The Reds have been hopeful to get center fielder Nick Senzel back for the final stretch of the season, and they remain so. A date for Senzel’s return has not been set. It won’t be Friday, but it could still be during the Reds’ weekend series in St. Louis.
Senzel, 25, has not played since Aug. 14 before going on the injured list.
“He’s getting there. I spoke with him, actually, a few minutes ago to see how he was doing,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He’s feeling good, feeling stronger. I think he’s getting pretty close. Really, don’t want to put a day on it yet for his sake and ours. As much as we want to get him back, he needs to be fully ready to go. I would say it’s a matter of days. I just don’t want to say a date.”
Setback for Miley
Left-handed starter Wade Miley, who has been on the 10-day injured list since Aug. 28 with a left shoulder strain, will not return this weekend to face the Cardinals as the Reds initially hoped.
“Wade, I will say he took a bit of a step back today,” Bell said. “Just more sore than he anticipated, and he might even get it checked out again just to double check. We’re still very hopeful to get him back here soon, definitely before the end of the year, but as far as this weekend, it’s not looking like that is going to happen.”
Moustakas starting to roll
Reds second baseman Mike Moustakas didn’t know it at the time, but he had a feeling it was going to be quite important. During Wednesday’s 3-0 win over the Cubs, Moustakas connected for a three-run home run against Yu Darvish with two outs in the first inning. It was the biggest hit of the game, and it accounted for one of the two hits the pitcher allowed.
“You always want to score first, you always want to get a lead, especially against a guy like Darvish, you know what he's capable of doing, and he ended up doing it the rest of the game,” Moustakas said on Thursday. “He pitched phenomenal. Even in that first, he pitched the ball great. I got a hanging breaking ball that I put a good swing on. Scoring first and getting Trevor [Bauer] the lead was huge for us. Obviously, Trevor had a phenomenal game and he threw the ball lights out for us. That was huge.”
Sustained success had eluded Moustakas for much of the shortened season. But hits are starting to come. Entering Thursday, he was batting .316 over his last six games with two homers and three doubles.
“As soon as you can focus less on results as far as average-wise or home runs-wise and all that stuff, and you can focus on the process and getting good pitches to hit, good at-bats and hitting the ball hard, that's where success is at, and all that other stuff will take care of itself,” Moustakas said. “Hopefully -- I don't know so much in 60 games -- but in 162, most of the time things will even themselves out.”
When Akiyama slashed a single into left field with two outs in the ninth inning during Wednesday’s win over the Cubs, the outfielder could be seen smiling at first base. Teammates Eugenio Suárez and Joey Votto were among those yelling encouragement at Akiyama in Japanese.
“It was Geno leading the cheer,” Akiyama said via interpreter Luke Shinoda. “I’m really thankful for them trying to learn Japanese. It was word such as ‘run,’ ‘go,’ and lastly, ‘I love you’ as well. Whenever there’s a broadcast in Japan, they cheer even harder.”
The Reds activated reliever Nate Jones from the paternity list and optioned reliever José De León to the alternate training site. Three prospects -- infielder Tyler Callahan, lefty pitcher Lyon Richardson and outfielder Michael Siani -- were added to the player pool to work out at Prasco Park. The club’s pool is now at 59 players.