Senzel was not in the lineup Saturday -- Phillip Ervin started in center field vs. Milwaukee -- and is listed as day to day. Strop’s injury could shelve him for an extended period.
“I think Strop is a likely [injured list] candidate,” Reds manager David Bell said. “We’re still working through that. That has not been decided yet, but I think that’s direction it’s going.”
Pitching in the eighth inning Friday, Strop walked Orlando Arcia and winced after delivering his third and fourth pitches to Brock Holt. The right-hander sustained a right groin strain.
Senzel showed signs of discomfort while running from first to third in the first inning but exited during the fourth inning. He has been undergoing treatment.
“He responded well. He’s better than expected,” Bell said. “I don’t know what his availability will be tonight or [Sunday] yet. Pretty confident by Tuesday, he’ll be perfect.”
During his brief big league career, and even before, Senzel has had trouble with nagging injuries.
In 2018, Senzel missed time with a fractured right index finger. In ’19, at the end of Spring Training, he suffered a right ankle sprain. He also fouled a ball over an eye and sprained his ankle a second time. This season, he missed a game on Monday vs. Cleveland because of a sprained left ring finger and a few days during Summer Camp because of a hyperextended left elbow.
Bell believes some of the injuries came with how hard Senzel plays the game.
“It’s a physical, tough game,” Bell said. “Sometimes, no matter what you do, you end up getting banged up. I think it can be luck and coincidental. Sometimes, you have a bad stretch, and, hopefully, he’ll go 10 or 15 years of his career without having to deal with anything. I know there’s been a few things. I know it’s not easy on him. He’s doing everything he can to stay on the field and stay healthy.”
Entering Saturday, Reds pitchers led the Major Leagues with 165 strikeouts over 119 innings. That gave the staff a collective rate of 12.5 strikeouts per nine inning.
“I think as a staff, we have a lot of guys with incredible stuff,” said Gray, who is scheduled to start the series finale on Sunday. “You get strikeouts with having good stuff, but you also have to understand yourself. I think guys on our staff and guys in our bullpen -- and just our pitchers in general -- are starting to understand themselves better and understand how to strike people out.”
Gray has a 3-0 record and 0.96 ERA over three starts.
“For me going out there, I want to try and get to two strikes as fast as I can,” Gray said, “and then once I get to two strikes, I want to be able to be competitive with my put-away pitches.
“If we just continue to attack the zone, attack the zone, attack the zone, continue to put hitters on the defensive, it just becomes a lot harder to hit. You get to two strikes and you have good put-away pitches, it becomes a lot harder to hit the more you attack them early.”
The Reds are off on Monday and have not named any starting pitchers for the coming week. It’s possible that left-hander Wade Miley could return from the 10-day IL. Miley has been out since July 31 with a left groin strain.
“I would anticipate he will start a game right after [the off-day], Tuesday or Wednesday,” Bell said. “With the off-days, we’re still seeing how guys are recovering and everything just to see if we want to give guys an extra day or not.”
“We could definitely use him out of the bullpen, but we have zero hesitation having him start a game also,” Bell said. “Or maybe we have it a little bit more structured out of the bullpen, for example, behind Miley.”