Reds: 3 directions Cincinnati could go with Nick Senzel moving forward

Jul 24, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Cincinnati Reds center fielder Nick Senzel (15) center walks off the field with trainer Steve Baumann and Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 24, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Cincinnati Reds center fielder Nick Senzel (15) center walks off the field with trainer Steve Baumann and Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nick Senzel #15 of the Cincinnati Reds in action.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – APRIL 30: Nick Senzel #15 of the Cincinnati Reds in action. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

1. The Reds could platoon Nick Senzel in CF with Tyler Naquin.

Nick Senzel was the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day centerfielder in 2020 and 2021. Might the Reds see if the third time is a charm? It’s certainly an option. Up until this season, Senzel has spent the majority of his major league career in center field. While his ability to stay healthy can be questioned, his athleticsm more than affords Senzel the ability to play in the outfield.

This season, however, the emergence of Tyler Naquin has allowed David Bell to get a bit more creative with his lineup card. Always one to play the percentages, Bell inserted Naquin into the lineup on a regular basis as the team’s starting centerfielder against right-handed pitchers.

This did allow Bell, when Senzel was still on the active roster, to shift the former first-round pick to the infield dirt. Senzel garnered a couple starts at both second and third base, proving that he could handle the positions defensively. Senzel was actually the starting second baseman during Wade Miley’s no-hitter earlier this season.

Tyler Naquin is under team-control for two more seasons, and you have to assume that the Cincinnati Reds will tender a contract to the former Cleveland Indians’ outfielder this offseason. If the Reds aren’t willing to give up on Senzel as an outfielder, look for the team to keep Senzel in centerfield and platoon him with Naquin in 2022.