How might Reds manager David Bell justify not starting Nick Senzel in center field against the D-backs on Friday after the series that Senzel just had against the Pirates?
Well, he can point to what Tyler Naquin did to a baseball in the fourth inning for starters.
With two outs in the inning and Cincinnati leading by a run, Naquin pulverized a 1-1 changeup from Arizona starter Taylor Widener to right field to make it a two-run ball game. The ball traveled 454 feet according to Statcast, tied for the longest of Naquin’s career with a home run that he hit off of Pittsburgh starter Trevor Cahill on Tuesday that ended up leaving Great American Ball Park.
Statcast also tracked the home run as having an exit velocity of 111.3 mph. That would make it the sixth-hardest hit ball in Naquin’s six seasons in the big leagues, and his second-hardest hit homer behind the one off Cahill (113.5).
Had it not been for left fielder Jesse Winker missing the previous four games due to illness, Naquin’s surge may not have even happened. In Winker’s place, Naquin took the National League lead with five home runs, tying Rangers first baseman Nate Lowe for the Major League lead with 14 RBIs.
Winker returned Friday and led off with a double on the first pitch of the game. On replay, the ball looked to have hit a chair on the other side of the wall before bouncing back into the field of play, but the umpiring crew ultimately ruled it a double.
Naquin made sure that no chair would stand in the way of him going yard.