Nick Senzel could return and join the Cincinnati Reds as early as tomorrow according to manager David Bell. Speaking with the media on Sunday afternoon before the series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals, Bell noted that Senzel could return on Monday for the double header at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“I think it’s really close,” said Bell of when Senzel could potentially return. “I think there’s a chance, in the next couple days, maybe, possibly tomorrow that he’ll be back in one of the games.”
If Nick Senzel does join the team on Monday it will mark exactly one month since he last played. The Reds outfielder played in the win on August 14th, also against Pittsburgh, before being pulled from the field following the final out of the game as he was getting ready to join the “high five” line on the infield. He’s been on the non-descriptive injury list ever since. On September 1st he began to work out and participate at Prasco Park with the rest of the alternate site players in the 60-man player pool, building back up towards returning to the field.
The Reds offense has sorely missed his bat. At the end of the day on August 14th, Senzel had an .816 OPS. Cincinnati has started several other players in center field since then, and things have not gone well for any of them. In the 112 plate appearances that have been given to center fielders for the Cincinnati Reds in 2020 that weren’t given to Nick Senzel, those players have hit .152/.241/.172, good for an OPS of .412 – or roughly half that of Nick Senzel.
There are just 14 days remaining before the regular season comes to an end. With the team’s record sitting at 20-26 entering the game on Sunday afternoon, there’s simply no time for the Reds to hit any bumps in the road if they plan to make the postseason. With the news that Sonny Gray is hitting the injured list with a back strain, the news that Senzel could be returning hits a little bit different. The team will still not be at full strength despite getting their starting center fielder back because they are now down one of their aces. The 2020 season continues to just be a big mess for Cincinnati.