Well, this is just wonderful. Nick Senzel, the Reds’ top prospect who they refused to promote to the majors last April, now needs surgery on his elbow (after missing the end of the season with a broken finger). Details from the Enquirer:

Senzel told the Enquirer that he needs surgery to remove bone spurs in his left elbow, which will sideline him for six-to-eight weeks. He expects to be 100 percent healthy by Spring Training but was disappointed that it would cost him additional playing time in the fall.

“I have two bone spurs in my left elbow, so I have to get a scope surgery done to clean it out,” Senzel said. “I think it’s six weeks, so I’m down another six weeks here soon, which is another kind of crappy thing.”

It’s a simple procedure, and there’s no reason to believe that Senzel won’t be ready for spring training. But it will serve as yet another excuse for the Reds to refuse to call him to the majors until September of 2022. (No, I’m not cynical. Why do you ask?)

The surgery also may be enough to prevent the Reds from being able to include Senzel in any off-season trades. I’m not advocating a trade of Senzel, but he’s a significant asset that could be moved in the right deal. Now the Reds, potentially, have one fewer asset in their arsenal of trade possibilities, at least for this winter.


Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 39 Comments

  1. Well crap. We woke this morning to the news that Senzel may be getting some valuable time in CF this fall. And by lunch time this news. At least it isn’t very serious and in his non-throwing arm. And at least he’ll be ready for spring training. Just crappy news.

    • Yep. The CF news didn’t even get 12 hrs. of enjoyment.

    • Seems a little odd that it’s his non-throwing arm. I’ve had this surgery and it really isn’t a big deal unless the underlying cause is arthritis, in which case it’s transformative, an not in a good way.

  2. Any reason why this wasn’t looked at when he wasn’t down for the finger?

    • My guess it probably didn’t start bothering him until he started getting ready to play fall ball. Really, 100% a guess though.

  3. Sigh… It’s no fun, but if he is going to have three injuries in one season. It might as well be this year and not next.

    I have to say though Chad your headline made me wonder, “How did senzel hurt an elbow ligament.”

  4. Where was the news about CF? I didn’t see it.

  5. This kid has bust written all over him. Deal him now and hope there is some sucker out there that will give up some talent…

    • He has done nothing but hit in the minors and play excellent defense. Injuries could derail his career like Mesoraco, but it is a little premature to determine a couple of minor injuries have ended his career. The only reason he hasn’t played in the majors is the Reds lack of a plan. Blocked at 3B so he was moved to 2B where he was also blocked, then after a year of that he finally gets some time in the OF

    • What makes you think he will be a bust?

  6. The Reds Medical Department is Clown Shoes.


    • Because they don’t subject all of the players to MRI’s, X-rays and Cat-scans on a weekly basis? It’s frequently mentioned, correctly so, that all teams have injuries. Somebody did some research awhile ago that indicated that the Reds are about average in this unenviable category.

  7. Jesse Winker is recovering from major shoulder surgery. Scott Schebler had a recurring shoulder injury that significantly compromised his throwing arm. Hunter Greene has a significant throwing related elbow injury. Nick Senzel has had several injuries requiring minor surgeries that have caused him to miss important development time.

    As if the Reds needed more reason, focus on 2020. Let the crown jewels of the future get healthy. Purge/expire the contracts of 2019- Hamilton/Bailey/gennett- so that 2020 can be a starting point for the rebuild and a new enhanced budget. There simply is no credible scenario where the Reds win 90 games in 2019 and pass the Cubs and Brewers. The Cardinals .have a boatload of players that are not team controlled past 2020. They are all in for 2019.

    • I hate to say it but I agree with Old School there is no plausible way this team is going to win 90 games next season. You would have to sign Morton, Keuchel and Corbin and then still hope that no one really gets hurt and I just don’t see that happening.

  8. With this development, it seems less likely that either Gennett or Hamilton will be dealt or moved or whatever. I hope Senzel recovers completely. Don’t be Devin Mesoraco, redux.

    This is your 2019 Cincinnati Reds.

    • It’s a very simple surgery, and six weeks is a generous recovery time. Makes me think that they’re doing open surgery, not arthroscopic, and open surgery for this is the better option according to several orthopedic surgeons whom I’ve consulted. It’s also his non-throwing arm, so I can’t see why he wouldn’t be ready by next season.

      • Yes, recovery should be 100%. But doubt about his readiness for 2019 now exists. With his finger healed, he was going to play in a fall or winter league (?), to get ready for Spring Training. Now, the Reds won’t know until Spring Training 2019 if he is 100%, so unlikely anyone gets dealt to “make room” for Senzel.

  9. More from the I’m-not-cynical Department: I’m surprised the Front Office didn’t announce this at the start of 2019 spring training.

  10. Just full of good news today… Ugh.

  11. Senzel in CF is good news, Senzel needing surgery is not good news, however this particular injury doesn’t sound too significant. I would rather have him healthy instead of later hearing he was playing with an injury, like Winker evidently had. It probably gives the Reds even more of an excuse to give him a few weeks in the minors to “learn” CF. The bad news is it may give another excuse to keep Hamilton and give him another chance to figure out how to hit.

  12. I still like Senzel at 3rd and Suarez as a trade option for pitching.

    • Suarez and Iglesias are the only trade options for the Reds to get two frontline starting pitchers.

    • Me too, but less likely that happens this year. I see Senzel as a viable option @ cf from say June of 2019 through end of July of 2020. By that time Friedl, Siri, or possibly Trammel could take over in cf & Senzel move to 2nd (especially if Scooter chooses FA in 2020). By that time Long, Downs, or even India could be in that 2nd base conversation.

  13. Yup – all these injuries are bad luck, BULL. The medical and training staff of this organization has been, is, and will continue to be suspect.

    • Multiple ex Reds have complained of the medical staff. Originally I thought those former players were just making excuses for their performance. Then after seeing the handling of Mesoraco, Votto, and others who clearly should have not been on the field I think there may be something to the claims. I don’t know how many times they have kept guys on the roster who were clearly injured giving them occasional pinch hitting duty and then a week later putting them on the DL.

  14. And still nothing about Scooter’s shoulder.

    • Well, it hasn’t fallen off yet. Surgery is unlikely, because if it was recommended, it would have happened right after the season is over.

      Rest, physical therapy, etc may improve the shoulder without surgery. Surgery on shoulders is tricky, and could ruin a professional athlete.

      • That is what you would think, but it wouldn’t be the first time a guy waited for a surgery he needed

  15. At least it’s his left arm and not his throwing arm.

  16. And the hits just keep coming…

  17. Let me beat a dead drum…Yelich is only 3 games away from a WS. I’ve been a life-long Reds fans (45+ yrs), so I have seen and been with the team during some really down times to championship times. Many opportunities to get very talented players have been missed over the years. it has happened to every team. So I don’t know why the missed opportunity to acquire Yelich still gnaws at me like a dog on a bone, but it does.

    I live in Miami, so I have followed Yelich since his call up to the majors. Now hearing about Senzel injury makes me roll my eyes with frustration, because he is one of those assets that should not be traded for a player like Yelich (a batting champ, a probable NL MVP, and possible WS champ), because of the future. Well, in the near future, Senzel is having elbow surgery and probably will held back in the minors a little longer as Chad believes. Well, what about the present, which is what we have now. Souldn’t we as fans enjoys our team’s success in the present? It is tiring to see the future arrive into the present empty-handed.

    • Put Yelich on the Reds and you have at best a .500 team. Let it go, Yelich isn’t the answer to solving the Reds problems. When they have the talent to get to 85-90 wins then trade for a Yelich type player. Until then you are just trading away the future so you can say you have an All Star on your team, which in case you haven’t noticed, the Reds have multiple All Stars and a MVP already on the roster and almost lost 100 games

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.


2019 Reds, Minors