Nick Senzel strangely absent from Triple-A lineup on Saturday

This could be a big nothing burger, or it could be an interesting development.

Cincinnati Reds infielder Nick Senzel
Cincinnati Reds infielder Nick Senzel / Jeff Dean/GettyImages

This may be a non-story altogether, but could also be something to watch. Nick Senzel, who was surprisingly optioned to Triple-A Louisville on Friday, was not in the Bats' lineup on Saturday night in St. Paul.

Senzel, who'd been struggling mightily against right-handed pitching this season, was sent to Triple-A due to the fact that the Cincinnati Reds were not going to face many left-handed starters over the next couple of weeks.

Roster spots are at a premium at the moment, and the Reds preferred the switch-hitting bat of Henry Ramos. After launching a home run of nearly 500 feet on Thursday, Ramos had his contract selected by Cincinnati and the club designated Eduardo Salazar for assignment.

Nick Senzel strangely absent from Triple-A lineup on Saturday.

There's a myriad of reasons that Nick Senzel wasn't in the Louisville Bats lineup on Saturday. Maybe his flight was delayed. Maybe Bats' manager Pat Kelly wanted to give Senzel a day to adjust to his role. But there could be much more to this than meets the eye.

For those who don't remember, we've seen some reluctance from Senzel to accept a minor league assignment before. While the circumstances were different, Senzel was activated from the 60-day IL in 2021 and then optioned to Triple-A instead of being added back to the active roster.

The option was quickly retracted the next day and Senzel was kept on the 60-day IL instead. This appeared to be more injury-related rather than Senzel refusing an assignment, but it was still a very curious case.

Tensions have obviously developed between the Cincinnati Reds organization and Nick Senzel. The former first-round pick has fallen short of expectations and this season, has been used as little more than platoon option against left-handed starters.

While Nick Senzel didn't outright request a trade before this year's deadline, it was revealed that the University of Tennessee product met with Reds management to discuss his diminished role with the team this season.

It would seem that both parties are preparing for a separation during the offseason, but Senzel's lack of presence in the Louisville Bats lineup on Saturday night is curious. We'll have to see if Senzel is on Pat Kelly's lineup card this afternoon when the Bats close out their series against the St. Paul Saints.