Senzel working out at middle-infield positions

Finnegan confident in comeback after injuries plagued 2017 season

February 14th, 2018

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Position players often arrive at Spring Training early and get to work. Reds top prospect Nick Senzel arrived very early.

With the exception of the four-day team caravan in late January, Senzel has been at the Reds' complex in Arizona for about a month. Ranked the club's No. 1 prospect and No. 7 in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline, the third baseman has been working diligently at second base and shortstop.

"A lot of opportunities and a lot of new stuff at different positions," Senzel said. "I'm going to go out early, get some work in, get acquainted to the new spots I haven't played and that's it."

Senzel, 22, has exclusively been a third baseman since he was taken with No. 2 overall pick by the Reds in the 2016 Draft, but he was told he would be getting looks at the middle-infield and corner-outfield positions during his first big league camp.

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In recent days, Senzel has been doing less outfield work and more drills with infield coach Freddie Benavides on his technique. He's accepted the challenge of getting up to speed in the middle infield.

"It's footwork at each position and the different arm angles," Senzel said. "It's using your legs more -- footwork around the bags, double plays and stuff like that. It's definitely challenging. It helps a lot that my newest position was third base. I grew up playing middle infield -- second base and shortstop -- and playing those positions. I have more knowledge of those positions than I do at third base. Going back is just refreshing the memory."

Senzel hit .321/.391/.514 with 14 home runs and 65 RBIs in 119 games last season between Class A Advanced Daytona and Double-A Pensacola. He is expected to begin the 2018 season at Triple-A Louisville.

Finnegan feels healthy

Left-handed starter isn't coming back from just one arm injury. He hurt both in 2017. The 24-year-old was limited to four starts because of a strained teres major muscle near his left shoulder. Then he had surgery on his right shoulder to repair a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder in July. That injury took place while he was boating in Cincinnati.

"I have to put last season in the past. It happened, nothing I can do about it," Finnegan said. "My right shoulder feels better now, I think, than it did before. I feel a lot stronger. Everything is good to go for me right now. That's all that matters. I just have to continue the work that I've been doing and be ready to go."

Finnegan threw 172 innings in 2016 during his first full season as a starter for Cincinnati. Although his prospects are good to return to the Reds' rotation, manager Bryan Price noted on Tuesday that poor performance in Spring Training could knock a pitcher out of the Opening Day staff.

That didn't seem to concern Finnegan.

"I've never had a good Spring Training," he said. "If that's what it's coming down to, I don't think it's going to happen. I'm not being cocky or anything. You check my stats at Spring Training, I don't have good springs. A lot of guys are like that. I just need to go out and compete like I usually do."

Finnegan was scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Thursday.

One pitcher missing

As the Reds held their first workout of spring for their 34 pitchers and six catchers, one hurler was not in camp. Non-roster right-hander Rafael DePaula has been delayed by visa issues. DePaula recently pitched in the Caribbean Series for his Dominican club, which apparently slowed the process.

Other early arrivals

Among the position players in camp on Wednesday: outfielders  and .

Up next

Although rain is in the forecast, the Reds will work out again on Thursday morning. Among those slated for bullpen sessions are , Homer Bailey, , , and .