Cincinnati Reds: Scott Schebler’s cold start is concerning

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 31: Scott Schebler #43 of the Cincinnati Reds rounds third base after hitting a two-run home run against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on August 31, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 31: Scott Schebler #43 of the Cincinnati Reds rounds third base after hitting a two-run home run against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on August 31, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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Should the Cincinnati Reds fan base and coaching staff be worried about outfielder Scott Schebler’s cold offensive start to the 2019 season?

A majority of Cincinnati Reds fans were less than thrilled when it was announced that Scott Schebler would start the season as the regular center fielder over Nick Senzel. A  rough start to his 2019 season after a solid outing in Spring Training has Schebler on the the receiving end of some harsh criticism. With the season is underway and Senzel on the injured list, should we be worried about Schebler’s cold start?

Schebler has been the starting center fielder in all of the Reds first six games of the season and he went hit-less for the first five. After slashing .255/.337/.439 last season and then hitting .342/.490/.579 in Spring Training we came into this season expecting to see some good production from Schebler. This hit-less drought, combined with the fact that most fans would have rather seen Senzel playing center field, is what leads to the unrest among fans.

Every single player who has ever been on a major league team has had an offensive slump of one kind or another. The big reason why Scott Schebler is taking so much heat from the fans, is the frustration over him getting the center field job over Senzel. Another reason is the lack of offense from the rest of the team as well.

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In spite of the criticism, the Cincinnati Reds rookie manager David Bell has remained consistent in his support of Schebler and his confidence that he will be able to turn things around. At this point, I am inclined to agree with him.

Schebler is not a bad ballplayer. He had 97 hits last season in 380 at bats. He hit 19 doubles, 17 home runs, including one of the Reds’ 11 grand slams, and had 49 RBIs. He also drew 39 walks last year and stole 4 bases.

No, Schebler is an All-Star caliber player, but I don’t think he is deserving of all of the criticism he’s receiving right now. It would be different if Schebler were the only player having these problems, but almost the entire offensive lineup has been struggling from top to bottom. It isn’t fair to lay all of this frustration on one player when even Joey Votto has a sub-.200 batting average.

I get it, the service time rules are unfair to prospect players and I don’t agree with the decision not to let Senzel begin the season in Cincinnati, but I also realistically didn’t really expect Senzel to start the season in Cincinnati. The Reds want to hang on to their top prospect for as long as they can and I can’t really blame them for that. But that decision should be laid at the feet of the front office, not Scott Schebler.

The Reds offense has been bad. Next

The Cincinnati Reds 2019 campaign has still only just started. Yes, they are hurting from the injury to Scooter Gennett and the collective offensive slump, but there is still more than enough time to turn things around, both in the team’s standings and in the individual player’s numbers. Schebler can, and I think will, turn things around!