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.

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.

26 Responses

  1. LDS

    Predictable as sunrise. Now the question is whether this is Bell speak for opening the season on the IL. Hopefully not. But it fits a pattern.

  2. Kevin H

    I do hope this is a breakout year for Senzel. Just goes to show though mlb is a hard game.

    As for Votto, he will be ready for opening day. With no shift this season I look for Votto to rebound

  3. Melvin

    My money would be on Votto being ready for opening day and doing better than most expect him to. Betting on Senzel? Well, there is no telling. I do believe he has the same good talent potential that he’s always had. I just doubt he will realize it in Cincinnati. He needs a fresh start. Maybe that will help him settle down and stay healthier.

    • Colorado Red

      Maybe a trade for another change of scenery candidate would be good for both

      • Melvin

        Might as well go for it. There really isn’t much to lose.

      • AMDG

        Unfortunately there is not much trade value for an often injured 28-year old who can’t hit (career 0.236 / 0.302 / 0.308).

        Trading Senzel would basically be giving him away.

        Any return would likely be a PTBNL outside of a team’s top-25 prospects, or a AAAA reliever along the lines of Chase Anderson or Kuhnel.

  4. JB

    There is no way this Front Office picks up Votto’s option at 21 million. Way to expensive for their taste and they seem to want to be younger.

    • Melvin

      That’s what I’ve been saying even if Votto has an MVP year. Some disagree. I actually hope they’re right.

  5. MBS

    Getting kinda excited to see the 1st spring training game. I’m OK with Senzel and Votto missing a few spring games. Hopefully both will get plenty of work before opening day.

    C Stephenson / Casali / Maile
    1B Votto / Stephenson / Myers
    2B India / Newman / Senzel
    3B Steer / Newman / Senzel
    SS Barrero / Newman
    RF Myers / Senzel
    CF Benson / Senzel
    LF Fraley / Senzel

    1 spot remaining for 1 of (Friedl / Pinder / Solak / Fairchild) spring training should be fun to see how these 4 preform.

      • David

        Siani is a true centerfielder. But I think there are a lot of questions about his hitting. He is on the 40 man roster
        I don’t see Benson as being a center fielder on the team. More like RF, if he sticks. Again, can Benson hit ML pitching? Sure, he can stand out there with a glove, and did play CF in the minors, but he is not as quick now as then. He is on the 40 man roster.
        I think Fairchild could play CF, or RF. He has a good arm and can run. Friedl can “play” CF, but he does have a weak arm. He is on the 40 man roster
        I don’t think Pinder is on the 40 man, and would really have to play outstanding, and have someone else get hurt or flop to get on the 40 man.
        Solak is on the 40 man roster, but I think he is actually kind of “on the bubble”. If he doesn’t do well or flops, he is a player who they might cut loose to add somebody who is not on the 40 man that they want to keep.
        No mention of when Senzel or Joey Votto will be ready. Maybe in a couple of weeks. Next will be “day to day”.
        I do hope Joey is healthy and comes back to get 350 – 400 AB’s at 1st and DH for 2023. Rest him and don’t wear him down. He’s almost 40 now.

    • JB

      I’m not sure Benson is a guarantee. I hope he comes out and knocks the ball all over the place. If he doesn’t and K’s alot and the others out play him , well I see him in AAA.

    • MBS

      I agree that Siani will become a ML OF, but I don’t think he makes the cut off of spring. Also I agree that Benson isn’t a guarantee, but I put his chances as significantly higher than the 4 bubble players I mentioned.

      Benson sprint speed was faster than anyone else on the current roster including Fairchild. Siani didn’t have enough competitive runs to get ranked, so he maybe faster than Benson. I know speed isn’t the only skill required to play CF, but it’s a help for sure.

      I think if all are healthy Myers will be covering most of the starts in RF, but he may transition to DH depending on how the younger OF’s play.

      The fun part starts soon, I’m looking forward to seeing the health, and progress of the young players.

    • SteveAreno

      I hope not that way on SS. Kevin Newman is the veteran with a much better bat. Newman must start!

  6. old-school

    This is not news. Votto was not going to be ready to play meaningless ST games in February nor was Senzel nor was Santillan. Nothing burger.

    Lets see what things look like in mid-March.

    • David

      Aye Caesar, the Ides of March have come, but not yet gone. 🙂

    • Redsvol

      I would like to see Joey and Nick both take their time and start in May. There is no need for either of them to rush to start games in April. Although I’m sure Nick feels pressure to keep his position on the active roster. There are plenty of options for playing time at first base and center field and I would prefer to see them get the playing time initially.

      • Doug Gray

        There’s also no reason for them to not play if they’re capable.

  7. Rednat

    i am still very confused about the international signing period. Who has first “dibs” on who? seems like a free for all to me that would of course benefit the teams with the most money to spend.

  8. SultanofSwaff

    If pictures tell 1000 words you couldn’t be happier about the shape that Barrero arrived in camp. The dude is a SPECIMEN. ?

    • SteveAreno

      Huh? how can you tell that he’s a specimen? Does he play shirtless?

  9. AMDG

    This seems like a good thing for the development of the Reds.

    Neither player has a future with the team beyond this year. And with this year being a non-playoff-contending year, it’s a great opportunity to get the guys who have a future with the team a chance to get experience.

  10. Mark Moore

    heavy sigh … but very much expected for Joey

  11. Frankie Tomatoes

    As long as both are getting game action by the middle of March things should be fine and it doesn’t sound like they are that far out.