Cincinnati Reds: Phillip Ervin should start in center field

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: Phillip Ervin #27 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a RBI single in the 7th inning against the Kansas City Royals at Great American Ball Park on September 25, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: Phillip Ervin #27 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a RBI single in the 7th inning against the Kansas City Royals at Great American Ball Park on September 25, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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If the Cincinnati Reds are not going to call up Nick Senzel just yet, at least let Phillip Ervin start in center field over Scott Schebler.

So many fans are waiting on pins and needles for the arrival of Nick Senzel to the major leagues. However, until the Cincinnati Reds decide to call up their top prospect to The Show, another first round pick should be getting his chance. It’s time to bench Scott Schebler in favor of Phillip Ervin.

To be honest, I think the Reds need to go ahead an promote Senzel from Triple-A Louisville. However, if the club feels that Senzel would benefit from some more reps in center field, let’s see what Ervin can do in place in Schebler.

Now, let me first say that this is more pro-Ervin than anti-Schebler. I think that both players offer value to club, albeit as utility outfielders. But, with the Reds hoping to give Nick Senzel more experience at his new position, these two players are currently the best options the team has.

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That being said, with Schebler’s terrible offensive start to the season, combined with some questionable defensive plays in the field, it’s time to cut bait and give Phillip Ervin a chance to impress the coaching staff.

A lot of Reds fans think that Ervin already did as much during Spring Training. No player on the Reds roster had a better spring than Phillip Ervin. The 26-year-old from Mobile, Alabama slashed .341/.438/.780 with 5 home runs, and 8 RBIs during Cactus League play.

Ervin’s play, however, was not enough to get him a spot on the Opening Day roster. In almost any other season it would’ve been, but with the additions of Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, the Cincinnati Reds had a very crowded outfield.

Phillip Ervin was brought up as the 26th man during the Reds series with the Cardinals in Monterrey, Mexico and then promoted from Triple-A Louisville when Matt Kemp headed to the injured list with a broken rib.

Both Ervin and Schebler may not be Gold Glove caliber center fielders, but they can each hold their own defensively, especially in Great American Ball Park. Both players are also able to field multiple positions.

Phillip Ervin has only had 1 hit this season in 8 at-bats, but he’s only started 1 game since being called up from Triple-A Louisville. Ervin’s one hit was a triple he picked up as a pinch hitter while playing the Cards in Mexico. In Ervin’s lone start, he drew a walk and struck out.

Ervin will not be in the starting lineup tonight, however, Jose Peraza is back in the leadoff spot and Joey Votto will return to the No. 2 hole. I’d expect Ervin to get the start in Game 2 of the Reds’ series with the New York Mets when lefty Jason Vargas is on the mound.

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I’ve been on the Nick Senzel bandwagon since the Cincinnati Reds decided to switch him from the infield to the outfield. Senzel has the talent and skill set to make the transition. However, until Senzel is deemed ready to play, Phillip Ervin should get the lion’s share of starts in center field.