These 2 Reds players are pushing Nick Senzel out of a job

Cincinnati Reds center fielder Nick Senzel.
Cincinnati Reds center fielder Nick Senzel. / The Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY

Nick Senzel is recovering from offseason surgery. The former No. 2-overall pick has been rehabbing and it sounds as if Senzel will be back on the field sometime later this month.

Unfortunately, the position that Senzel has become accustomed to playing may no longer be his to claim. The competition for center field has become quite competitive this spring without Senzel even being involved.

Heading into spring training, it was already known that Senzel's spot on the starting lineup was not guaranteed. But his spot on the 26-man roster may no longer be guaranteed based on how well two of the Cincinnati Reds outfielders have played this spring.

Does Nick Senzel even fit into the Reds plans in 2023?

While Christian Encarnacion-Strand is playing on a different level than everybody else in Goodyear this spring, the Reds have also had tremendous contributions from the two players who just happen to be competing for the same spot on the Cincinnati outfield.

TJ Friedl and Will Benson have stood out thus far. Friedl is hitting .412/.474/.765 in six games with three extra-base hits and seven RBIs. Benson has posted an OPS of 1.076 with four stolen bases.

This could spell trouble for Nick Senzel who has been considered the team's starting centerfielder since his major league debut in 2019. Not only has Senzel struggled to stay healthy, but he's struggled to produce as well.

Senzel was tweaking his batting stance late last summer with an eye toward getting more gap-to-gap power. He's been eager to try out his new approach, but that lingering toe injury has kept the former first-round pick off the field so far this spring.

The fact that Senzel is a right-handed batter while Friedl and Benson both hit from the left side could work in his favor should David Bell look to platoon his trio of centerfielders. Both Friedl and Benson also possess the defensive versatility to play all three outfield spots.

Nick Senzel is going to have an uphill climb in order to secure his spot in the Cincinnati Reds starting lineup. Chad Pinder, who can play both on the infield dirt and outfield grass, is also standing in the way of Senzel and a spot in the Reds everyday lineup.

Next. 3 ways to get Christian Encarncaion-Strand on the Reds roster. dark