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 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.

37 Responses

  1. Jeffrey Oakley

    The Reds need to cut bait with Senzel. This is nothing personal. He seems like a good young man who has overcome alot on and off the field. The issue isn’t talent either. The natural ability has always been there. I just believe an athlete only has so many swings or throws in him. Some athletes have long careers but finally the body breaks down. We say “father time” has caught up with them. In this case the injuries just have piled up. His body is telling him it is time to stop. The Reds should see this too. They should trade him if they can. As for Nick, he needs to reflect on what has been happening and decide if it is time to get on with life’s work.

    • Old Big Ed

      Senzel will make at least $1.75 million this year at age 27, and probably more. He isn’t going to “get on with life’s work” with that option.

      I hear what you’re saying, and Senzel may well have missed too much time and accumulated too many aches to get his baseball career on track. But he doesn’t seem too strong mentally, either. For example, Senzel changed his approach in August of his rookie year, seeking more power. Maybe the Reds’ hitting coaches encouraged it, and they were likely wrong, but Senzel is the guy who swings the bat and cashes the checks. He didn’t have a gun to his head when he stopped doing what had gotten him drafted. He is now going to have to be mentally stronger than he has shown to stay in MLB much longer.

      I hope that Senzel has a great season, but I don’t really believe that he will. It may just be that he is a Billy Beane type — a guy who has a nice list of tools, who looks good in a uniform, etc., but who in reality just can’t deliver the results on the field.

      • LDS

        He’s about a year younger than Aquino with 50% more PAs and a far lower WAR and a lower OPS+. His average and SB counts are higher but only 1/2 the power. Time to move on from him as well. Spend a little money Bob.

      • Votto4life

        It would be easier to move on from Senzel if the Reds had at least one full time outfielder. People complained that the 2020-2021 team was poorly constructed (and it was), but this emerging Reds team isn’t any better. No full time outfielders, only one catcher on the 40 man roster and two dozen middle infielders.

        Nick Senzel is a perfect example that you just can’t put a surplus infielder into the outfielder and just expect them to thrive.

      • LDS

        The Reds are the Reds – where you going to go?

      • TR

        You can’t put an extra infielder in the outfield without that infielder occasionally bouncing off walls. And spend some money, Bob and Phil, on a free agent outfielder to stabilize the current outfield of Fraley, Fairchild and Friedl. Also spend a little money to aquire a decent backup catcher for TS.

    • Redsvol

      on this particular incident, I blame the training/medical staff. No way do you let a broken bone in your starting center fielder go 16 weeks from injury without determining whether it is healing properly. They should have been able to determine this 8 weeks after injury. Now his ability to do off-season workouts is going to be severely limited for another 12 weeks. He will be way behind in spring training and I question whether will even be ready by March 30. We all know how the Reds injury recovery timelines are usually long by 2 months.

    • rex

      Not sure I would ride in an elevator with him out of fear of injury

  2. Votto4life

    Scott Rolen would have my vote. More doubles than Babe Ruth. Yet, I am sure someone will be here soon reporting he had poor exit velocity against RHPs in the night cap of day/night double headers, when playing on artificial turf, during the first Tuesday of June.

    • David

      I dunno.
      At the Apex of his career, he was one of the premier 3rd basemen in all of baseball.
      Fielding, hitting, HR, RBI’s, etc.
      Brooks Robinson got in on a lot less, but he played for some very good Baltimore Orioles teams, too.

      Is/was that enough? I dunno that, either.
      I thought Ron Santo belonged in the Hall of Fame, too.

      Before Barry Bonds started to mess around with HGH and put on bulk, got a bigger hat and shoe size, he already had a very fine career. He screwed the pooch on that, besides being kind of an unpleasant tempered guy, but whatever.
      Bronson: Reds’s Hall of Fame, Si!
      Baseball Hall of Fame (Cooperstown)? Nyet.

      • Votto4life

        David I agree Scott Rolen is a HOF player to me, but I can’t say the same for Bronson. Team Hall of Fames don’t carry the same weight to me. To me it is for fan favorites. I am fine with Bronson being in the Red’s HOF.

        All that being said, I find it hard to get too excited either way about the HOF.

      • Oldtimer

        Brooks Robinson had superior HOF credentials to Rolen but I think SR will get in, too.

  3. David

    Brooks played from 1955 until 1977. The first 3 or so years, he did not have that many at bats, and probably bounced back and forth between the minors and ML. The last three years were probably not much to write about either.
    Career, he batted .267, with 1357 RBI’s and 268 career HR. Brooks had over 10,000 AB’s. And probably played in an era (the 1960’s) which was pretty pitcher friendly, until the mounds were lowered in 1969. And he was a perennial gold glove fielder.

    Scott Rolen, in about 3000 fewer AB’s, hit .281 career, with 316 HR, and 1287 RBI’s. He won 8 gold gloves as a Third basemen, so he was no slouch there, either.

    Brooks was a great “player” and did play on four Baltimore pennant winning teams. And 1970 when he made Tony Perez, Johnny Bench and Lee May look bad because of his great play at Third.

    When I said Brooks made it in with less, he was not as strong an offensive player as Scott Rolen was, at his peak. Brooks was a highly esteemed player in his era, and yes, he deserved to be in the Hall of Fame.
    Does Scott Rolen? I think so.

    • Votto4life

      Yeah David, that’s about where I come down as well. I think the 1970 World Series elevated Brooks Robinson’s HOF candidacy. He probably would have made it either way, but he was a sure thing after that series. Scott Rolen was a terrific player as well and deserves the honor too IMO.

  4. Harry Stoner

    Interesting to compare Rolen’s stats to Votto’s.

    If there’s a case for Rolen, then there is for JV, too.

    • Luke J

      Is there anyone who is actually saying there is no HOF case for Votto? Even those who don’t think he’s a hall of famer at least acknowledge there’s a case. It’s pretty universally accepted.

      • Harry Stoner

        Not every post needs to read as an argument here, though I suppose some folks like to roll that way.

        Mine was an affirmation of Votto.

        If Rolex’s case was a shoo-in, he’d be in already.

        Hence, folks making a case for him.

        Not everyone voting for HOF entry are members of this board.

  5. Votto4life

    Brewers just dealt Hunter Renfroe to the Angels. Looks like the NL Central will consist of the Cardinals and four teams who are aligning payroll with resources

    • Melvin

      One organization that’s wants to win, four who don’t really care. Have to give the Cardinals credit like it or not.

  6. MBS

    If Senzel is cut, or on the team, it’s not going to be a big deal either way. Our depth is suspect at best, especially in the OF. If they don’t use the money to sign other FA’s, then might as well keep him, but we need to start thinking of him as a utility guy until he proves otherwise. I’d much rather see F, F, and F with the other Nick getting the AB’s in 23.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree. Senzel’s career OPS+ was just under 80 coming into 2022 on a combined total of PAs of slightly more than a year’s worth. Then in 2022, he put up a stinker OPS+ of 64 on about three-fourths of a full year’s worth of PAs. He has had enough time and opportunities to conclude the numbers on BBRef indicate what his likely performance is more accurately than his exulted draft position going on 7 years ago.

      Friedl, Fraley, and Fairchild all three have career OPS+ marks of 100 or better. At least 2 of them appear to be better all around defensive OF than Senzel with the 3rd no worse than Senzel.

      I wonder why word of this latest Senzel surgery was held off until after the nontender date when the surgery apparently happened just ahead of the date. The Reds would have been responsible for Senzel’s surgery and recovery even had they nontendered him. Were they trying to get medical clearance to trade or nontender him when the surgical issue was discovered? It is all just another twist in what has been a sadly misbegotten situation.

  7. doofus

    I believe that Senzel will be a more valuable asset than Votto or Moose. The latter two should be cut.

    • redsfan4040

      I disagree. I wouldn’t rule out Votto coming out hot next season with his newly repaired shoulder.

    • Old Big Ed

      Cutting Votto is a bit over the top. They have to pay him one way or the other, so the only issue is whether he can be expected to produce more than who they would replace him with. I don’t see anybody on that roster who figures to be better than Votto next year.

      He isn’t going to put up $25 million in value, but that is irrelevant to the decision.

  8. Bill J

    I thought at one time the D-Backs were interested in Senzel, if they still are maybe the Reds could package him with a minor leaguer for one of their young OFs.

    • Jim Walker

      Give this latest injury news, I don’t see anybody being willing to talk about Senzel until he is back on the field (presumably in spring training). Also, it would behoove the Reds to get his contract status settled. Given Senzel’s injury situation, it would also seem to be in his best interest to get it resolved. With him coming into camp off this toe situation any team is going to be leery about possibly getting hung with a higher end arbitration settlement versus a negotiated lower amount,

      • wkuchad

        Agree, he has almost zero trade value at the moment.

  9. Old-school

    Krall openly questioned whether Senzel would be in the outfield and outfield or just the infield, implying the toe injury is a good reason to move him back to the infield and join the competition at 2b/3b for playing time. I would have no problem moving on from Senzel in CF and seeing if Siani can play well everyday at CF in AAA and perhaps take the spot over mid summer as the everyday future CF. By all reports, his defense is elite and CF requires elite defense.

  10. Gonzo Reds

    Rolen should be in and was the glue that held that team together… timely hits, timing fielding, and clubhouse leadership, very evident when he left and was the start of the slide that we’re still in and will continue to be in as long as ownership doesn’t change.

    Question is… does he choose to go in as a Philly or a Red? Phillies fans hated him so I’d think that feeling was mutual.

    • Rednat

      yes. i felt there was a major leadership void when Rolen left. Then i felt there was a battle between Votto and Phillips for team leadership and I think, for the worse, Phillips took over as “team leader”. i wish Votto would have really “took the reigns” but he didn’t. Phillips was a heck of a talent but he kind of had a ” showboat” mentality, winning isn’t as important as having fun, etc. etc,etc. I still think there are remnants of that attitude, even today on the club

      • William

        Keep Senzel. He has little trade value.

  11. TR

    Rolen was 7 years a Philly, 6 a Cardinal and 4 a Red. Tony LaRusso was, apparently, not his favorate manager, but he was on the WS winner 2006 Cardinals, so he’ll probably go in the HOF with a Card cap.

  12. doofus

    Phillie fans are just as fickle as Reds fans. They are perhaps a little crazier. My sons are Phillies fans. They love Rolen.