Senzel lands on IL, but Reds get Moose back

August 19th, 2020

The Reds activated second baseman Mike Moustakas from the 10-day injured list on Wednesday before a doubleheader vs. his former club, the Royals. Center fielder Nick Senzel was placed on the injured list. Infielder Robel García was added to the roster as the 29th man for the twin bill.

The club didn’t disclose the reason for Senzel going on the IL, which has no minimum or maximum days under the health and safety protocol for COVID-19.

Cincinnati had three games postponed because of a player’s positive test for the coronavirus.

After the team arrived in Kansas City and worked out on Tuesday, three players required additional testing and screening before they were also cleared. Those players had to travel separately and will also have special arrangements made to get to St. Louis for the four-game series that begins on Thursday.

“Going forward, there will be increased testing for a small group of players that was determined to have had closer contact than the rest of us,” Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams said. “That’s not a CDC definition of close contact. That’s MLB’s doctors and the unions’ doctors evaluating the situation.

“They did the contact tracing, watched video and they determined in their judgement that a small group of players that would need some extra testing and probably keep them off team flights for a little bit longer. But they are cleared to participate in games.”

Upon the final out of Friday’s 8-1 Reds victory over the Pirates, Senzel was escorted from the field away from the handshake line by third base coach J.R. House. A visibly upset Senzel threw his glove on to the roof of the home dugout before going into the clubhouse with House.

In 14 games this season, Senzel is batting .244/.327/.489 with two homers and eight RBIs. While he’s out, Shogo Akiyama will play the majority of the time in center field while Travis Jankowski could also see action there.

“Shogo, as we’ve seen, has taken left field, but we also know that he’s just as good, if not better and has more playing time in center field in his career, so great options,” Reds manager David Bell said.

García was claimed off waivers from the Cubs on July 26 and has been at the club’s alternate training site at Prasco Park in Mason, Ohio.

Moose glad to be back
Back in the lineup for Game 1 Wednesday as the designated hitter, Moustakas hadn’t played since Aug. 4 because of a bruised left quadriceps muscle. He was able to work out at the team’s alternate training site while the active roster was quarantined.

“I went over there a couple of times, got some at-bats, moved around, ran some bases just to make sure I was ready to go, make sure that my quad was feeling as close to 100 percent as I could,” Moustakas said. “It feels great right now so I’m definitely prepared to play.”

The timing was perfect for Moustakas to have his activation happen at Kauffman Stadium, where he starred with the Royals from 2011-17. He was part of their back-to-back World Series teams in 2014-15, including one title.

“It’s definitely cool to be back at the K, definitely different to be on the other side of the dugout,” Moustakas said. “I spent a lot of time here, a lot of great years. I had a lot of fun, a lot of great memories.”

Rotation for St. Louis series
Because of their extended time off and a doubleheader on Wednesday, the Reds adjusted their pitching rotation for the four-game series vs. the Cardinals.

Sonny Gray will start on Thursday with Anthony DeSclafani on Friday, Wade Miley on Saturday and Tyler Mahle scheduled for Sunday.