The Reds have finished a full week of games now and it’s safe to say we’re all pleasantly surprised. The longer this keeps up, the more glaring poor performances are going to become and the more likely the Reds will be willing to make a change (this will be extra true if the Reds suddenly begin playing very poorly). This is a roster with very, very few players who absolutely cannot lose their jobs and you have to believe that, eventually, someone will. We’re only a week into the season, and I hope you all know me well enough not to think I’m making genuine judgments on such tiny samples. But consider two examples. One in the outfield and one on the mound.
Right now, Scott Schebler is hitting .172/.321/.478. Despite the poor batting average, that’s an above average line overall, but it’s not sparkling. Contrast that with Jesse Winker, who’s currently hitting .318/.448/.409. How long until the Reds are willing to make a switch? It’s certainly more than a week, but a month? Two months? Eventually, if Schebler doesn’t perform and Winker does, Winker will get the call.
Now consider Robert Stephenson, Rookie Davis and Sal Romano. Romano played himself into the picture this spring and Stephenson seems to be getting close to playing himself out of the picture. Davis got the final nod, but hasn’t performed well in his first two starts. Stephenson has only gotten into one game, but it’s been the same story – not enough strikes – that has plagued his entire career. Romano has had one solid and one excellent start for Louisville. So how long does the current arrangement last?
General Manager Dick Williams has said they’re after results now and not potential. That’s what the fans want to hear, but it’s also a not-so-subtle message to the players. If you don’t perform, we have others waiting to take your spot. Starting this week and for the rest of the year, I’ll be listing the players on the roster who aren’t established with a brief word about how safe their jobs may be. All of which should be taken with a grain of salt until we have quite a bit more of the season under our belts.
Jose Peraza – Safe for now (would need to be bad for a while to lose his job)
Zack Cozart – Completely safe (needs to be traded or have something truly odd happen)
Adam Duvall – Very, very safe
Scott Schebler – Safe for now
Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.