It’s official: the Cincinnati Reds have called up top prospect Nick Senzel. He’ll presumably be in tonight’s lineup against the Giants in Cincinnati.
Senzel, 23, got a late start to the season due to a late spring training ankle injury, but he’s back now and is hitting .257/.316/.371 through eight games with Triple-A Louisville. Last year he hit .310/.378/.509 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 193 plate appearances.
He was probably ready to break camp with the Reds but they reassigned him to the minors -- before the ankle injury -- in a move his agent called an “egregious case of service time manipulation.” There was at least a plausible reason to send Senzel down given that Scott Schebler outperformed him in spring training, earning the only available outfield spot on the big club. If the Reds wanted to both reward Schebler and keep Senzel playing every day, sending Senzel to Louisville was the only real option.
Schebler has been terrible for the Reds so far this season, however, hitting a woeful .127/.258/.228 in 93 plate appearances. Given that, given that the Reds offense has been bad overall, and given that the Reds are in last place, already seven games out of the division lead, there is no reason not to put a guy who is likely to be a part of the next good Reds team in the lineup every day and let him make all the mistakes he’s gonna make now rather than later. And, of course, to give the team better production than they’re getting.