CINCINNATI -- Like everyone else, the Reds don’t know when the 2020 season could start or even when preparations for a season might begin ramping up. But they feel quite confident that when those days come, third baseman Eugenio Suárez and center fielder Nick Senzel will be ready. They had been recovering from shoulder surgeries.
“Both of them have been making excellent progress,” Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams said. “As always with rehab, there are periods of progress and then times to back off. Overall, we believe both have benefited from the extra downtime.
“We are planning on full go for both.”
Suárez underwent right shoulder surgery to remove loose cartilage on Jan. 28 after he was injured in a swimming pool accident at his South Florida home. Although he arrived at Spring Training on time in February, his rehabilitation schedule limited his activity.
Two months ago, the medical staff cleared Suárez to return to playing in games, and Reds manager David Bell had planned to put him in the starting lineup as the designated hitter on March 13. It was around the same time the COVID-19 pandemic forced Major League Baseball to shut down, however, and Suárez didn’t have the chance to get into a game.
Senzel had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder on Sept. 24, after his season was shut down. He arrived early to Spring Training but was on a limited schedule in the early days of camp.
Ahead of the halting of play, Senzel started four games as the DH and went 1-for-12 with a home run. He was on a throwing program and was nearing being able to get into games as the center fielder.
In mid-March, the club was hopeful that Suárez and Senzel could be ready for originally scheduled Opening Day on March 26, but that was not assured.
Suárez, 28, is coming off the best season of his career. In 2019, he hit a career-high 49 home runs while batting .271/.358/.572 with 103 RBIs in 159 games.
Senzel, 24, batted .256/.315/.427 with 12 homers and 42 RBIs in 104 games as a rookie last season.