The Reds wanted to see more of Nick Senzel in the outfield before giving him an everyday job in the Majors. But the club might not see much of its top prospect at all now to begin the season.
Senzel left Monday's Minor League game with a right ankle injury he suffered while sliding into second base. Cincinnati manager David Bell told reporters Senzel was undergoing tests to determine the extent of the injury. On Tuesday, the Reds announced that Senzel would be in a boot for a week or two.
The injury occurred just days after Cincinnati reassigned MLB.com's No. 6 overall prospect to Minor League camp. The 23-year-old career infielder spent Spring Training competing for the Opening Day job in center field, which ultimately went to Scott Schebler. The position change was an attempt to get Senzel's bat in the big league lineup after he recorded a slash line of 310/.378/.509 in 171 at-bats with Triple-A Louisville last year. Senzel went 12-for-39 (.308) with six doubles, three RBIs and four stolen bases in 12 Cactus League games.
Offseason MiLB include
"This was the hardest cut we've had that I can remember," Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams told MLB.com last week. "With Nick in particular, it is a recognition of the fact that he exceeded expectations this spring. With some more game experience out there -- I think he's literally been in 12 games as a center fielder -- a handful of innings at night and really only a couple of nine-inning games. With some experience, he has shown us that he's going to do it out there. I think that surprised a lot of people. We owe it to him to give him the opportunity to get prepared for when he comes here."
Senzel's small sample from 2018 was the result of other injuries. He dealt with vertigo for most of May and was shut down at the end of June after fracturing his right index finger. He also had surgery in October to remove bone spurs in his left elbow, a procedure cut into his preparation for the outfield.