Reds reassigned Nick Senzel to minor-league camp
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) March 19, 2018
Talked to Senzel. Says heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to Louisville and will be primarily at 2B. Story to come soon #reds
— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) March 19, 2018
Lots to unpack here, and we’ll be discussing all the various options over the coming weeks. But, long story short, the Cincinnati Reds reassigned their top prospect, Nick Senzel, to minor league camp today. This wasn’t a surprise, and we can all expect to see Senzel in a Reds uniform at some point over the next couple of months.
The real news is that Senzel — according to Senzel himself — will be playing second base at Louisville. This spring, he has been working out at both third base, which is the position he’s been playing as a professional, and shortstop. (The news that Senzel would be given a shot at the shortstop job caused me to collapse with joy, as you will recall.) Senzel played all three positions — 2B, 3B, SS — in college at the University of Tennessee.
The biggest question I’m hearing is this: why isn’t he playing shortstop at Triple-A??? There are any number of reasons for that. Perhaps the Reds have seen enough to believe he can’t play shortstop on the big league level. That theory would seem to be undercut by manager Bryan Price’s comments today (go read all of Sheldon’s piece on today’s news):
“He showed the ability to move around the diamond,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “Talking with [infield coach] Freddie Benavides, he was really excited about the developments he made at short. I think we already think very highly of him as a third baseman.
“He’s got to be ready to play anyplace but first base if we have an injury or setback,” Price said of Senzel.
So again, why not shortstop?
“I just wanted to know where I would play every day in Louisville. I didn’t want to be bouncing around, and they didn’t want me bouncing around, either. I’ll be at second base, and that’s what it is.”
This is not a final decision. With the news that Eugenio Suarez signed a long-term deal with the Reds, Senzel likely won’t be playing much third base for the big league club, barring injury. But if Suarez were to get hurt, Senzel can slide right into that position.
Giving Senzel time at second base gives the Reds even more options, depending upon what happens with the big club, specifically with Jose Peraza and Scooter Gennett. What if Peraza can’t handle the shortstop position on a daily basis for the Reds? What if Scooter is traded? What if either get injured early in the season. Presumably, the Reds are keeping their options open.
This I can tell you, however: very soon, Nick Senzel will be starting for the Cincinnati Reds. At one position or another. I wouldn’t sweat the details just yet.