It’s official: the Cincinnati Reds have called up top prospect Nick Senzel. He’ll presumably be in tonight’s lineup against the Giants in Cincinnati.
Senzel, 23, got a late start to the season due to a late spring training ankle injury, but he’s back now and is hitting .257/.316/.371 through eight games with Triple-A Louisville. Last year he hit .310/.378/.509 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 193 plate appearances.
He was probably ready to break camp with the Reds but they reassigned him to the minors — before the ankle injury — in a move his agent called an “egregious case of service time manipulation.” There was at least a plausible reason to send Senzel down given that Scott Schebler outperformed him in spring training, earning the only available outfield spot on the big club. If the Reds wanted to both reward Schebler and keep Senzel playing every day, sending Senzel to Louisville was the only real option.
Schebler has been terrible for the Reds so far this season, however, hitting a woeful .127/.258/.228 in 93 plate appearances. Given that, given that the Reds offense has been bad overall, and given that the Reds are in last place, already seven games out of the division lead, there is no reason not to put a guy who is likely to be a part of the next good Reds team in the lineup every day and let him make all the mistakes he’s gonna make now rather than later. And, of course, to give the team better production than they’re getting.
Yesterday’s news about the arrest of Pirates closer Felipe Vázquez was pretty disturbing. Today’s update from Jeff Passan of ESPN is even worse.
Vázquez has been charged with solicitation of a child and providing obscene material to minors, and yesterday’s report said that he texted a 15-year-old girl that he would meet up with her after the season for sex. According to police, however, Vázquez had already met with a minor in an attempt to have sex. When she was 13:
Yesterday Vázquez’s attorney, Jay Reisinger, issued a statement saying “We are in the process of reviewing both the Pennsylvania and Florida charging documents, as well as the underlying facts of the matter. At this time, any comment would be premature.”
The Pennsylvania charges referenced involve an alleged statutory sexual assault of a victim who is at least 16 years old by a person who is at least 11 years older than the victim; unlawful contact with a minor; corruption of a minor by a defendant who is 18 years old or older; and indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported last night that the offenses allegedly occurred on Aug. 1, 2018.
Vázquez is still in Pennsylvania, where he was arrested, and is awaiting extradition to Florida. He was denied bail and was characterized by the arraigning judge as a flight risk. Likely because he is a native and citizen of a foreign country with substantial financial resources.
UPDATE: I had missed this previously, but the Pirates issued a statement about all of this yesterday afternoon: