Reds: Predicting lineup-altering shakeup in the coming days

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 12: Nick Senzel #15 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrate with Mike Moustakas #9 after scoring. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 12: Nick Senzel #15 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrate with Mike Moustakas #9 after scoring. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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CINCINNATI, OHIO – APRIL 05: Nick Senzel #15 of the Cincinnati Reds waits for the ball. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO – APRIL 05: Nick Senzel #15 of the Cincinnati Reds waits for the ball. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

2. Nick Senzel will supplant Tyler Naquin as the Reds’ everyday centerfielder.

While it has been mentioned by David Bell that Nick Senzel may see some time at shortstop upon his return, Kyle Farmer’s play of late should squash any thought of that happening. It’s not that Senzel can’t play the position, but the stellar play of Farmer lately has proven that the former backstop can be the team’s everyday shortstop.

Instead, Senzel should return to center field on a regular basis. In fact, that’s where Senzel has played during every game of his recent rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville. We may see Bell platoon the duo of Nick Senzel and Tyler Naquin in center field, but Naquin’s recent struggles could land the former Indians’ outfielder on the bench.

After a red-hot start to the 2021 season, over his last 30 games, Naquin has hit just .218/.275/.307 with only one home run and 11 RBIs. On the season, Senzel was hitting .252/.328/.315 prior to his injury.

Senzel showed some promise as an infielder prior to his injury, as the former first-round pick saw time at the familiar third base and also took some reps at second base. Senzel was actually manning the keystone on the night Wade Miley threw a no-hitter.

Senzel’s overall value to the team is that of a super-utility player who can play all over the diamond, much in the same way Whit Merrifield and Kris Bryant are deployed. At the end of the day, if Nick Senzel can just make it until the end of the season without another trip to the IL, I’ll be happy. Staying on the field has been Senzel’s greatest challenge since arriving in the big leagues.