Cincinnati Reds news: Two injured starters ready to go for 2020

According to Dick Williams, Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suárez and centerfielder Nick Senzel will be full go once the 2020 season begins.

For all intents and purposes, if and when the 2020 season begins, the Cincinnati Reds will be at full strength. According to president of baseball operations Dick Williams, both starting third baseman Eugenio Suárez and last year’s rookie Nick Senzel will be “full go”.

Both Senzel and Suárez underwent shoulder surgery over the past few months. Senzel suffered a torn labrum toward the end of last season and Suárez injured his shoulder during a swimming pool accident back in January.

Before spring training was shut down, Senzel had made appearances as a designated hitter during Cactus League play, going 1-for-12 with a home run. Suárez was slated to join the Reds lineup just days after spring ball was halted due to concerns over the coronavirus.

Mark Sheldon of MLB.com spoke with Williams in regard to the status of both Senzel and Suárez. Here’s a quote from the Reds president of baseball operations via MLB.com:

“As always with rehab, there are periods of progress and then times to back off. Overall, we believe both have benefited from the extra downtime. We are planning on full go for both.”

If the Cincinnati Reds have any hopes of contending in a shortened 2020 season, both Eugenio Suárez and Nick Senzel will have to be big parts of the equation. Senzel had a mediocre rookie season, but shows promise beyond the 0.6 WAR he put up in 2019. Suárez is the best offensive player on the team and was second in the league in home runs (49) last season.

One of the biggest questions once the season starts back up is who the Reds centerfielder will be. Senzel changed positions from an infielder to an outfielder during spring training in 2019 and performed admirably in center field. One would think he’ll get ample opportunity to show improvement in 2020.

However, the Reds also signed Japanese centerfielder Shogo Akiyama to a three-year/$21M contract during the offseason. Akiyama has the versatility to play all over the outfield and will likely see time in both center and left field.

With the universal DH likely in play, the Reds will likely use players such as Phillip Ervin, Jesse Winker and even Nick Castellanos in different roles that initially expected before the 2020 season was halted.