With Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell not afraid to have players occupy multiple positions, what are the odds we see Nick Senzel play the infield in 2019?
The Nick Senzel era has begun in the Queen City and it seems as though the Cincinnati Reds have found their center fielder of the future. Senzel has already shown an aptitude for the game and possesses a high baseball IQ. While he has already shown an ability to succeed in center field, will there be a need for Senzel to play more of his natural infield position during 2019?
Make no mistake about it, David Bell has shown a propensity to not only shuffle the batting order, but to utilize players in multiple positions and not just in mop up duty when a game is out of hand. Monday’s win against the San Francisco Giants saw José Peraza make a start in left field, Kyle Farmer at second, and then Michael Lorenzen finishing things off in the outfield.
In addition to also being a beekeeper, Derek Dietrich has spent time at second base and in left field. This 2019 version of the Cincinnati Reds may still be trying to figure some things out, but having versatility throughout the roster is something they do not lack.
Five games into the Nick Senzel era has seen the Reds’ rookie playing a very solid center field. It is well documented that as soon as Billy Hamilton was non-tendered in December, the plan was for Senzel to prepare as quickly as he could to take over. Let’s not lose sight, however, that Senzel, by trade, is an Infielder. He just happens to be athletic enough to play all over the field.
With Bell’s desire to keep the bench sharp by playing everyone on what seems to be a regular basis, while giving starters well deserved days off, could we expect to see Senzel log some time in the infield?
With Senzel having played mostly third base at The University of Tennessee, it would be easy to see him play there in a pinch. Senzel could easily slide over to third in order to spell Eugenio Suárez, or even creating an opportunity for Suárez to slide over to play first when Votto needs a day off.
As much as one would think that Reds Country could see Nick Senzel logging some innings in the dirt, my suspicion is Dick Williams has a strict edict that Nick Senzel is to play exclusively in center field. Pitcher and catcher are, perhaps, the only two positions where Nick Senzel may not succeed, but I bet he’d give it a try.