Jonathan India came up a little gingerly after running down the first-base line during the fifth inning of Thursday night's game in Los Angeles. It sounds as if India will be out of the Cincinnati Reds lineup for at least a game or two. Who should fill in as the Reds leadoff hitter in India's absence?
Reds manager David Bell has a couple of options, and a lot of it depends on how healthy the rest of his roster is. Tommy Pham and Nick Senzel collided in the outfield during Tuesday's home opener in Cincinnati.
Pham exited the game and neither he nor Senzel has started the last two games. Bell claims, however, that Senzel's absence from the lineup is not due to injury. If that's the case, the former first-round pick should replace India as the team's leadoff hitter until the second baseman returns to the lineup.
Nick Senzel should replace Jonathan India as the Reds leadoff hitter.
Nick Senzel might be the best of a bunch of bad options. While the 26-year-old hasn't really produced much this season at the dish, Senzel has the makeup of a leadoff hitter and has experience in that role.
Senzel has occupied the leadoff spot more than any other spot in the Cincinnati lineup and has actually produced very good numbers. In 73 starts as the first player stepping into the batters' box, Senzel has slashed .282/.344/.453. That .797 OPS is more than 150 points higher than anywhere Senzel has hit in the batting order.
This season, Nick Senzel has hit exclusively out of the No. 6 hole in the Reds batting order. Senzel is just 2-for-17 this season, but historically, the former University of Tennessee product has good on-base skills and speed; both of which are essential if you're the leadoff hitter.
Fans should know more in a few hours as to the extent of Jonathan India's injury. But with hamstring issues, you can never be too cautious. At this point in the season, it's hard to pinpoint who the Cincinnati Reds leadoff hitter should be with India out of commission, but Senzel makes the most sense.