In what has felt like that longest 72 hours, Cincinnati Reds fans finally know what’s going on with starting center fielder Nick Senzel and second baseman Mike Moustakas after both were “feeling ill” on Sunday and haven’t been seen since. That came a day after Matt Davidson tested positive for COVID-19 and was put on the injured list as a result. Teams are unable to talk about the players health with regards to COVID-19 unless the players give them permission. When asked, Manager David Bell has had no real comments other than they hope to get some news soon. But following their loss on Tuesday night, outfielder Nick Castellanos spilled the beans to the media, noting that the two players tested negative, but can’t return to play until Thursday due to league protocols.

This team could use something right now. As Castellanos said above, Senzel and Moustakas are big parts of the lineup. They sit at 1-4 on the season and have lost four games in a row since beating the Detroit Tigers on Opening Day. The offense has been inconsistent at best, though it’s been the bullpen that’s run into problems often during the losing streak. In a shortened season, starting out 1-4 is about the worst case scenario from a record standpoint that you could have imagined.

Maybe things will turn around on Wednesday with Sonny Gray returning to the mound for his second start of the season. Guys at the front of rotations are called stoppers for a reason. But as we’ve seen, they can’t stop it all on their own – the offense has to do their job, too. Hopefully both Gray and the offense can get the job done and turn this ship around for the Reds. There are still plenty of games left, but each one becomes more important as the season gets shorter.

Update: July 28th

C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic covered this morning how the Reds, Nick Senzel, and Mike Moustakas are petitioning Major League Baseball to get the two players back on the field after neither has tested positive for COVID-19 and both have multiple MLB negative tests since first reporting symptoms that could have been related to the virus, but neither has had those symptoms for several days. Their appeal process was set to be heard by a panel of league and union reps on Wednesday morning.

Update: July 28, 2:10pm ET

Nick Senzel appears to be back. We’re going to take it that his hearing went well.

31 Responses

    • Johnnie Sparks

      Our reds won’t win until David Bell is fired

  1. David Taylor

    Glad to hear this news! Not glad that we have to wait until Thursday to get them back. Seems a bit much if they both tested negative.

  2. Old-school

    A negative test with symptoms one day after a high risk exposure isn’t enough. It’s good news but doesn’t rule out covid. Just Ask the white house and Kremlin and Congress and prince Charles and Boris how covid still penetrates the hallowed halls of governance despite negative tests.

    But, a needed first step to get these 2 guys back .

    • pinson343

      They had multiple negative tests and no symptoms since Sunday. Nonetheless they have to go before a review board this morning.

    • pinson343

      Both players have satisfied the league’s requirements surrounding the corona virus but haven’t been able to return to play because MLB is putting returns on hold due to the Marlins outbreak.

    • Cartel

      Not sure this would be considered a “high risk exposure.” Not too mention if he was tested because of symptoms and symptoms better the original symptoms were unlikely due to COVID if COVID test was negative. Test is like 97% sensitive or so (at least ours are) and while COVID may have a bimodal symptoms curve it seems unlikely here given the brevity of the symptoms.

      • Old-school

        Moustakis hit 5th, Davidson hit 6 th and Senzel hit 7th opening night. Davidson tested + Saturday. Both Moustakis and Senzel had symptoms Sunday morning.

        Sharing a locker room and dugout with an infected player for 5 hours and batting directly before and after said infected player and undoubtedly talking to each other without masks at point blank range in the on deck circle and dugout isn’t high risk exposure?

  3. Poopy

    League protocols don’t allow them to come back with a negative test, yet Tyler Stephenson can hit a HR and high five 1,000 teammates? This is so dumb.

  4. Mark Moore

    I’m thinking we all suspected this was going on, but at least we know. And if the IL stint was of the COVID variety, then Moose needs a 2nd consecutive test today so he’s cleared to return if I understand it correctly.

    Either way, we need them back ASAP.

  5. SultanofSwaff

    The Cubs move on to play KC and Pittsburgh. If we don’t slow their roll today and tomorrow, they could pull away. After seeing our hitters flail at Kyle Hendricks lite yesterday, today’s matchup with the real deal might be even uglier.

    • Ernie

      This once proud organization now finds ways to lose and it’s sickening,different lineups every day,somebody has a good day at plate and he’s not in the next game lineup.Hitters are for sure behind pitchers at this point.Going to be a long season if we have one, which I doubt.

      • Wayne Nabors

        Thats the same m.o as last year,no one cools a player off like David bell

  6. Charlie Waffles

    This is surely good news on the player front.
    But what ails this team the most is the incompetent manager at the helm. I think this team would be better off if Derek Johnson took over the manager’s spot ASAP. Otherwise, it is more of the same ole losing.
    Then again, maybe it is time for the Reds Dick Williams to start thinking of 2021 and pick up the phone and call 1-800-Bruce Bochy. Bochy would keep DJ in the fold as pitching coach, too, no doubt.
    Bell’s record with the Reds sure resembles his record as a minor league manager. The Reds infused their roster with $165MM in talent this past winter and nothing has changed with Bell in charge. Nothing, the losing continues. Castellini has to be furious with the results Bell has delivered. We all should be.

    Edited post: You can be angry. You can’t drop personal insults on people. Play nice or you don’t get to play.

    • David Taylor

      Just curious, what would you have done differently? Different lineups? Different starters? What exactly?

      The bullpen is crumbling, but that has been the case for several years. Ditch Robert Stephenson, ditch Raisel, figure out what is wrong with Lorenzen, etc….

    • Wayne Nabors

      NBC News suspects they’ll win appeal this morning, let’s just hope tom Ricketts isn’t on joint committee

    • David Taylor

      This whole idea of someone having the sniffles we must make them sit out is ridiculous. COVID symptoms are the same as a million other sicknesses. If they test negative, multiple times, let them play!

  7. Old-school

    C Trent points out the CF position and 2b position are 0-20 in the 3 games without Moose/Senzel.

  8. RedNat

    I love our guys attitude. Looks like our reds team wasnt as good as advertised but i love the heart they are showing for wanting to get back on the field. Even if they go 1 – 59 i will follow them the whole year. True heroes in my book!

  9. BO

    I’m not a big fan of Bell either but I don’t really understand all the hate. From an offensive perspective I completely understand wanting players to know when they are going to play and to have Shogo playing everyday but how can a manger be successful when:
    – Moose goes out and this team has no 4/5 hitter. I know people will disagree but to me Nick C is a great 2 hole hitter, he is a doubles machine and Votto is no longer a 3/4 guy.
    – Suarez can’t hit and to me is the only quality 3 guy on the roster when he is right.
    – No one in the bullpen is consistently getting outs aside from Garrett who can’t possibly pitch in every game.
    I think the talent on this team is strong but you have to see the holes in the roster and that some of the issues they have right now is not on David Bell.

    • Wayne Nabors

      Hard to explain that opening day lineup and colon as dh,shogo needs to start and he consistently puts lorenzen in tight games which should never happen,3 appearance’s 3 2-run homer’s

    • Wayne Nabors

      not to mention aggravating Castellanos in his 1st game when he has an opt out

  10. JoshG

    I’m just questioning the Colon usage… DH? then pinch hit ? he should be being used as the last resort utility guy …..

    • Wayne Nabors

      The reason I mention opening day is I’ve been around and every team always plays best lineup on opening day regardless of who is pitching, and i about passed out when i seen ervin and davidson who was either the 29th or 30th added

    • Wayne Nabors

      All teams play they’re starting lineup on opening day but bell shows up with ervin and davidson in opening day lineup, hard to defend that

      • CP

        Ervin hits LHPs like a starter and Winker hits them like Billy Hamilton. He has a career 0.887 OPS versus them, whereas Winker has a 0.535 OPS.

        Although I think the Reds gave up a little too soon on declaring Winker a platoon guy, it is very unlikely he ever approaches Ervin in that department. Ervin is a weapon in that department, and I think they’d be foolish not to use him. The days where the same 8 guys were penciled in everyday are gone.

        I don’t particularly care for Davidson but he also hits LHP well. I think Aquino would have been the guy if he was on the roster that day, but he wasn’t.

        I don’t think there is a justifiable excuse for Colon though.

    • BO

      I agree with your points but I think Colon and Davidson are more on the front office. If you make a player available the manager will use them and we know Bell leans on information even if the data is a single at bat. In a year like this year, if a player is on either roster (Cinci or Prasco) odds are you will eat into service time at some point. With that said you are also in a 60 game sprint and you can’t tell me the Reds wouldn’t have been better served with Stephenson and Garcia. However, I think the front office continues to look at how it impacts service time when the reality is all of those guys at one point or another will be used in the big leagues this year if the season gets completed.

      I also agree Shogo should be playing more but the R/L match-up worked out when Ervin came in for him last night. I am as frustrated as anyone with how this season as started but all I am saying is I think the FO deserves some of the blame making these guys available who have no reason to be on the club.