The Reds announced they’ve activated outfielder Aristides Aquino from the 60-day injured list. Fellow outfielder Mark Payton was optioned to Triple-A Louisville to create active roster space. To open a 40-man roster spot for Aquino, utilityman Nick Senzel was transferred from the 10-day to the 60-day IL.
Aquino fractured the hamate bone in his left hand in mid-April. The break required a surgical repair, and the 27-year-old ultimately wound up missing two months. Prior to the injury, Aquino had served as something of a designated pinch-hitter, coming off the bench in all ten of his appearances. With Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos having incredible seasons in the corner outfield, Aquino figures to assume that role once again.
The Reds are in a bit of a bind when it comes to Aquino. He burst onto the MLB scene in 2019, hitting a staggering 14 home runs in 115 plate appearances that August. Aquino really struggled over that season’s final month, though, and he didn’t perform at the start of 2020 either. Ultimately, he spent a good portion of last year at the alternate training site. He’s not a natural fit in center field, and with Winker, Castellanos and Joey Votto ahead of him on the depth chart at the bottom of the defensive spectrum, there’s not been much of an opportunity for manager David Bell to give Aquino everyday run.
Aquino is out of minor league option years, meaning the Reds can’t send him to Louisville without designating him for assignment. Given the promise he flashed as a rookie, Cincinnati hasn’t wanted to run the risk of losing him for little or no return on waivers or via a small trade. That dilemma will likely keep him on the Reds bench for now.
Senzel was placed on the injured list on May 21, retroactive to May 19. The transfer rules him out for 60 days from the time of his original IL placement- not today- so he won’t be eligible to return to the majors until mid-July. The 25-year-old, who has dealt with a barrage of health problems throughout his professional career, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee shortly after going on the IL.
The procedure originally came with a four-to-six week rest period. There’s no indication that’s meaningfully changed. He’ll surely need to go on a minor league rehab assignment before getting back to the big leagues. If he’d been tracking towards the latter end of his projected timeline anyhow, there’s little harm for the Reds in moving him to the 60-day IL and giving him an extra few days to rehab, particularly considering his injury history.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but when I think of what the Reds could have gotten for Senzel when his prospect stock was sky high, I just shake my head. I don’t entirely blame the Reds for that, but he’s so far been a player who can’t stay healthy long enough to prove anything.
And he hasn’t hit really; the description of him coming out of NCAA was accurate – high floor, lower ceiling…
I don’t dislike the guy one bit, but I have to think he’d get a better opportunity on a different roster. Maybe seek a low profile trade for a crapshoot prospect or just cash..
Alright, that is ridiculous.
Why is that ridiculous. He’s out of options and they have no shortage of OF depth or bench bats.
So sell him pennies on the dollar?
My friend he has shown himself to be pennies on the dollar
I am thinking the trade is either Shogo, or Naquin. The return would be greater, and Bell can’ use them both with Winker and Castellanos on the corners.
Teams like the Angels don’t have to look too far back to get an idea of the downfall that can happen when you don’t consider moving a top prospect for established major leaguers. Senzel could have become any number of players I’m sure the Reds could desperately use, now. Angels need to consider moving Adell for someone like Marquez or run the risk of getting nothing for nothing.
How about a Mickey Moniak for Senzel change of scenery trade? It might be interesting.
If Castellanos is better defensively then Aquino is a DH. Nick is a great bat and barely serviceable fielder. You want both Castellanos and Winker in your lineup every day so looks like they are waiting to see if Nick opts out after the season. If the pandemic continues to subside and he keeps slugging he probably will opt out. Then at least the Reds have another hopefully big bat and below average fielder to replace him at a big salary savings. Kinda like putting Aquino in storage at end of bench to see what happens. There is going to be a shakeup this off-season but I bet the big name free agents get paid quite well. There will not be a strike. Both sides know better.
Aquino is three true outcomes, it’s pretty apparent. I’d put my money on NC staying anyway, but Aquino is by no means a fallback as a starter. If NC does leave then I’d hope Senzel will be healthy and they FINALLY give Shogo some regular starts.
Aquino doesn’t walk enough to be a 3 true outcomes guy. Barely a 2 true outcomes. Mostly just a 1 true outcomes guy.
He does swing enough to circulate air, that’s an outcome, right?
I was going to say Maas 2.o but at least Maas walked.