When Nick Senzel hit the disabled list at the beginning of May with another bout of vertigo, it was blow to the psyche of what little hope the Reds fanbase had to look forward to. After spending nearly four weeks on the disabled list, he returned to the lineup in Triple-A on May 29th. Senzel would go 0-7 in those first two games, but he was hitting the ball hard in both games. He just happened to hit the ball hard right at guys.

On May 31st he went 1-4 with a double and a walk. Nick Senzel hasn’t let up since then. It’s been two weeks and he’s hitting .372 over that span with six walks and just seven strikeouts. He’s also slugging .512. He’s gotten a hit in all of the games but one since the 31st, and in the hitless game? Senzel walked twice. Oh yeah, and he’s pretty smooth on defense at both third base and second base, where he’s been seeing time with Louisville.

It sounds like the Cincinnati Reds have no plan to bring up Nick Senzel anytime soon. And truthfully, it makes sense with both Eugenio Suarez and Scooter Gennett doing what they are currently doing at the big league level. That’s going to give him time in Triple-A to just keep doing what he’s been doing. Even though I fully believe that he’s 100% capable of performing in the Major Leagues right now, there’s simply not a spot to play him in Cincinnati right now. And no, he’s not a shortstop. And no, neither is Eugenio Suarez, so I’m just going to stop your fantasy baseball maneuvering of players to positions that they can’t actually play in the Major Leagues before you even start. If the Reds felt Suarez or Senzel could play shortstop, then by whatever God you believe in, they would be playing shortstop right now. But they aren’t. Because they can’t.

Ibandel Isabel can’t be stopped

The Cincinnati Reds made a whole lot of weird decisions at the end of spring training and the first week of the year. One of those was to sign Yovani Gallardo, and that led to the team designating Ariel Hernandez for assignment. They wound up trading him to the Dodgers for reliever Zach Neal and first baseman Ibandel Isabel.

When Isabel joined the Reds organization he had already hit one home run on the season. In the 40 games since he arrived to the Cincinnati organization he’s hit 16. In Daytona. Who plays in the toughest league in minor league baseball to hit for power in.

On May 26th, Ibandel Isabel began an incredible run of power. He went 1-5 that day with a home run. The Daytona Tortugas were then rained out for the next week. They’ve played 14 games in the last 12 days thanks to multiple double headers. In the 15 games since May 26th began, the 22-year-old (he turns 23 in a week) has hit 11 home runs. He currently leads the league in home runs with 16. Only five other players have reached double digit home runs. The 11 home runs he’s hit in his last 15 games? Yeah, that alone would tie him for the league lead with two other players.

Join the conversation! 13 Comments

  1. Thanks for the write up Doug.

    Your point is well taken concerning Senzel’s ML starting position. For my mind it has to be 2nd. Suarez is the 3rd of the future and his contract is the proof. Gennett may be signed longterm but it will not be to play 2nd. My guess is they move him for starting pitching along with Iggy. Then we wait it out for Trammel to man CF. Would like to eventually upgrade SS but that will take a back seat to improving our rotation.

    • I have seen some predictions that Trammell ends up in LF, others stating he is capable of playing CF. Obviously CF is the position of need for the Reds moving forward. Maybe someone with more knowledge than myself can speak to his future position, but maybe the answer is to acquire another CF and then if Trammell is still destroying the ball he takes one of the corner positions.

      I think we will know more after the trade deadline and off season. I think Scooter is traded to make way for Senzel. Herrera is hitting right now and probably worthy of a call up. At some point a decision has to be made unless the Reds implement some radical new shift with three 2B and no SS or CF.

      • Pretty certain that I’ve read that the issue with Trammell is his arm, which would make left seem more suitable than center.

      • He certainly has the speed and athleticism. The question is about the arm as GreenMTRED said above. Some believe the arm can improve, he’s young and should fill out a bit. And I don’t think it’s a Juan Pierre type arm to begin with. He’d probably play more CF in the minors if Siri wasn’t on the same team.

        • If Juan Pierre and Johnny Damon could play center because of their arms, then Taylor Trammell can, too. It’s a below-average arm, and you will give back a little bit to base runners on it, but catching the ball is far more important, IMO, for a center fielder, than a base a guy may take who has already reached.

  2. Isabel with HR #17 last night. Great pick up for Ariel Hernandez. Hernandez started out at AA for the Dodgers, got promoted to AAA and got beat around. Then was demoted back to AA, so getting Isabel was well worth it. The only good thing that came out of that Gallardo fiasco. I don’t give the front office much credit for this but most to the scouting department who made the recommendation to the front office. Any chance Isabel gets named as an injury replacement for the FSL all star game?
    Doug, I know you absolutely hate the idea of moving Senzel to the OF, any of the 3 OF spots. I can buy into your rationale, but where do you move Scooter to? Winker seems like a natural for LF and Schebler is manning RF. Schebler in CF just gives me the heebee jeebies. Can you envision Scooter in RF because I have a hard time seeing that as a positive defensive move?
    Trading Scooter will just polarize the fan base even more. What say you?

    • Scooter moves to the highest bidder, but he has played a few games in RF. I think if there was anyone moving to the OF the Reds would have already given reps to those individuals in the OF.

    • If the front office starts making player decisions on how it effects the fan base we are in more trouble then I thought.

    • Maybe Winker or Schebler become the odd man out who is moved if they elect to extend Gennett or the younger guys pushing up turn out to be better.

      There is a post here today which is ultimately about the team “awarding” a position to a guy then trying to work everything else around it. The team needs to keep the best combination of skill sets which fits their budgetary and competitive profile cycle and not worry about who those guys are. Folks talk about wanting to be like the Cardinals. Well, not being tied to specific personalities is one of their hallmarks,

  3. To maintain success a team builds positional depth across the diamond. When they have highly capable and numerous replacements in the minor leagues for a veteran at a certain position, especially one that doesn’t profile well at another position they do not sign that veteran to an extension. They trade the veteran to fill other glaring needs. Successful teams do not sign the veteran player because of warm and fuzzy feelings between fans and the player. They move on because THEY KNOW WHAT IT TAKES TO BUILD A WINNER, not like Bob Castellini and Company.

  4. It’s interesting that Senzel is leading off in L’Ville the last 3 or 4 games after hitting mostly 3rd in all his games in the minors. This is by design. Could it be that Nick Krall actually has a pulse and is looking to actually improve the 25 man roster in the near future?

  5. The Reds have to stick to the youth movement. They aren’t winning in 2019 either so spending money on 2019 and making decisions to improve 2019 makes no sense- unless those decisions improve 2020/21/22 as well.( Suarez extension). Homer Bailey still has a crippling 2019 contract.

    Put Senzel at 2B at the trade deadline. Play Schebler in CF every day till the end of 2019. Winker in LF every day .Trade Scooter. It’s not about what he did in 2017 or now in 2018 or even 2019. What is Scooter going to give you in 2020/21? I hope a solid mid rotation starter. The fact the Reds/ Krall just said Senzel isn’t moving to the OF tells you Scooter isn’t the plan at 2b.

    The Reds aren’t catching the Cubs or Cards or Brewers in 2019. Continue the talent infusion with players under 25. Get younger and commit to 2020.

  6. Lol.. I’m not necessarily debating your assertion that Suarez or Senzel can’t play shortstop, but too be so self-assured in yer analysis, “If the Reds felt Suarez or Senzel could play shortstop, then by whatever God you believe in, they would be playing shortstop right now. But they aren’t. Because they can’t,” only to follow that up in your very next paragraph starting with the line ‘The Cincinnati Reds made a whole lot of weird decisions at the end of spring training and the first week of the year,’ doesn’t do a whole lot to inspire confidence in your argument that the Reds know who is capable of what.. plus isn’t Suarez a converted shortstop, or am I wrong?

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