3 center field replacements if Nick Senzel is not ready for Reds Opening Day

Cincinnati Reds center fielder TJ Friedl (29).
Cincinnati Reds center fielder TJ Friedl (29). / The Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY
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2. TJ Friedl could replace Nick Senzel in the Reds Opening Day lineup.

David Bell must find a way to get TJ Friedl's bat into the Cincinnati Reds lineup on a consistent basis and Nick Senzel's absence may be the perfect way to do so. After a tuneup in Triple-A last season, Friedl returned to the Reds lineup and was one of the team's best hitters over the second-half of the 2022 season.

Friedl's rookie year did not get off to a great start. Friedl was called up to the bigs shortly after the season began, but he did not produce. During his first stint, Friedl slashed just .200/.250/.289 and was sent back to Triple-A Louisville.

But Friedl received a second chance in mid-August and made the most of his opportunity. The left-handed hitting outfielder was outstanding over the final two months of the season. Friedl hit .267/.354/.533 with 17 of his 36 hits going for extra bases.

More than just his second-half surge, Friedl put up very good numbers against both left-handed and right-handed pitchers. In fact, Friedl had reverse-splits with an OPS of 1.212 against southpaws and a .716 OPS versus right-hande hurlers.

TJ Friedl will work his way into the lineup, but if Nick Senzel is slowed by injury to begin the season, the starting center field job could belong to the 27-year-old from Sewickley, Pennsylvania.