Reds: Shortened-season would be perfect scenario for Nick Senzel at shortstop

MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 27: Nick Senzel #15 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 27: Nick Senzel #15 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The shortened 2020 season would be perfect to give Nick Senzel a chance at shortstop.

The chatter surrounding position battles in camp has calmed down a lot since spring training was suspended in March. Though it seems like it may only be for 50 games, it appears that baseball will be back in 2020. If that’s the case, this season would be thee perfect opportunity for the Cincinnati Reds to give Nick Senzel a chance to play shortstop.

The Reds, to the surprise of many, pulled off some solid free agent signings last winter. A few of those being the additions of outfielders Nick Castellanos and Shogo Akiyama. Heading into the offseason, the Reds already had Senzel, Jesse Winker, Phillip Ervin and Aristides Aquino in the outfield.

Akiyama and Castellanos will be virtual guarantees to be part of the everyday lineup. Akiyama, the former Japanese centerfielder can play all over the outfield. Castellanos seems destined for right field, though the possibility of a universal designated hitter could see the slugger in that role as well.

Winker is a solid player, but according to Fangraphs, his lefty vs righty splits suggest the former first-round pick should ride the pine when a southpaw is on the bump. Winker had a .163 batting average against left-handers and hit .287 against right-handers.

Aquino showed his power when he won the National League Player of the Month honors last August after launching 14 homers. Ervin, the versatile, oftentimes forgotten outfielder, was dominant against left-handers last season with a .349 average and a 1.038 OPS.

So where does that put Nick Senzel? The former No. 2 overall pick out of the University of Tennessee was a third baseman in college. Unfortunately, Eugenio Suarez is locked into that spot and after signing a seven-year extension in 2018, he’s not going anywhere. Mike Moustakas was signed to play second base, so that doesn’t seem likely either.

Nick Senzel is a ballplayer, plain and simple. With the possible outfield of Akiyama in center, Castellanos in right, and rotation of Winker and Ervin in left, Cincinnati’s 2016 first-round pick could make the move back to the infield. Freddy Galvis, the Reds current starting shortstop is on a one-year deal and a career .248 hitter.

With a shortened-season, the Reds could take advantage of Senzel’s athletic ability and give him a chance at shortstop. If he can play center field, there’s no doubt that Senzel has the arm strength to make the necessary throws across the field. He’s quite possibly the fastest player on the team and has great potential at the plate.

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It can’t hurt, right? It appears as though the Cincinnati Reds have never actually committed to Nick Senzel. With no shortstop prospect in the farm system that looks to be major league-ready before 2022, maybe the Reds should give it a try.