Top prospect Nick Senzel tore a tendon in the index finger of his right hand in last night’s Louisville Bats game, as reported this morning by our Steve Mancuso. The injury will require season-ending surgery, the Reds announced.
— Nick Senzel (@LilSenzii) June 23, 2018
Reaction among Reds fans was predictable:
— Cincinnati 💔 (@CincyProblems) June 23, 2018
— lurry dav (@tczrnk) June 23, 2018
— Ron Denney ⚾ (@mrdennero) June 23, 2018
— Jacob Kelhoffer (@jkelhoffer23) June 23, 2018
— Cousin Kirk (@CousinKirk) June 23, 2018
The debate of when to bring him up from Louisville, at least in 2018, is now moot. The most immediate impact is likely to center around Scooter Gennett and Dilson Herrera. Most of the talk centering around a possible Scooter Gennett trade was with the mindset that second base was being cleared for Senzel.
Here are some arguments from the perspective that Gennett’s development as a hitter is legitimate and not some fluke that is likely to unravel:
— Fantasy Sports Radio (@SiriusXMFantasy) June 23, 2018
If Gennett is traded – and this correspondent says that should ONLY be done for equal or greater value, which ideally would be for a package including a starting pitcher either already in a major league rotation or banging on the door from the minors – then Herrera would likely be Gennett’s successor this year.
At Louisville, Herrera’s slash line is .285/.373/.423 with a .797 OPS. His reputation has been as an infielder who can hit, and we may get the chance to see him prove it. He’ll be the first call-up if injury strikes either Gennett or Eugenio Suarez.
Hypothetically, if Gennett gets traded, and Herrera comes up and is impressive, then you’ll have the same issue at the beginning of 2019 as you had this year: Where will Senzel play?
The positions which could use upgrades on the Reds as currently constituted are left field, center field and shortstop. There was an article earlier in the year in which Reds bench coach Pat Kelly, then serving as manager of Louisville, was quoted as saying that Senzel is definitively NOT a shortstop. It has been my argument for weeks that the second-base logjam will need to be broken by one or more of the principals moving to the outfield – or at least being given a long look there to see if they can handle it defensively.
Marty Brennaman agrees:
“Well, you don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings in Louisville by putting him in left field.” Marty on the Reds finding a place for Nick Senzel. #reds
— TitanicStruggle (@TitanicStruggle) June 15, 2018
But enough of the bad news. The good news prior to today’s third game of the four-game set against the Cubs at Great American Ball Park is that the Reds have won eight of their last 10 games, including five in a row. Prior to yesterday’s game, the Reds media relations crew shared this information:
From the #Reds game notes:
NL CENTRAL BEGINNING MAY 8
Chicago 25 15 .625 –
Milwaukee 24 15 .615 0.5
Cincinnati 21 18 .538 3.5
St. Louis 18 22 .450 7.0
Pittsburgh 17 22 .436 7.5
On May 8, Cin acquired RHP Matt Harvey from NYM
— John Fay (@johnfayman) June 22, 2018
Game time is 4:10 p.m. Eastern time.
There are some good storylines in today’s pitching matchup. Righthander Luke Farrell gets the call for the Cubs. He’s made 12 appearances in relief so far this year, and is starting today because Chicago had to juggle its starting pitching rotation after a doubleheader last Tuesday. Farrell, of course, pitched for the Reds late last season after being released by the Royals. As the Reds front office was making roster decisions following the regular season, they put Farrell on waivers – and he was claimed by the Cubs. Also, don’t forget that Farrell’s dad, John, is a part-time scout for the Reds.
The younger Farrell has 26 strikeouts in 17.1 relief innings to date. Since he’s averaging less than two innings per appearance, it’s quite possible this is going to be a “bullpen day” for the Cubs, similar to the strategy the Tampa Bay Rays are employing every fifth day. It’s going to be very interesting to see what kind of stuff Farrell has, and whether or not the front office may have made a mistake in letting this particular young pitcher slip away.
DeSclafani, after a rough first start, appears to be rounding into form following his injury rehab. His last two starts, both wins, have resulted in 10.2 innings pitched and four earned runs allowed. If he can stay healthy, and that is certainly questionable, he is the stabilizing veteran that the very young rotation needs and that Homer Bailey has not been.
Starting pitching update: Reds starting pitchers have given up 19 runs in the past 10 games, of which – not coincidentally – eight have been victories, and …
Over the past week, right-handed batters are 9-for-70 against #Reds starting pitchers.
— Jamie Ramsey (@Jamieblog) June 23, 2018
David Hernandez pitched two lights-out innings in last night’s win, and may not be available today. Everyone else should be ready if called upon.
|3B Tommy LaStella||SS Alex Blandino|
|RF Jason Heyward||C Tucker Barnhart|
|2B Ben Zobrist||1B Joey Votto|
|1B Anthony Rizzo||2B Scooter Gennett|
|C Willson Contreras||3B Eugenio Suarez|
|LF Kyle Schwarber||RF Jesse Winker|
|SS Addison Russell||LF Adam Duvall|
|CF Ian Happ||P Anthony DeSclafani|
|P Luke Farrell||CF Billy Hamilton|
News and Notes
Good news from Dayton …
Hunter Greene with arguably his best start of his career, and easily his longest: 6.2IP, 5H, 2ER, 0BB, 7K. Hit one batter, 87 pitches, 62 strikes.
— Doug Gray (@dougdirt24) June 23, 2018
Tom Mitsoff is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek, Ohio. He lived a teenage life atypical of most his age by prioritizing following the Reds. At one point in the 1970s and early 1980s, Tom kept complete scorecards on more than 1,000 consecutive Reds games. Now that adult life has forced him to move on from his beloved Southwest Ohio, he follows the Reds daily through MLB.TV and other online media sources, including Redleg Nation.