Cincinnati Reds counting on Scott Schebler to handle center

(Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
(Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /

With the four man outfield rotation, the Cincinnati Reds are counting on Scott Schebler being able to switch between right and center fields.

The Cincinnati Reds built themselves a doozy of a conundrum. They developed the best defensive center fielder in the National League, while working to add three offensive counterparts.  Now they have four starting outfielders and only three places to play them.

The person that has the largest change to accept here is last year’s right fielder, Scott Schebler.  Two seasons ago, he started the season in a platoon in left field with Adam Duvall.  For a good part of last year he was making a run at the home run title in the National League.

The Red are hoping for a similar improvement on the defensive side of the ball.  Last season Schebler was average in right and mediocre in center.  Now the Reds need him to be at least average in center.

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Remember, when Schebler is in center, he will be flanked by Gold Glove finalist Duvall in left and barely average Jesse Winker in right.  Winker is a left fielder by trade, but stretching to make this work.  That means that Schebler will need to shade to right.

The Cincinnati Reds face a complex enough situation before accounting for defensive rotation.

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With the Reds already having to balance the order of outfield appearances based on pitching match-ups, the situation is difficult enough without adding in defense.  The Reds will want to limit games for Schebler in center to the smaller ballparks.  That will make West Coast swings difficult as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies are both out west.

The solution could come in trading one of the outfielders.  Hamilton has almost left the Reds twice.  It’s only a matter of time before teams start offering more than the Reds can easily turn down for Duvall.

That is where minor league signee Ben Revere comes into play.

He could allow the Reds to move Hamilton without too much of a drop defensively.  He could become a defensive replacement for Winker late in games, if the Reds moved Hamilton to another team.

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In any case, Schebler needs to be the best center fielder that he can.  His defense in center will be the deciding factor in whether or not this rotation has any chance of working.  If not, a MLB starting outfielder will have plenty of time on Cincinnati’s bench this season.