Cincinnati Reds are short on center fielders as Billy Hamilton and Desmond Jennings suffer injuries

Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY NETWORK
Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY NETWORK /

The Cincinnati Reds are giving playing time to different center fielders with the usual guys battling injuries.

Over the past few days the Cincinnati Reds have had to move outfielders around to cover center field.  On Friday, the Reds started Scott Schebler in center and then brought in the likely center fielder for Daytona Beach, TJ Friedl, into the game.  The day before minor leaguers Beau Amaral and Taylor Trammell covered the position.

Schebler has seen the most time in center field because of the injuries.  He also appears the most likely opening day center fielder at this point, if Billy Hamilton isn’t ready to go.  Schebler has started five games in center this spring.  That’s a lot of pressure for someone the Reds are not entirely sold on.

Friedl was brought to the major league camp basically just to play center for a few games.  He played three in center and one in left.  He only has 29 professional games under his belt, but looked good in spring training.

Amaral was also able to see some serious playing time due to the outfield injuries.  He played in a total of five games and actually switched positions during one game.  He played four games in center as well as a game each in left and right field.

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With the injury to Desmond Jennings, the Cincinnati Reds need to reconsider what to do about the opening day roster.

Hamilton and Jennings both returned to the field, but with a week away from the start of the season, Jennings has likely lost his roster spot.  Aside from the fact that Jesse Winker has shown versatility in playing both right and left, Jennings has had trouble squaring the ball on his bat all spring.  While the outfield battle has been going on, Patrick Kivlehan has been impressing as a back-up corner infielder.

It appears that Arismendys Alcantara and Ryan Raburn have both made the Reds’ roster.  Alcantara can play center, but, with Jose Peraza’s move to a starting role, is likely the only back-up middle infielder to make the roster.  That makes it difficult for Peraza or Alcantara to help out in center very often.

Devin Mesoraco is likely out to start the season.  The question then becomes whether the Reds carry a third catcher, an extra infielder or an extra reliever.  The fifth starter is likely to be used in the second week against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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Therefore an extra reliever may cost Jennings his roster spot.  Utility man Brandon Dixon may also make sense given that he can play first, second and third.  Either of those options leaves Jennings as the left fielder in Louisville.