In a season where the Cincinnati Reds’ outfield has seen a lot of change, Phillip Ervin has given the Reds a lot of stability of late.
Phillip Ervin has been an important part of the Cincinnati Reds offense of late. Ervin was called up in mid-July after Scott Schebler was put on the disabled list after crashing into the right-field wall. Though the Reds selected Ervin in the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft, I don’t think even they expected to see what Ervin’s done lately.
Scott Schebler injured his shoulder just before the All-Star break. Schebler’s absence required the Reds to find an injury-replacement for their leadoff hitter. Phillip Ervin was called up, but because the Reds had employed a four-man outfield rotation throughout most of the season, Ervin didn’t see the field very much.
It wasn’t until fellow rookie, Jesse Winker, injured his shoulder during a game in late July that Ervin began to see more playing time. Since coming up from Triple-A Louisville, Ervin is hitting .357 with a .400 OBP. Ervin has 2 homers, 13 RBIs and 9 extra-base hits in 56 at-bats.
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With Winker and Schebler on the DL, and Adam Duvall now in Atlanta, Ervin is getting a chance to show that he belongs at the big league level. Ervin actually started the season with the Reds. He started 8 of the 16 games he played in from March 30th through April 24th.
As was the case with the entire Reds team, Ervin struggled at the start of the season. He had only 8 hits in 38 at-bats (.211) to start the season. Ervin was then sent down to Triple-A Louisville. He was recalled briefly during the month of June when Scott Schebler went on the bereavement list but was quickly sent back down once Schebler returned.
That’s very unlikely to be the case when Schebler returns from his most recent injury. He’s hoping to return to the Reds’ lineup very soon, perhaps this weekend. When Schebler is back, it’s very likely that either Mason Williams or Preston Tucker is the odd man out and will head back to Triple-A.
Keeping Ervin out of the starting lineup may not just be a problem for the remainder of this season, but looking forward to next season, Ervin could find himself squarely in the mix for one of the starting spots in the outfield. His ability to play all three outfield spots make him the perfect fourth outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds next season.
If for some odd reason, the Reds decide not to retain Billy Hamilton, Ervin could start for Cincinnati in center field next season. While he doesn’t possess Hamilton’s speed, and there are few who do, Ervin can still cover a lot of ground and has proven to be very good defensively.