5 former Reds players off to troubling starts in spring training

These former Reds players are not starting off on the right foot.

Washington Nationals infielder Nick Senzel
Washington Nationals infielder Nick Senzel / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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Nick Senzel, Nationals 3B

A former top prospect in the Reds organization, Senzel is off to a poor start with his new club. After being non-tendered by Cincinnati earlier this offseason, Senzel signed a one-year contract with the Washington Nationals.

The Nats chose to insert Senzel into their starting lineup as a third baseman. When Senzel was drafted with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, the Reds envisioned Senzel as their third baseman of the future. But the position was under lock and key by the time Senzel made it to The Show, and the Reds made the unpopular move to shift him into the outfield.

This spring, Senzel has hit just hit just .188 and struck out over 40% of the time. Carter Keiboom, who was a first-round pick in that same 2016 draft, hasn't performed well enough this spring to push Senzel out of the starting lineup. But Senzel is on a one-year "prove it" deal to show that he can be an everyday player after operating a platoon bat for the Reds in 2023. So far, Senzel has struggled to find his footing with the Nats.

Mike Moutakas, White Sox DH

Why any GM would pay Moustakas any amount of money to play baseball after watching his performance the past several seasons is a mystery. But apparently the Chicago White Sox believe Moose still has something left in the tank.

This spring is proving that's probably not the case. Moustakas, who received a non-roster invite to White Sox camp, has a .382 OPS with eight strikeouts. As desperate as the Sox might be this season, Moustakas is currently on the outside looking in.

The Reds paid Moustakas $22 million to play elsewhere in 2023 and his 112 games played with the Los Angeles Angels and Colorado Rockies in 2023 was the most he's played since the 143 games he played with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019. Moustakas' four-year, $64 million could go down as the worst in Reds history.