Reds outfielder Nick Senzel could begin appearing in spring training games next week, per Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Senzel has been working back from the shoulder surgery he underwent last September, and though the Reds believe he’s versatile enough to handle all three outfield positions, they’re only going to play him in center until he’s fully healed, according to manager David Bell. “I know he could do it but allowing him to focus on one spot may be more important than any of our other outfielders just because they all have so much more experience out there than he does,” Bell said of Senzel, a former infield prospect who spent his rookie season in center. The 24-year-old’s one of several outfielders for the Reds, who also count Nick Castellanos, Jesse Winker, Shogo Akiyama and Aristides Aquino among their options in the grass.
More from the National League…
- Concerned about the possibility of “a structural emergency” in their current stadium, Chase Field, the Diamondbacks sent representatives to Vancouver to explore the Canadian city’s viablity as a temporary landing spot in 2018 and ’19, Sean Fitz-Gerald of The Athletic reports (subscription link). Diamondbacks officials toured B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver, which was one of six potential destinations Major League Baseball recommended for the club. “While working at Major League Baseball, I provided the team with numerous possibilities, including Vancouver,” Joe Garagiola Jr., who’s now in the D-backs’ front office, told Fitz-Gerald. “Club executives visited there to determine the reality of making it a contingency plan.”Meanwhile, Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station (via Kevin Zimmerman) that the club did indeed send officials to Vancouver. “Any team that has a dome, in particular in a challenging weather atmosphere, should have at least a backup plan,” Hall said. “I mean, if that (Chase Field) roof won’t close in the middle of summer, we can’t play here. Probably, the union wouldn’t allow it, we wouldn’t allow it.” Even though Chase Field opened somewhat recently (1998), the Diamondbacks have made their unhappiness with the facility known over the past few years. Still, the team has “no intention” of leaving Arizona, Hall said.
- Most of the Giants’ rotation appears set with Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Kevin Gausman and Drew Smyly in line to comprise 80 percent of it. The last spot’s in question, but it’s “likely” to come down to righties Tyler Beede and Logan Webb, Maria Guardado of MLB.com writes. For now, Beede looks to be in the lead, per John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. The 26-year-old threw two no-hit innings and reached 98 mph on the radar gun in his Cactus League debut Thursday. Beede averaged just over 94 mph on his fastball in 2019, when he struggled to a 5.08 ERA/5.03 FIP and posted 8.69 K/9 and 3.54 BB/9 in 117 innings. Webb, 23, made his MLB debut in 2019 and put up numbers similar to Beede’s over a smaller sample of 39 2/3 frames (93 mph velo, 5.22 ERA/4.12 FIP, 8.39 K/9, 3.18 BB/9).
- Infielder/outfielder Chris Owings has never played first base in his career, but he has been working there this spring in an effort to make the Rockies as a super-utility man, Jake Rill of MLB.com writes. Owings, whom the Rockies added on a minor league contract in free agency, had a couple useful seasons in the past with division-rival Arizona. But neither 2018 nor ’19 treated Owings well. Between the Royals and Red Sox last season, he battled an unsightly .139/.209/.233 (13 wRC+) in 196 plate appearances. But if he does earn a roster spot with Colorado, he could be a backup option behind starting first baseman Daniel Murphy.