The Cincinnati Reds optioned Phillip Ervin to Triple-A Louisville today in order to bring up Matt Bowman. This is likely good news for Scott Schebler, who will now be the Reds’ fourth outfielder.
The Cincinnati Reds are on the verge of promoting their top prospect, Nick Senzel, to the big leagues. The anticipation of that roster move combined with the need for a fresh arm in the bullpen likely led to the decision to send Phillip Ervin to Triple-A and promote Matt Bowman to the 25-man roster. In all likelihood Scott Schebler will now be the team’s fourth outfielder.
I know a lot of Reds fans have been clamoring for Phillip Ervin to get a fair shake at the major league level, but that just doesn’t appear to be in the cards right now. The former first-round pick will have to head back to Louisville and hope he gets another chance to impress later this season.
While Ervin’s demotion is not a gigantic surprise, it should come as a relief to outfielder Scott Schebler who could’ve been sent down to Triple-A instead. But, the Reds appear to stick with Schebs in hopes that the power-hitting lefty finds a groove.
Schebler’s plate discipline has been horrible this season and his batting average (.135) is well below the Mendoza line and he’s struck out 26 times this season. Surprisingly, Yasiel Puig, Eugenio Suarez, and Joey Votto have more strikeouts than Schebler.
Personally, I love this move for the Reds. It’s obvious that the team needed an extra arm in the bullpen and Matt Bowman has been playing well at Triple-A Louisville. The question now becomes, who do the Reds send down when Nick Senzel is called up this weekend as reports have suggested. With Bowman now on the roster, I’d guess either Zach Duke or Wandy Peralta.
In addition to clearing the deck for Senzel to get his opportunity, this could provide Scott Schebler with a totally different set of circumstances. I think it takes the pressure off. Schebler seemed to be pressing almost all season, and who could blame him? He knows that Senzel was bound to be called up early this season, so he was likely doing all he could to make himself shine.
Now that he’s in the fourth outfielder role, which I think fits both he and Ervin perfectly, he can use his versatility and make an impact on two to three games a week. He’s also a left-handed bat off the bench, something I’m sure David Bell will turn to often.
Look for Schebler to be given every chance to show that he can excel in his new role as the Cincinnati Reds reserve outfielder. The ability to play all three outfield positions will also give David Bell something to tinker with in late innings. While no one like to be benched, this might work out quite well for Scott Schebler.