Shoulder injury ends Senzel's rookie season

Reds outfielder will seek second opinion on torn right labrum

September 13th, 2019

SEATTLE -- has a partial tear of the labrum in his right shoulder and will miss the remainder of the season, Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams announced Thursday.

Senzel underwent an MRI exam on Friday that revealed tearing that had progressed since the initial injury, which occurred sometime before he was scratched from the club’s Sept. 4 lineup.

Senzel will seek a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Monday in Los Angeles to determine the severity of the injury and next step. Surgery is possible, though any procedure should not preclude Senzel from being ready by Spring Training, Williams said.

”I'm interested to kind of see what the plan is and then go from there, either surgery or just rehab it,” Senzel said. “I don't know what I'm going to do yet. I'm going to go to California on Monday and come back and see what we need to do and what the best plan is and then go into the offseason and be ready for 2020, because that's the most important thing. I've got to be ready for day one, so I'm going to work hard to get this thing right and then play next year.”

Senzel hasn’t played since pinch-running during the ninth inning in back-to-back games from Sept. 6-7 -- a role that Cincinnati said he’d be exclusively limited to. Senzel, who said he dealt with similar shoulder issues in 2016, also took part in light baseball activities. He received a cortisone shot attempting to combat the issue before being shut down.

“It just got to a point where we were doing treatment for it and it just wasn't getting any better,” Senzel said. “I had a shot and it just wasn't getting any better and was still sort of the same. When I found out the news, I didn't think it was [torn], but I was obviously shocked.”

The No. 2 overall pick in 2016 and the Reds’ No. 1 prospect entering ‘19, Senzel’s rookie season got off to a stalled start as he transitioned from second base to center field, and it was compounded when he suffered a right ankle sprain during the final week of Spring Training.

After he debuted on May 3, Senzel missed a game after fouling a pitch off the area above his right eye on June 15 that required stitches, then again sprained his right ankle crashing into the right-center-field wall attempting to make a catch during the final game of the first half. Senzel also was sidelined for non-baseball injuries, including migraines and allergies.

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Senzel also missed time last season with vertigo and a fractured right index finger.

“It sucks to hear it and I've been through a lot, I felt like the last two years,” Senzel said. “I thought it was behind me, and then to hear about this is frustrating. But it's not something that's going to derail me. I've just got to take the right course of action and we'll decide that. We'll sit down and talk and just go from there.”

“He's had his fair share of injuries,” Williams said. “I think that's the biggest source of frustration for him. The couple that I'm thinking of have been more of the impact injury, non-preventable, fluky stuff, and I think with the ankle, I think he was just really looking forward to an offseason to get ready to help us and not spend the offseason necessarily doing rehab. The important thing is that we think this is a very solvable problem.”

When healthy and on the field, Senzel soared to a stellar start through his first 70 games, slashing .285/.346/.475, but his final 34 games from Aug. 1 on were a struggle; he hit .188/.242/.313.

“It’s very frustrating,” Senzel said Wednesday. “I don’t know, man. It’s just very frustrating. Obviously, it was a frustrating month of August for me. I felt like I was playing well and then went into a rough month and was trying to get back on track this month, it doesn’t look that promising. It’s part of the game though.”

Reds manager David Bell also hinted on Thursday that left-handed starter Alex Wood (lower back strain) and outfielder Jesse Winker (cervical strain) are running against season’s end in their rehab, with marginal progression.