Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Senzel hasn’t played in a game since early September of last season. He would end up having his season cut short after a shoulder injury required surgery later in the month. Senzel, for the second offseason in a row, spent his entire offseason rehabbing out in Arizona – beginning to throw and swing in mid-January. John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported earlier today that Senzel is going to make his spring training debut on Thursday as the designated hitter.
Manager David Bell has been hesitant to put a time table on the return for Nick Senzel as far as whether or not he would be ready for opening day or not. He’s held the same non-committal response for third baseman Eugenio Suarez, who is also coming off of shoulder surgery this offseason and hasn’t yet played.
For Senzel, his surgery far a lot more serious than that for Suarez. While the recovery period was longer, he also got a head start on both throwing and swinging. As noted, he began doing those things in January. Suarez hasn’t faced live pitching yet on his way back. There are still three-and-a-half weeks until the regular season begins. That’s going give Senzel about a week of time being the designated hitter before making his way to the outfield where he’ll begin testing his arm in games, too. For Suarez the turn around will need to be a bit quicker.
What was Trevor Bauer doing last September?
Over at Fangraphs earlier today Ben Clemens investigates what happened with Trevor Bauer last September when his spin rate on his fastball jumped up significantly. Bauer is known to tinker with things a lot to try and see what he can make the baseball do. It’s the worst kept secret in baseball that in one inning in the past he used pine tar to prove what it could do to a baseball’s spin rate.
Last season his spin rate did increase over the course of the year from about 2250-2400, but then September it spiked up to 2700-2800 seemingly overnight. We often hear about high spin or low spin, but there’s more to it than just having one of those things. Clemens gets into that a little bit as he attempts to figure out what was going on in the final month of last season.
Updated at 3:05am on 3/3
Jeff Passan notes in his piece at ESPN that Trevor Bauer declined comment on Monday when asked if he had used a foreign substance on the baseball.