Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Senzel unfortunately saw his 2019 season come to an end earlier than expected when he injured his shoulder in early September. The injury wound up being more serious than initially expected and required surgery.

On Friday night at Redsfest, Senzel joined local sports radio host Lance McAlister, along with new signee Mike Moustakas. McAlister asked Senzel about the injury and where he was at in his recovery.

It feels really good. It was something I had to get done. It’d been going on for a long time. I’m looking to start swinging and throwing the second week of January. So I’m on track to be ready for opening day. I’m excited with the progress I’ve made, it’s good. They’re happy with it, which makes me happy too, so I’m just going to keep working at it.

There’s one thing that sticks out from that part of the interview: It’d been going on for a long time. Now, as the person who wasn’t conducting the interview, there wasn’t an opportunity to follow up on that. But it certainly stood out to me.

You can listen to the entire interview with Senzel and Moustakas at this link. There’s also many other clips from McAlister’s interviews with other players, coaches, and former players available.

Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer wrote about Senzel on Friday night, and he had an additional piece of interesting information on his shoulder and the surgery.

It’s something I pondered not doing, not getting the surgery, but when I think back, I’m glad I did because it was just going to get worse

There’s a lot more in the article from Nightengale, so you should be sure to go read it. But there’s certainly some interesting quotes from the Cincinnati Reds center fielder about what was happening last season with regards to his shoulder. It begs the question of not only how long was the shoulder nagging at Senzel, but did it keep his hitting from being what it could be?

Perhaps we will find out more on this Saturday. But for now what we do know that things are going well in his rehab, and that he’s on schedule to return in time for the start of the spring.

28 Responses

  1. DocProc

    I’m glad we added Moose and hope we land another big bat. But this team desperately needs healthy, productive years out of Senzel and Winker. Especially if they bat 1 and 2 in the lineup, as I hope they do.

    • CP

      Agreed. Here’s to dreaming on their line-up:

      Winker- LF
      Senzel- CF
      Votto- 1B
      Suarez- 3B
      Moose- 2B
      Aquino- RF
      Didi?/Galvis- SS
      Banhart- C

      That line-up will put up some runs!!

    • Shchi Cossack

      For the grass is always greener fans, this should serve as a reminder that it’s not.

      Senzel and Winker should be considered cornerstones of the next competitive team. I hope Aquino can lock down RF this year and prove to b another cornerstone, but that has yet to prove itself out thru his minor league career or his very brief major league career.

      As CP points out, the Rreds have a starting lineup on hand right now. Didi would make a nice addition to that lineup. Grandal would have been a welcome addition also, but as it turns out, that was never a realistic option since the Reds could not offer playing time as a DH to lessen the wear and tear of catching full time. Wheeler would have been a welcome addition also, but as it turns out, that was never a realistic option since his wife’s desire for an east coast home trumped anything the Reds could reasonably offer.

  2. Hotto4Votto

    The current OF situation certainly offers up a lot of questions without clear cut answers. All three spots and all four incumbent outfielders carry question marks with either health, performance, or both.

    As much hype as Senzel’s arrival had, his actual production left something to be desired. Compared to other highly rated and hyped prospects Jay Bruce and Joey Votto, Senzel’s production in his initial season falls short. Bruce, as a 21 year old in 108 games during his rookie year, put up a 97 OPS+ compared to Senzel’s (age 24) 89 OPS+ in 104 games. Votto doesn’t have a comparable sample size (24 games in 2007 then 151 in 2008) but he produced 127, 125 OPS+ during those initial years as a 23 and 24 year old. In fact, as down as Votto’s 2019 was with a 98 OPS+, Senzel’s 89 OPS+ was much closer to Iglesias’ 85 OPS+. Obviously age is factored favorably on Seznel’s side, and Votto’s is a reason for concerning trend, but the juxtaposition on how their seasons are discussed is interesting when looking at their production and not projection.

    Hopefully Senzel’s shoulder was a major contributor to somewhat disappointing results and we’ll see a reinvigorated version, the one who was a top 10 prospect in all of baseball.

    • Scott C

      One of the things that Senzel said in his interview was that he was going back to his old batting stance, evidently he was not happy with the changes that Ward made with his approach. That may have factored into Ward not being asked back.

      • Curt

        “Ward and Ecker had Senzel switch to a more open batting stance…”

        Wasn’t just Ward, and my guess is they were trying to do something positive and it just didn’t work out. It happens.

  3. Redgoggles

    Hope his shoulder surgery goes better than Scheblers!

  4. Johnny

    In Other News…Joey Votto said he will start hitting in May this year. This is after his customary April of talking walks and called third strikes. In all seriousness, I’m glad Nick is on track and doing well.

  5. AirborneJayJay

    It is just beyond stupidity to keep Senzel in the OF. The fear last year was that he would get hurt playing in the OF. He got hurt, and badly so.
    Billy Hamilton had a very difficult time playing a full season in CF and staying healthy. And the Reds are going to run an accident prone Senzel out there again in 2020.
    Well the Reds front office is still in the one step forward two steps backwards mode.
    Better get a back up CF that can start about 50-60 games that they can be comfortable with. Ervin, Winker and Aquino ain’t that guy.
    Senzel hasn’t broken a wrist yet. My money in 2020 is placed on a wrist injury sidelining him for multiple months, again.
    Get him back on the dirt.

    • doofus

      Uh, they have acquired the backup centerfielder you speak of: Jankowski. Martini may also be in the running.

      • Hanawi

        Yep. Almost certain that they will use the 26th spot on a CF backup that can pinch-run as well. Especially with Farmer being able to hold down 3rd catcher duties.

    • doofus

      Really, “accident prone?” Is not accident prone related to someone who cannot drive well or is always tripping over their living room rug?

      ALL players get hurt or banged up. How many players play all 162 games every year?

      • AirborneJayJay

        Call it what you will. Accident prone, injury prone, missing time prone. In a short amount of time Senzel has missed lengthy amounts of time due to a severe ankle sprain, injured finger that required surgery, an injured shoulder that required surgery, and 2 bouts of vertigo. That’s a lot of time missed in just the last 2 seasons. Both of his last 2 seasons have been cut short because of this.
        Jankowski? He missed a lot, a lot of time in 2017 and 2019 on his way to hitting below his weight (190) both years. He was hurt for a short time in 2018 and had a pretty decent season. The Reds have to be hoping for a return to 2018 form for Jankowski.
        I think it might be more beneficial for the Reds to move Moose to LF and Senzel to 2B. And then trade for a good CF. One of the Marte’s maybe? Benintendi maybe? Pederson possibly?

      • doofus

        Rendon missed time at the beginning of his career also.

    • doofus

      I agree that Senzel should play on the dirt, but for different reasons. An infielder can get hurt just like an outfielder can. An infielder is involved in more plays than an infielder. I believe that Senzel should play the infield because he is a better infielder than outfielder.

      • AirborneJayJay

        I agree. But that is only part of the equation. I also think he will hit better without the added pressure of learning a new position, and he is certainly still learning CF, weighing on him. I just think this fits the mantra of putting a player more in a position to succeed.

      • AirborneJayJay

        His finger injury happened while fielding a ball at 2B. There is no guarantee he stays healthy at 2B. So I Get what you are saying.

      • doofus

        Airborne, does your moniker originate from jumping out of perfectly good airplanes?

      • Curt

        Senzel never should have been in CF in the first place. It was a shortsighted and re-active decision. They prioritized Scooter over Senzel and where’s Scooter now?
        Nick’s a better infielder and yes, I think having to learn a new position as challenging as CF most certainly effected his focus at the plate.

  6. doofus

    Should the Reds go after Mookie Betts?

    • Hanawi

      If they are going to make a big trade like that, I’d prefer they go after Lindor. And then splash enough money to give him a long-term deal.

      • doofus

        I like that, but would Betts cost less in terms of talent than Lindor who has an extra year before he becomes a free agent?

      • Colorado Red

        Doofus,
        Boston is going to ask an Arm and a leg for Betts.
        Both will cost a ton.
        I do not think Lindor will be much more in terms of talent.
        Also, 2 years of Lindor will cost less then 1 year of Betts is terms of cash.

    • Colorado Red

      No, cost too much for 1 year.
      Lindor would have too years, and also cost an arm and a leg.
      Lindor also is a SS, and huge need.
      I think nick rebounds this year, having basically learned CF.

  7. James H.

    If there was anything wrong with his shoulder, especially something that required surgery or was a good idea to have surgery, it definitely affected his at-bats.
    It begs the question, WTF is wrong with the training staff and paying attention to the team’s #1?

    • doofus

      Has there been any info indicating the training staff is negligent?

  8. RedFuture

    Have there been any actual or planned upgrading of the outfield wall padding. It does not make sense to pay these outfielders so much while neglecting inevitable source of injury!

  9. TR

    I’m not encouraged by the way the Reds have used Senzel since he came up since he’s been blocked from playing his natural position in the infield. And it’s not going to get any better with the acquisition of Moustakas. Unless things change, the outfield looks unsettled for 2020.