The Reds announced Monday that center fielder Nick Senzel has been activated from the injured list, with right-hander Tyler Thornburg moving from the 10-day injured list to the 45-day injured list to open a 40-man roster spot. Senzel, who’ll technically return as the 29th man for today’s doubleheader, has been out since Aug. 19. He’s starting the first game of today’s twin bill in center.
Senzel, 25, was the No. 2 overall pick back in 2016 and was out to a .244/.327/.489 start through 14 games and 53 plate appearances in 2020. He hit .256/.315/.427 with a dozen homers and 14 steals as a rookie last year. He’ll add another option to an outfield mix that has seen seen Jesse Winker break out as one of the league’s more productive hitters. Nick Castellanos, meanwhile, has faded after a blistering start to the season, while rookie Shogo Akiyama has gone the opposite route — heating up in September after a slow start to his big league career.
The 31-year-old Thornburg went on the 10-day injured list late last week due to an elbow sprain — the latest in a mounting series ailments for the talented but oft-injured righty. Thornburg allowed three runs and punched out 10 hitters in seven innings with the Reds this year before the latest issue popped up.
Thornburg looked to be a breakout bullpen piece for the Brewers back in 2016 when he tossed 67 frames of 2.15 ERA ball with a 90-to-25 K/BB ratio, but he’s been derailed by injuries since being traded to the Red Sox in the Travis Shaw deal that winter. He battled shoulder troubles in early 2017 before undergoing thoracic outlet surgery that summer — a procedure that kept him out until July 2018. Thornburg returned to Boston in 2019 but was sidelined by a hip impingement for much of the season as well. Details on his current injury are still sparse, but the move to the 45-day IL formally brings his 2020 season to a close. He crossed six years of big league service in 2020, so he’ll be a free agent this winter.