5 difficult roster decisions the Reds front office must make before the end of June

Cincinnati Reds General Manager Nick Krall
Cincinnati Reds General Manager Nick Krall / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
3 of 5

3. Reds activate Nick Senzel from the IL and option T.J. Hopkins to Triple-A.

Nick Senzel's stop on the IL this go-around isn't expected to be very long. The former first-round pick could return as soon as next week after suffering some inflammation in his knee. The question is, where does Senzel play upon his return?

One would guess that the majority of his playing time will be found in the outfield, but there is a scenario in which the Redlegs also give Senzel time at his natural position over at the hot corner.

In games when Jonathan India is acting as the team's designated hitter, Spencer Steer could suit up at first base, Matt McLain can man the keystone, Elly De La Cruz could occupy shortstop, and Nick Senzel would then fill in at third base. Anytime there's a southpaw on the bump, Senzel should be in the Reds lineup.

Now, Senzel's activation is going to be bad news for someone, and that someone will be outfield T.J. Hopkins. The 27-year-old was mashing down at Triple-A this season, and made his major league debut a week ago.

With Nick Senzel, who's a right-handed hitter just like Hopkins, set to return any day now, it makes the most sense in terms of roster construction to send the South Carolina product back to Triple-A. Hopkins deserves a longer look, but it may not be in the cards right now.