Cincinnati Reds should use Billy Hamilton to back-up Jesse Winker

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

With the four man outfield rotation about to start for the Cincinnati Reds, there is a better plan staring them in the face.

The Cincinnati Reds are planning on rotating their four outfielders through the starting line-up to start the season.  They are taking left fielder Adam Duvall, center fielder Billy Hamilton, right fielder Scott Schebler and adding Jesse Winker to the mix.  Each of the four has his own niche in this mix.

Duvall is a true slugger.  He hits for power, but has a streaky average and has trouble getting on base consistently. To his credit, though, he is a two-time Gold Glove finalist.

Hamilton, of course, is  the best defensive center fielder in the National League.  He is also the best base stealer in baseball.  This is, of course when he is healthy and why other teams want him.

Schebler has that smooth lefty swing.  While he challenged for the home run title early in the year, he has a natural double’s swing.  He also is probably the most athletically gifted, although not the fleetest of foot.

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Winker, despite his youth, is the best offensive player of the bunch.  He is an OBP machine who beat out Phil Ervin for the fourth outfielder position.  He will be the second best OBP guy on the Reds until first baseman Joey Votto retires and then he will be the best, period.

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With these specialties in mind, the Cincinnati Reds have the wrong player usage in mind.

There is no reason not to have Winker in the line-up most days.  He can get on base like few others in the Reds’ organization.  Once he gets on base, the Reds have other options.

If Hamilton is on the bench, he can come into the game and pinch run for Winker.  Then he could stay in and play defense.  Having the ability to guarantee that Hamilton would get on base at least once a game would be a huge game.

As it is having Hamilton available later in the game where his defense could keep him in the game could be invaluable.

Add in the factor of being able to deploy him as a designated base stealer and he becomes even more valuable.  He could pinch run for any of the outfielders or even first baseman Joey Votto.

Next: Reds have horrendous off-season

The Reds put themselves into this pickle.  Now they are working to get themselves out.  Thinking strategically may be the next best thing to moving on from one of the outfielders that they like so much.