Cincinnati Reds should move Scott Schebler to center field

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds have one too many outfielders for the 2018 season.

When the Cincinnati Reds called up Jesse Winker to the majors for the first time in 2017, they knew that they may have a problem.  They knew that he may be an elite outfielder.  In the end that was just the beginning of their outfield problems.

Winker had a great introductory season in 2017.  In 47 games he batted .298 with an OBP of .375.  He also hit seven home runs in just 47 games.

The Reds also saw Phillip Ervin for the first time in 2017.  He batted .259 with an OBP .317 in 28 games.  Ervin was four of five in stolen base attempts.

Those two were new, but left fielder Adam Duvall is a known commodity.  He made the All-Star Game in 2016 and is a Gold Glove finalist for the second year in a row.  He should bat at or near the top of the Reds’ order in 2018.

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Center fielder Billy Hamilton is also a known commodity.  He plays the most consistent elite outfield defense in all of MLB.  He also consistently misses time with injuries towards the end of every season, including 2017.

That leaves the Cincinnati Reds looking for a spot for Scott Schebler for 2018.

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Hamilton was close to leaving the Reds last off-season.  It will happen this off-season, regardless of what the fans of the defensive specialist feel.  That will open up center field.

Schebler, Ervin and Jose Peraza all played a little center field in 2017.  Ervin and Peraza both look like bench players at this point in their careers.  Peraza is also the potential starting shortstop.

That leaves Schebler as the best option for center field with Winker taking over in right.  That would allow the Reds to put a decent defensive outfield together and maximize the offensive output.  No one makes up for Hamilton’s defense, but his offense just isn’t strong enough.

Schebler played strong enough defense and hit well enough to earn another chance to start in 2018.  One of the three from among Duvall, Schebler, and Winker may not end up a long-term solution, but for 2018 they are the solution.  There are a couple more outfielders on the cusp of arriving from the minors.

Next: What odds do the Reds have in 2018?

The Reds have options in their outfield.  It is a good place to find your team.  The Reds just need to do the right thing and let Schebler play center every day in 2018, with or without the speedy Hamilton.