Nick Senzel’s season ended a few weeks early in 2022 after suffering a broken toe. It was the end to a frustrating season for the outfielder who didn’t have many good stretches at the plate during the year. The broken toe was just another injury that took Senzel off of the playing field during his big league career as he’s had injury after injury – to something new – during his time in Cincinnati.
Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer is now reporting that Senzel recently underwent surgery on his broken toe after a check up showed that the toe was not healing properly. Nightengale further reported that Senzel was expected to be ready for spring training.
Scott Rolen, Bronson Arroyo on the HOF Ballot
Scott Rolen is back on the Hall of Fame ballot. The former Reds third baseman will be joined by a teammate of his with Bronson Arroyo making his debut on the ballot for the class of 2023.
Back in January of 2018 Matt Wilkes took a look at Scott Rolen’s worthiness of being in the Hall of Fame here at Redleg Nation. It was Rolen’s first year on the ballot and he got 10.2% of the vote, coming in behind 16 players but getting enough votes to remain on the ballot. Rolen has picked up votes every year since and in last year’s voting he jumped all the way up to 63.2% in his 5th year on the ballot. The writers must have really liked what he did between 2018 and 2022.
With Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, and Sammy Sosa all falling off of the ballot after their 10th year without being elected, and David Ortiz no longer on the ballot after being elected last year it could open up the possibilities that Rolen picks up additional votes if writers who didn’t vote for him chose not to do so because they had reached their limit of 10 players and couldn’t include him.
But there could be something else that works in Rolen’s favor with regards to picking up votes – there are 28 new eligible voters this year. Typically you’re going to have younger voters that are just becoming eligible and that group tends to lean more sabermetric-friendly. And when you take an honest look at the numbers put up by Rolen – it’s clear that he’s a Hall of Famer.
As for Bronson Arroyo – well, he’s not in the same category as Scott Rolen. Arroyo pitched in the big leagues in parts of 16 seasons. He made a whole bunch of money along the way, too. He led the National League in starts twice, in innings pitched once, in home runs allowed twice, and in hit batters once. Arroyo made one All-Star team and it came in his first season with the Reds back in 2006. Nothing at all to be ashamed of – it was a heck of a career. But don’t expect to see him get enough votes to be back on the ballot next year.
Elly De La Cruz completes his winter league season
The Cincinnati Reds top prospect completed his Dominican Winter League season this past week. The 20-year-old shortstop hit .286/.396/.417 with nine stolen bases, 16 walks, and 27 strikeouts in his 101 plate appearances. As I wrote at RedsMinorLeagues.com this week, that .813 OPS seems solid but unspectacular on the surface. But context is important here. The Dominican Winter League is an extremely pitcher friendly league and that .813 OPS is 187 points better than the league average. Elly De La Cruz was also the youngest every day player in the league.