, very different things. Ghettotrout1 April 12, 2019 Doug you love to come in hot at everyone in the comments here. No reason to be so pointed in your responses as if your always right and anyone with any other opinion is wrong. Doug Gray April 12, 2019 Looking for consistency with the thoughts being offered certainly isn’t coming in hot. There are times I probably do come in hot, but this isn’t one of them. kevinz April 12, 2019 I just mean I agree when he is Ready he will be up. My Opinion was he should be healthy for a month, unless Injuries hit before he comes up. You disagree that is fine onto next Debate or Convo. So that means he is Ready in a Month or 30 days in my Opinion. Simon Cowell April 12, 2019 So much for nonbiased reporting. Insisting a certain player plays equals credibility loss. Mike April 12, 2019 Simon, must you ruin every thread? If Reds baseball makes you this miserable, may I suggest taking a break and finding something that brings you some joy? redleggingfordayz April 12, 2019 +1 MA April 12, 2019 +2 Andy Jennings April 12, 2019 The Reds will have a lot of interesting lineup decisions. When Senzel is healthy my question would be who is taken out of the lineup. Does Nick immediately take over CF full time. Does Schebler become just the 4th OF. Colorado Red April 12, 2019 I would think it depends on how Schebler does. Eric April 12, 2019 Im in agreement with simon; Doug your juvenile rants about Senzel are distracting at best. Winker has played outfield his WHOLE life, Senzel has very little experience. Do i think Senzel can play center? Absolutely. Does he need to work on his routes to the ball? Yup. That ball hit directly at Winker would’ve ate senzel up. Winker made it look easy. Give it time; Senzel to lville was right move for many different reasons(extra year is Just 1 of many). I love your work doug, the Senzel rants are atypical of what is otherwise a very informative and well thought out blog. The Duke April 12, 2019 Winker played one spot game, he wasn’t presented as the everyday answer there, he was used out of necessity since Schebler needed a day off to hopefully get right. And since that day off, Schebler has been better. Schebler pre day off, 1 for 20. Schebler post day off, 6 for 15 with 2 HR. I get and somewhat agree with Doug’s idea that Senzel should have been the everyday CF from opening day, but cherry picking pieces of information like this is a bit disingenuous. Ghettotrout1 April 12, 2019 I agree with Eric one hundred percent. Mike April 12, 2019 I’m starting to think several of our posters are really just one person using multiple names…agreeing with himself A.B. April 12, 2019 So…Winker’s a good outfielder / plus defender now? When did that happen? Doug Gray April 12, 2019 Jesse Winker, in his career in the Major Leagues, rates out as one of the absolute worst outfielders in baseball. And that’s in a corner. Since the start of last season he’s at -11.8 runs, 14th worst in baseball among 132 outfielders. Everyone in front of him has significantly more playing time, with only one guy having less than 100 more plate appearances and most having 200+ more plate appearances. I spent plenty of time this spring in Arizona talking to scouts who watched Nick Senzel play center. Every last one of them said he was the best defender in center field on the team that was actually a position player (a few noted Lorenzen was the best, but he’s not going to play there every day). I’m sorry if you don’t like that answer, but the people paid to give their opinions to Major League Baseball teams on these things were unanimous in it. And then there’s the fact that David Bell also said he was the best defender in center they had – and he said that AFTER they sent him down to the minors. Simon Cowell April 12, 2019 You advocate Senzel now relentlessly. Not addressing what the Reds do with Winker, Schebler, Kemp, Puig, and Ervin. All 5 have more experience at the mlb level than Senzel. All 5 out performed Senzel during spring tryouts. Unless you know something we dont there is nowhere to play Senzel… as badly as you want him to start he hasnt earned it, doesnt have a spot, and there is 0 need to promote him Doug Gray April 12, 2019 I’ve addressed it, Simon. You may have missed it. Or you simply don’t care to acknowledge it. I’ll make it very simple for you: Jobs should not be won or lost in the spring because the spring doesn’t matter. Senzel should have started 140 games in center this year for the Reds. Maybe give him another 10 starts at second base. Play Puig in right. Play Winker in left. Get Schebler and Kemp time every so often in the corners, otherwise they get pinch hitting chances. Ervin’s in Triple-A, unfortunately because there’s only so many roster spots. I said that multiple times in the spring. Now stop telling me what I have and haven’t done. RedsKoolAidDrinker April 12, 2019 What would have happened if Senzel would have gotten injured before he was sent down? Would he have been put on the major league DL and then what? Doug Gray April 12, 2019 No, because he was not on the big league roster. Patrick April 13, 2019 “I’ve addressed it, Simon. You may have missed it. Or you simply don’t care to acknowledge it. I’ll make it very simple for you: Jobs should not be won or lost in the spring because the spring doesn’t matter. Senzel should have started 140 games in center this year for the Reds. ” The only time Senzel has show his ability has been this Spring so by your train of thought he has done nothing to win the CF job. He has shown nothing last year to earn the job. So what is your justification for starting Senzel in CF at the MLB level. Senzel as a CF prospect would likely be a back 100 prospect. Part of his high ranking was because he was an exceptional defensive infielder. H Senzel is still “raw” as a hitter. he has a lot to work on as a hitter and still needs to grow into his power. I get it is easy to fall in love with prospects, but it is not yet Senzels time especially with the injuries. He needs to get back up to game speed. David C. Waters April 12, 2019 DOUG< I am very interested in what you think the Reds should do with Winker in the face of his defensive deficiencies. Doug Gray April 12, 2019 Play him in left field and let him hit every single day (minus the occasional off day for rest).