What does Nick Senzel bring to the Nationals lineup?

After a freak injury during batting practice on Opening Day, Nick Senzel's start to his Nationals' career was delayed a bit. Now that he is back, what can we expect from the Third Baseman?
Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins
Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins / Rich Storry/GettyImages

One of GM Mike Rizzo's free agent signings, Nick Senzel, recently made his Nats' debut after recovering from an injury on Opening Day. During batting practice the day the Nationals' season was set to kick off, Senzel was taking ground balls and took one off his thumb on his throwing hand, resulting in a fractured finger. He spent a couple of weeks on the injured list as Trey Lipscomb filled in for the Nats, but is now back and playing Third Base for the Nats as originally planned.

For those that don't know, Senzel was the second overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds. He debuted in 2019 and never quite lived up to expectations with the Reds as they released him this past offseason. Now a five-year MLB veteran, Senzel gets a fresh start with the Washington Nationals on a one-year deal.

Senzel, 28 years old, has a career of .239 batting average, so he will likely not hit for average with the Nationals. What Senzel has done well in his career is hit left-handed pitchers. Last season, Nick hit .347 against lefties compared to .164 against right-handers. The silver lining for the Nats is that the 2023 season was Senzel's most productive season since his rookie year. Senzel slugged a career-high 13 home runs in 104 games. Nine of those 13 home runs were against left-handers, according to mlb.com. Owning just a .955 career fielding percentage at third base, Senzel is not necessarily known for his glove, but is serviceable there. With Trey Lipscomb being sent down to AAA Rochester as a corresponding move to activate Senzel, Nick will be the everyday third baseman for the time being.

While the excitement of Trey Lipscomb being the everyday third baseman was great for Nationals fans, the front office wants to see what their free-agent signing can do. Lipscomb wouldn't benefit from a bench role in the Major Leagues at this point in his career, as he needs to develop as an everyday player. Senzel could find success in a Nats uniform and be traded at the deadline, as most one-year deals are hopeful trade bait. As many Nats' fans were upset with Lipscomb's demotion, there was a purpose to the move. Senzel could find his stride with a change of scenery in Washington.

Senzel debuted in a Nats uniform against the Dodgers on Monday night, collecting one hit and a walk in the 6-4 win. Senzel followed up his debut with a 1-4 performance on Saturday night. Sunday afternoon's rubber match was not the best performance for Senzel, as he went 0-4 with two strikeouts. While a fast start would be welcomed, it is not expected for Senzel to have a .900 OPS or anywhere close honestly. However, the Nats need production from third base, as it is one of many positions ranking near the bottom of the Majors in all statistical categories in the past few seasons. We'll see if Nick Senzel can fill that void for the Nats this season.