Inbox: Senzel to get look in outfield in 2019?

Beat reporter Mark Sheldon answers questions from Reds fans

August 27th, 2018

What position will Nick Senzel play next year?
-- Ronald H. (via Facebook)

If the Reds are not able to reach a deal with Scooter Gennett and decide to trade him this offseason, I could see second base as the first option for Senzel, who is working his way back from season-ending right index finger surgery. But I think Cincinnati's top prospect is athletic enough to give the outfield a try -- either left field or center field. I was a little surprised Senzel didn't get any chances there during Spring Training while he was getting a look at shortstop.
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Why have the Reds not ridded themselves of , and Gennett? I really like them, but they will make a lot more money this coming year. Not only could you get something, but you would save about $20 million in salary by moving them. Then you could really add some starting pitching. Senzel and could easily fill in these spots. Plus, you have others like on the way.
-- Terry V. (via Facebook)

Part of the reasoning behind not moving those guys, and Matt Harvey, is the Reds' front office seems intent on finishing 2018 with as many wins as possible to try to carry momentum into '19. If the club was years from contending again and another teardown/rebuild was needed, I would agree that those guys should all go. But Iglesias isn't making too much money for the value he provides and Gennett has already been targeted for an extension.
Hamilton is the tricky one, because like Gennett, he will be third-year arbitration-eligible and a year from free agency. It's harder to place a market value on Hamilton since his on-base ability has been subpar while his defense is continually off the charts. Cincinnati not letting Harvey go -- both at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline and after he was claimed on waivers last week -- was a surprise, especially if he isn't going to be re-signed as a free agent.
Any chance that gets a look in center field for next year?
-- Luke D. (via Facebook)

I don't think so. Peraza, still only 24, has shown a lot of improvement at the plate and some in the field while getting to play every day at shortstop all season. I think stability is what he needs, and there really are no big league-ready shortstops in the system to take his place.
How is Jonathan India doing? Will we finally see a Reds prospect in the Majors sooner than later?
-- @JoeletPirman

On the plus side, India has already moved up two levels since opening his pro career with Rookie-level Greeneville after he was the fifth overall pick in the 2018 Draft. But not surprisingly, the numbers haven't been exceptional -- .224/.378/.400 with four home runs and 20 RBIs in a combined 38 games entering Monday with Greeneville, Rookie-level Billings and Class A Dayton, where he currently plays. It's been a long year for India, who essentially played for the University of Florida year-round and into the College World Series before missing some time during the signing process and then adjusting to life in pro ball. After a real offseason, I would expect 2019 to be a stronger year.
As for seeing a prospect in the Majors from the Reds, there have been a lot already over the past couple of years -- from to to .
What do you think would realistically have to happen for the Reds to make the playoffs next year?
-- James T.

A legitimate No. 1 or No. 2 starting pitcher for Cincinnati's starting rotation is sorely needed to bring a level of consistency and dependability. The current rotation ranks at or near the bottom of the National League in ERA, innings and WHIP, and it's at the top in home runs allowed. But what might be overlooked as a need is more offense. Obviously, injuries have really hampered the lineup in the second half, but having more run creators and producers to surround Joey Votto and can't hurt. The Reds also rank 11th in home runs in the NL, which you wouldn't expect for a team that calls Great American Ball Park its home.
Why do batters always adjust their batting gloves after every pitch -- even if they don't even swing?
-- Susanne G. (via Facebook)

It can be maddening, right? In the 1970s and '80s, former first baseman Mike Hargrove was known as "The Human Rain Delay" for such things. But even contemporary players like former Red often made a series of adjustments between pitches -- swing or no swing. Votto is one of the few guys I notice who stands in the box consistently after taking a pitch.