Reds: Triple-A assignment suggests divorce with Nick Senzel is imminent

Apr 9, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Senzel. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Senzel. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Reds, on Sunday, reinstated Nick Senzel from the 60-day injured list and then optioned the former No. 2 overall pick to Triple-A Louisville. Senzel was not in the Bats’ lineup last night during Louisville’s 2-1 victory over the Nashville Sounds. This situation suggests that the Reds and Senzel will soon part ways.

While I don’t believe that this eventual separation will be as public and contentious as what transpired between Kris Bryant and the Chicago Cubs, with Scott Boras representing Nick Senzel, I don’t expect the former first-round pick to be back in the Queen City next season.

The Reds and Senzel didn’t start things off on the right foot when the former Tennessee Volunteer was kept off Cincinnati’s Opening Day roster in 2018 despite making a name for himself in spring training. The Reds then made the decision to transition Senzel to center field and kept him off the Opening Day roster in 2019 in favor of Scott Schebler.

Following Schebler’s horrific performance to start the 2019 season, Cincinnati promoted Senzel to the major league roster. But, in doing so, waited until the rookie had stayed in the minor leagues just long enough to manipulate his service time and gain another year of team control.

The Reds and Nick Senzel seem destined to part ways.

The Cincinnati Reds have totally mismanaged Nick Senzel from the very beginning. Manipulating his service time and switching him from the infield to the outfield did not help Senzel’s development.

That said, Senzel’s inability to stay on the field has not helped his case at all. A bout of vertigo while playing in the minor leagues along with a finger and ankle injury likely contributed to Senzel’s delayed major league debut.

Since his arrival to the big leagues in May of 2019, Senzel has suffered multiple freak injuries that have seen the former top prospect spend more time in the training room than on the field. Senzel has undergone shoulder surgery and knee surgery during his first three major league seasons and spent a month on the IL last season with an undisclosed injury.

After Scooter Gennett was traded in 2019, it seemed as though Senzel would be inserted into the the everyday lineup as the Reds’ starting second baseman. But Cincinnati further complicated Senzel’s standing with the organization when the front office signed Mike Moustakas to play second base and Shogo Akiyama to play center field.

If you add up all the injuries Nick Senzel has suffered and the total lack of planning on the part of the Cincinnati Reds front office, it seems like a divorce is imminent. In fact, it may be in the best interest of both parties if the two sides just go their separate ways.

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Senzel doesn’t hold the same trade value he once did, but the Reds should be able to garner something in exchange for the former first-round pick. This is definitely not the way the team or Senzel envisioned things when back when the infielder was selected with the second-overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, but here we are.