Open competition in Reds spring training could finally be the end for Nick Senzel

Cincinnati Reds center fielder Nick Senzel.
Cincinnati Reds center fielder Nick Senzel. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Nick Senzel is still recovering from his surgically repaired toe after crashing into the center field wall during the final few weeks of the Cincinnati Reds 2022 season. He's expected to be ready by Opening Day.

The Reds promoted Michael Siani to fill in for Senzel over the last several games, and both are expected to see time playing center field position during spring training.

Unless Senzel is able to find time at other positions, he may be out of a job before the 2023 season begins. The former first-rounder has had a problem staying on the field since his minor league career began, but with so many young players now on the 40-man roster, Senzel's time with the Reds may finally have run out.

Open competition during spring training could finally be the end for Reds CF Nick Senzel.

Whether you agree with the Cincinnati Reds' decision to turn Nick Senzel into an outfielder or not is irrelevant at this point. The club has had more than enough opportunities to reverse course, and have chosen to push forward with the idea that Senzel can play center field.

After four seasons, it's not so much his inability to play the position as much as it's been his inability to stay healthy. Senzel has finished three of his four seasons on the injured list. Last season, Senzel played in career-high 100 games, but his production at the plate was horrific.

This spring, Senzel had better bring his A-game to Goodyear or he'll likely be left off the Reds Opening Day roster. This season, more than ever, the Reds have enough depth at the position to bump Senzel out of a spot in the starting lineup.

The trio of Michael Siani, TJ Friedl, and Stuart Fairchild can all play center field. This will be the first year since his rookie season that Senzel has had to compete for a spot in the starting lineup.

Is the 27-year-old up for the challenge? Senzel does not become a free agent until after the 2025 season. But with such little production at the plate, one really has to wonder how much longer the Reds will cling to the hope that Senzel will one day turn into the player that everyone hoped he'd become.

The Cincinnati Reds have been outspoken about the open competition that Nick Senzel will be a part of during spring training. With Spencer Steer, Jonathan India, Matt McLain, Elly De La Cruz, Kevin Newman, and others fighting it out for playing time in the infield, it would appear that Senzel's best chance to make the team is in the outfield.

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