Nick Senzel could finally see time at third base amid Spencer Steer's defensive shortcomings

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Senzel
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Senzel / Elsa/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds have yet to fully commit to Spencer Steer opening the season at third base. While the infield prospect has seen plenty of time at the hot corner this spring,'s Mark Sheldon is reporting that "no decisions have been made yet about the position".

In case you're not one to follow Cactus League games, or have been enamored by the World Baseball Classic instead, Steer has not looked good in the field. The 25-year-old has four errors in 12 games.

Third base is a crucial position that demands above-average defense. Is there a chance that Nick Senzel could actually return to the infield and be given an opportunity to play his natural position?

Nick Senzel could finally see time at 3B amid Spencer Steer's defensive shortcomings.

First things first, Nick Senzel has to get back into game-shape. Reports are that Senzel has participated in minor-league spring games, but after undergoing toe surgery, the 27-year-old has yet to return to the major league diamond.

But with the depth in the Reds outfield, there may not be a spot on the roster when Senzel is able to return. Will Benson and TJ Friedl look to have already surpassed Senzel on the depth chart, and even Stuart Fairchild may be a better option.

But with the focus on Christian Encarnacion-Strand taking reps at first base an Noelvi Marte every bit of a year away, could Senzel actually return to the infield dirt if Spencer Steer struggles during the first month of the 2023 season?

The Reds took Senzel in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of the University of Tennessee. Throughout his entire minor-league career, Senzel played third base. It wasn't until Senzel was major league-ready in 2019, but blocked by Eugeino Suarez (who signed a six-year extension in 2018) that the Reds made the decision to switch him to the outfield.

Senzel's defense in center field is nothing to write home about, but the Georgia native is a skilled athlete and has the arm strength to handle the hot corner.

It would still appear that Spencer Steer has the inside track to be the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day third baseman. But if Steer struggles, either in the field or at the plate, don't be surprised if Nick Senzel emerges as the top candidate to replace him.

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