Today is report date for the Cincinnati Reds position players in Goodyear. Manager David Bell spoke with the media in Arizona about a few of the guys who are working their way back and could be ever so slightly behind. Joey Votto is coming off of shoulder surgery from last August and Nick Senzel is returning from toe surgery at the end of the season. Both players could potentially miss the first few games of spring training according to manager David Bell, via C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic.
David Bell said Joey Votto and Nick Senzel will likely miss the first few spring games as they ramp up. Matt Reynolds (back and knee) could also be delayed
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) February 19, 2023
The first game of the spring is on Saturday against the Cleveland Guardians. Assuming this timeline is correct, missing the first few games of spring training is a nothing-burger in terms of being ready by the end of the spring.
With regards to Joey Votto, this probably should be viewed as good news. While we have had recent updates on Nick Senzel’s toe and the recovery that has followed, the last we had heard about Votto’s situation with his shoulder was a little more than six weeks ago and that he wasn’t willing to say if he would be ready on time. While we still don’t know if he will be or not – until he’s out there and doing baseball activities in games at 100% we can’t be certain – it seems that he’s pretty much at the point where he’s ready to take that “final” rehab step.
Votto is entering the final guaranteed year on his contract. The team has an option for the 2024 season, but if they don’t pick it up for $20M they have to pay him $7M as a buyout. For Senzel, he’s looking at a situation in front of him where he is going to be fighting for playing time and after years of injuries and struggles at the plate, has to put together a good season if he wants to remain in the lineup.
Reds add a lefty from Mexico
Major League Baseball teams opened up the 2023 international signing period just over a month ago. Cincinnati landed perhaps their biggest international signing ever (at least among teenagers – the signings of Aroldis Chapman and Raisel Iglesias were quite different) when they signed catcher Alfredo Duno in January. But they’ve been adding players since then, too, and this week they picked up left-handed pitcher Christian Lopez out of Mexico. The 16-year-old is already quite physical, listed at 6′ 2″ and 207 lbs. The scouting report says he’s got a chance to remain a starting pitcher in the long term. You can read more about him here.