Cincinnati Reds in Review: 2B/OF Skip Schumaker


The biggest off-season acquisition on the offensive side of the roster for the Cincinnati Reds was Skip Schumaker. Signed on for the dreaded two-year deal, Schumaker received $5 million at the minimum, with the potential to be brought back for 2016 on a $2.5 million base salary.

After his injury plagued 2014, Schumaker will need to respond in grand fashion in 2015.

Skip Schumaker – Second Baseman/Outfielder


The last time Schumaker had so few at-bats, hits and RBI in a single season was back in 2007. This comes on the heels of injuring himself long before the regular season would even begin, setting him back for the entire year.

A long-time member of the St. Louis Cardinals regime, Schumaker brought a winning attitude to a club that was looking to add to its veteran leadership. Those within the locker room praised Schumaker for his role in helping them through the season, even when he was not contributing on the field.

Based on the fact that his season was ended prematurely due to reoccurring issues with his previously injured shoulder, it seems safe to assume that Schumaker was never truly healthy at any point in 2014. Whether or not that justifies the fact that his on-base percentage was below .300 for the first time in his career or not is up for interpretation. But, it serves as a reminder that Schumaker was the Reds’ candidate for the Heart & Hustle Award—it’s hard to hate guys that play the game hard.

In Brandon Phillips’s absence, Schumaker was part of the cavalry that filled in at second base so admirably while arguably the team’s most indispensable player went down. In part, that was the genius of signing Skip. He has the ability to play all three outfield positions to at least an average skill, while also playing second base and even…pitching?

Schumaker’s Stat Line:


.235/.287/.308, 247 AB’s, 12 2B’s, 2 HR, 22 RBI

Top Skip Schumaker Moment:


If there is one moment Reds fans will remember Schumaker for in 2014 (other than concussing himself after diving into the right field wall), it will be his one scoreless inning of relief on August 21 at home against the Atlanta Braves.

In some alternative universe, Skip Schumaker must be a pitcher. He certainly played the part that night, tossing 17 pitches and yielding just one walk during what was a hitless, scoreless inning of relief.

Also interesting concerning Skip: he would hit two home runs all season during 271 plate appearances. Both would come against the Boston Red Sox. What makes that even more interesting is how random that is, considering the two are in opposite leagues and played only four games against one another all year long; separated by over three months nonetheless.

Low-Point of the Season for Skip Schumaker:


It’s the hustling man’s curse; when is enough, enough? An athlete that plays as hard as Schumaker doesn’t exactly have an off switch, so when he dove headlong after a fly ball during Spring Training, how was he supposed to know he’d wreck his entire season right then and there?

He would set career lows in nearly every single offensive category in 2014, in addition to finally being a member of a losing team. As was evident from his bat slams and helmet spikes, losing and Skip Schumaker do not go together.

Final Grade: C-


Where Schumaker is placed in the batting order is nothing he can control, but the fact that he batted either leadoff or second a whopping 25 times during the season is an abomination.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s difficult to dislike a player who works as hard as Schumaker does. On hustle alone he’d cruise his way to an A grade, but the numbers have a long way to come. Hopefully for Skip, 2015 is that year.