Phillip Ervin, Outfielder
Phillip Ervin got the call several days ago when Matt Kemp hit the injured list with a broken rib. Will he get another call in the coming days that sends him back to Louisville? Maybe, but there are other options on the table.
Speaking of options, Ervin has one remaining, so the Cincinnati Reds will retain his rights if the team decides to send him back to Triple-A. Ervin, like Senzel, is a former first round pick, and a great spring has yet to secure him a solid spot in the Reds’ outfield.
Any other year, Ervin would’ve likely made the 25-man roster out of Spring Training. No one on the Reds’ squad was hitting better during Cactus League games that Phillip Ervin. Unfortunately, with the additions of Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, there just weren’t enough spots on the Opening Day roster.
Ervin got a taste of the 2019 season when he was designated at the 26th player for the Reds’ trip to Monterrey, Mexico earlier this season. Ervin promptly rewarded the Reds’ faith in him with a triple in his first at-bat. Since then, Ervin’s added just one more hit in his limited time at the plate.
I’m a big fan of Phillip Ervin, and just like Scott Schebler, I think he’s best suited as a fourth outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds. However, with the outfield being so crowded this season, it’ll be tough for Ervin to get routine at-bats.
Schebler and Ervin are in a similar spot once the Reds make the decision to promote Nick Senzel. If they stay with the team, their playing time will be more limited. Judging by David Bell‘s lineup card since Ervin’s promotion, Schebler has a more favorable standing with his manager.
Ervin gives the Reds a right-handed option to play left field when the pitching matchup doesn’t favor Jesse Winker and Ervin definitely has some pop in his bat. I wouldn’t completely slam the door on Ervin just yet, but a lot depends on if Bell wants to carry five outfielders.