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Does Nick Senzel Need an Everyday Position?

Sean Young

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Mar 12, 2018; Tempe, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds third baseman Nick Senzel (79) throws for the out against the Los Angeles Angels in the second inning at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

No. The short answer is no. At least for this year. But it is important that Senzel is in the lineup at least five days a week. The goal should be to get your best hitters in the organization plenty of at bats. The Cubs do it with Ian Happ, who started 49 games in center, 27 in left, 12 in right, and 12 at third. The same Ian Happ who was drafted out of the University of Cincinnati as a second baseman. They also do it with Ben Zobrist who logs time in right, left, and second. Like any good Reds fan I loathe the Cubs, but they would not be a bad team to try and emulate when it comes to getting your best players at bats. Nick Senzel has demonstrated the ability to play good defense at second and third, and I think that he is athletic enough to be a serviceable center fielder.  If I were in charge I would try to get Senzel at least 3 starts in center, 1 start at second, and 1 start at third every week, resulting in about 20 a bats per week give or take.

Lineup with Senzel in center:

Winker, LF

Votto, 1B

Suarez, 3B

Gennett, 2B

Puig, RF

Senzel, CF

Peraza, SS

Barnhart, C

This is the most preferable lineup because I believe that it gets your best hitters in the game. Great American Ball Park is small enough to mask some deficiencies when it comes to playing center. Shin-Soo Choo played below average defense in center in 2013 but made up for it by posting an OPS of .885.

Lineup when Senzel is at third:

Winker, LF

Votto, 1B

Gennett, 2B

Puig, CF

Senzel, 3B

Schebler/Kemp, RF

Peraza, SS

Barnhart, C

Not only does this keep Senzel in the lineup, but also gives Scott Schebler and Matt Kemp a chance to play. I would platoon Schebler and Kemp based on the pitching matchup since Schebler bats lefty and Kemp bats righty.

Lineup when Senzel is at second:

Winker, LF

Votto, 1B

Suarez, 3B

Puig, CF

Senzel, 2B

Schebler/Kemp, RF

Peraza, SS

Barnhart, C

This gives Senzel above 400 plate appearances in his first full year in the big leagues before taking over second base full time next year assuming the Reds let Scooter Gennett walk (which they should, but that is another conversation for another time). They will most likely do something at the beginning of the year to manipulate his service time, but I would not be surprised to see Senzel up with the major league club by mid-April roaming the outfield at GABP.

I am a lifelong Reds fan that grew up in St. Bernard. Currently live in Campbell County with my wife and two sons. My all time favorite player is Barry Larkin. I’m an Air Force veteran that served one tour in the Middle East. My Twitter handle is @syoung927.

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