Injured Senzel attends first Reds game, gets ‘unbelievable’ support

June 24, 2018
Nick Senzel. Getty Images

Nick Senzel found a silver lining in the season-ending injury he suffered Friday: At least it wasn’t vertigo.

Senzel knows how to handle a torn tendon in his right index finger. He’ll have surgery Tuesday in Cincinnati. He’ll rehab throughout the summer in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Reds’ top prospect, the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2016, hopes to get back to normal and make his big-league debut at some point in 2019 after hitting .310 in 44 games this season with the Triple-A Louisville Bats.

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The vertigo that cut his season short in 2017 and put him on the disabled list this spring was a more mysterious ailment.

“I can move forward every day knowing what’s wrong with me instead of getting up and guessing every day and second guessing how I’m feeling,” Senzel said Sunday in a conference call with local reporters. “That’s what I’m more relieved about.”

Senzel described how he suffered the injury for the first time.

“I took a groundball in the first inning to my finger, and it ricocheted off my chest,” Senzel said. “I recovered and was able to throw the guy out at first. I felt it was jammed up — nothing major just a normal jammed finger. A couple batters later, there was a ball hit in the right-center field gap. I went out for the relay throw and caught it and when I threw it home, my finger popped. I knew something was not right right away. It was a sharp pain. I could hear it. Jogging back into the dugout, it started to swell up. I was thinking about going to try to grip a bat, but I couldn’t even move my finger.”

Senzel has the injury diagnosed in Cincinnati on Saturday and then watched the Reds in person for the first time, sitting in Reds medical director Timothy Kremchek’s box at Great American Ball Park and also visiting Reds owner Bob Castellini’s box.

“When I was walking to the box, my picture and my injury update was on every screen when I was walking through,” Senzel said. “I was like, ‘This is great timing.’ A couple little kids came up and wished me the best. A lot of people wished me the best. The support has been unbelievable.”

Rehab update: Homer Bailey made his second rehab appearance Saturday for Triple-A Louisville against Norfolk and allowed seven earned runs on 10 hits in six innings. His ERA after two rehab starts is 12.00.

“The results don’t look good statistically,” interim manager Jim Riggleman said, “but those who were there to see it saw some real positives and saw some things he needs to continue to get better with.”

Bailey will make another start this week, likely with Louisville.

“It’s going to be a lengthy rehab,” Riggleman said.

Looking ahead: The Reds start a three-game series in Atlanta against the Braves on Monday. Tyler Mahle (6-6, 3.89 ERA), Matt Harvey (2-5, 5.66) and Luis Castillo (5-8, 5.70) start for the Reds against Mike Foltynewicz (5-4, 2.16), Anibal Sanchez (3-1, 2.55) and Sean Newcomb (8-2, 2.59).