According to Reds Twitter:

Sure will be interesting to see how they manage his playing time. And at which current starter’s expense.

RHP Barrett Astin was sent back down to Louisville to make room for Winker on the 25-man roster.

Too-Instant Analysis:  It’s hard to imagine the Reds called up Winker to have him ride the bench. He’s not going to replace Adam Duvall or Billy Hamilton. That leaves Scott Schebler. Let’s break down Schebler’s line: .161/.278/.419. His batting average (.161) is low, but weighted down by a BABIP of .125. Schebler’s career BABIP is .292.

Aside from that, Schebler’s 2017 walk rate is 11.1%. That’s second among Reds regulars to Eugenio Suarez. It’s an outstanding rate, it would have been in the top 25 of major league regulars last year. Schebler’s 2017 isolated power (ISO) of .258 is also tremendous. It would have been in the top 15 of regular major league players last year.

While I’m excited to see how Jesse Winker does in the major leagues, if the plan is to bench Scott Schebler based on his 2017 performance, that’s incredibly disappointing. Schebler has excelled at plate discipline and hitting with power. Hit batting average will come up when the hits start falling in at his career rate.

More Hot Analysis: As Doug Gray points out on Twitter, this may simply be a two-game move until the Reds call up a SP (Sal Romano) for the Sunday start. Part of that is thinking they wouldn’t use Astin in the bullpen today after he pitched yesterday.

About The Author

Steve grew up in Cincinnati a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. Contemporary Reds thrills: witnessing Jay Bruce's 2010 homer and Homer Bailey's 2013 no-hitter in person. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 280 characters about the Reds is Redleg Nation, although you can follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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56 Responses

  1. old-school

    Outstanding. I think we are at a time where the best teams need 4 starting outfielders. They all need rest, both physical and mental, including Joey Votto. Who is the back up first baseman when Votto rests? Why cant it be Duvall? If all 4 guys play 140 games, that’s 110 starts for Winker…..or Schebler if he’s the 4th guy.
    It also makes your bench so much better.

    • Michael

      I like what you are saying old-school except Votto should be starting around 150 games.

      • old-school

        Votto is getting older and to maintain his productivity into his late 30’s….. gotta be proactive.

        I don’t understand why you would bring Winker up for 2 days then send him down. That would be silly unnecessary yo-yo., particularly with Alcantara and Kivlehan needing reps and very versatile. If the plan is a 48 hour cup of coffee for Winker, its so silly that perhaps its a smokescreen and diversion to take the cross-hares off of all the attention being given ( rightly so) to why Arroyo is pitching every 5th day.

      • Steve Hanshaw

        I would think the smokescreen/diversion you’re looking for would start with saying we’re 7-3, then focusing on the beauty of Suarez, the bullpen, Amir Garrett, etc. If there’s been a time in the last 2+ years we didn’t need something like that it would be now.

      • Old-school

        Exactly….So bring up your best homegrown pure hitter since Joey Votto…And he sits the bench behind kivlehan on a 48 hour cup of coffee? It’s a slap in the face to winker…and defies reason. Bruce call up…Homer debut were huge deals. Garrett and Rookie Davis got big entrances….Winker deserves better.

      • Chad Dotson

        It’s a slap in the face to Winker to get called up to the major leagues? Everyone should be so lucky as to get slapped like that.

      • Old-school

        We aren’t talking about everyone….We are talking about the most advanced home grown hitter since Joey Votto and a consensus top organizational prospect 3-4 years running. It’s also April…Not September call ups. Votto.Bruce.Homer.Dunn…Even Brandon Phillips…When they were put on the 25 man roster in april…..They played and it signified something.

  2. Nick Carrington

    Going tonight. Hope he starts! I’m really high on the guy. Love the hit tool, including the plate discipline. The Reds are fun.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Make the Reds Fun Again!!

      Bryce Harper is a smart man.

  3. Shchi Cossack

    I just got a chill running down the Old Cossack’s back and the hairs on my back of my neck are rigid and upright. The angst sitting in the pit of my stomach is has not responded to a large dose of antacids. I fear that Winker is being promoted to augment the bench and better bring a seat cusshion with him. I sincerely hope I’m wrong and my knee-jerk reaction relates to the WJ/Price & WJ/Baker regimes rather than the DW/Price regime. We shall see.

    • Soapboxes

      Sorry that I don’t have a link but hasn’t Williams stated that guys like Winker aren’t going to get called up to just sit on the bench? If my memory serves me correct he said that during spring training. I don’t think he’s getting called up to ride the pine. He might not get handed the RF position but he is going to play while he’s here.

      • Shchi Cossack

        He’s not playing tonight…at least he’s not starting and if his role is that of a pinch hitter, the Reds are wasting regular playing time to finish his development and major league readiness.

      • Playtowin

        Winker is not Mike Trout or Harper. He is a slow outfielder with modest power. He is Markasis, Parra, Denorfia, Nieuwenhuis until he proves he is not. I hope the guy is fabulous but his record to date forecasts a borderline major leaguer and a bench player.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Markakis has 24.7 career fWAR. I’d be OK if Winker turned into Markakis.

      • Tom Diesman

        I think your forecaster is broke. Markakis is the only player you listed who even remotely resembles what Jesse Winkers forecasts to be.

  4. RiverCity Redleg

    My guess is this is just a precursor to the Sal Romano call up Sunday. Astin pitched yesterday so they might as well get someone up who can play the next couple of days.

  5. vegastypo

    And of course, the next question, assuming he plays, is where does he bat in the lineup? This should be interesting …

    • Jordan Barhorst

      I’d think 6th or 7th. Billy and Peraza are both heating up, Duvall, Suarez, and Cozart are all blistering, and Joey isn’t moving from the 3 spot.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Yeah, i agree. It’ll probably be 7th if he replaces Schebler tonight. Cozart will get the nod at 6th.

      • Jason Linden

        Winker SHOULD bat second. He won’t, but he should. I don’t know why you’d hit him behind Cozart, though.

      • Patrick Jeter

        My theoretical tonight lineup goes Votto-Winker-Suarez-Duvall-Cozart-Barnhart-Pitcher-Peraza-Hamilton!!!

        So, I’m probably a bad person to give lineup advice. 😉

  6. Jordan Barhorst

    This might be hinting at Sal Romano (or another minor league starter) as the starter on Sunday.

    Astin is unavailable after pitching 2 innings last night. Why waste a roster spot for two games when you’ve got a guy in AAA ready to be in the big leagues? Call him up, get him a few ABs, and send him back to Louisville on Sunday when it’s Romano’s time to shine to pick back up that extra pitcher.

  7. JoshG

    yeah, I think this is a very short term move

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I agree. Most likely.

  8. Patrick Jeter

    Around what time are lineups usually available?

    • kmartin

      The lineup is available now at Interestingly enough Kivlehan is in right field tonight. This seems odd.

  9. Steve Schoenbaechler

    If Schebler isn’t hitting, he isn’t hitting. He was decent last season, but nothing to write home about. We are suppose to wait for a player to start hitting, when we have a player who is hitting “and” getting on base? If the only argument is the walk rate, Winker’s minor league career walk rate seems to be about 14%. That shows discipline, also.

    I do believe it’s a temp move. But, I could understand starting Winker over Schebler. It’s not that far a stretch.

    • Patrick Jeter

      I agree it isn’t a stretch, but for a different reason.

      All signs point towards Winker being a better major league hitter (given the time to play) than Scott Schebler. Probably not by a huge amount since Schebler probably has more power now than Winker ever will, but if the reason is because Schebler is batting below .200 in 10 games, that’s is a terrible and ignorant-of-variance reason.

      • BigRedMike

        Schebler has potential as a decent 4th OF. If the Reds have a Top 100 prospect, now is the time to see what he can do. No reason to let a player like Schebler keep Winker from playing.

        I concur that 10 games is not enough to make a decision, but, there is likely more to it than those 10 games.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I agree with both. 10 games doesn’t mean that much. But, Schebler wasn’t any kind of wunderkind hitter last year either. Bottom line, Winker’s stats would still make him a better hitter.

        I do believe that Schebler has more power, also. However, two things. One, I don’t really believe we are needing power. We have Votto, Duvall, Suarez, and when he comes back, Devin for that. We would need someone who can get on base. And, Devin does that better than Schebler. Two, on SLG/OPS, Schebler’s .438/.762 in the majors, .499/.840 in the minors. Winker’s in the minors? .454/.853. It doesn’t look like Winker is that far off from Schebler in the power department.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Slugging percentage and OPS aren’t great measures of power. The former is distorted by including singles. A .300 hitter and a .250 hitter could each have a SLG of .400 and it would mean different things. That’s why ISO, which subtracts batting average from slugging is a better pure measure of power. OPS is further diluted measure of power by counting singles (twice) and walks (once).

        Now, OPS is a good single measure for overall hitting, and does say something about power. It just isn’t as surgical as it could be and ISO is such an easy and much better alternative.

        Winker’s ISO is .158 (career minors) and .064 this year. Schebler’s ISO is .223 (career minors) and .178 with Reds, .258 this year.

      • Old-school

        Team construction wise….Duvall gives you all league ISO but lots of K and poor obp… so the complement to that is Winker. Schebler earned his opportunity though and don’t understand this Reds move. Winker needs to play every day….I think his power will come. He’s a young hitter and needs at bats.

  10. VaRedsFan

    Well, since the didn’t use Reed last night, and he hasn’t pitched in a while, I thought they were positioning themselves to let Reed start Sunday.

    • docmike

      I don’t understand the club’s thinking on Reed. He has thrown the ball well in both outings so far, giving up no hits in his 5 innings. It’s time to give the kid another shot and see what he can do with a few starts.

      I’m not down on Romano at all. His time will come, I just think Reed deserves a chance.

  11. Darrin

    Schebler biggest problem is he’s just not hitting them where they’re not. I feel this is just a spot call up, and if it’s not, it could be a mistake after only 10 games. The Scheb has good plate discipline and enormous power, giving up this early would be a shame. IMO anyway…..that’s not to say I don’t wanna see Winker play, kids got skills.

  12. WVRedlegs

    What was the point in calling up Winker? He is not in the starting lineup tonight. Kivlehan in RF.


    Winker up for PH duties, must be temporary. Nice way to get him out of his rhythm he had started with at AAA by riding the pine all weekend.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Maybe a 1/2 and 1/2 like Spring Training? Perhaps Winker will get 2 ABs.

    • MrRed

      Kivlehan gets the start over Winker and Schebler? That’s just silly. They may as well have kept Winker at AAA where he could continue to get regular playing time.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Facing LHP. But that makes it all the more strange to call up Winker if it just for two days.

      • Patrick Jeter

        As it turns out, Milone has a lower career FIP against RHH (4.27) than against LHH (4.58).

        That’s weird.

      • MrRed

        That’s a fair consideration. But, I’m still trying to get my head around this. Who would you rather have facing Milone? Winker or Kivlehan? Hope I’m wrong and Kivlehan goes 2 for 4 with an HR and 2B. But I’m inclined to think that Winker would still be more productive. And the thing is, how many turns of the lineup will Milone likely face? Probably 2. Just saying, I wouldn’t let the fact that a lefty is pitching be the determinative factor if they are bothering to call Winker up.

      • Playtowin

        Malone is a lefty. Except for Votto the Reds have a right hand hitting lineup tonight

  13. Steve Hanshaw

    Good news: I love that the debate over who to start tomorrow centers around Cody Reed and Sal Romano. You know, instead of Tim Adelman, Tim Melville, Josh Smith, and Alfredo Simon – and yes that was just a year ago.

    Frustrating news: If we brought up Winker as a 2 day pinch hitter, I’m not particularly pleased. If we really give Kivlehan a start over Winker AND Schebler, my head may explode…….

    • Indy Red Man

      They’re throwing a lefty for one…and I don’t think Winker can play RF so they’d be asking Duvall to move to right. It looks like it might just be as a pinch-hitter or maybe a spot start for Duvall tomorrow? Schebler had a big 2nd half last year and could be a strong part of a platoon? Its probably too early to just label him a backup.

      • Tom Diesman

        Winker has has spent about 75% of his defensive innings in the minors in LF, the other 25% in RF.

  14. wizeman

    Didnt take long for everybody to start complaining. 7-3. Might not be playing to win in 45 days… nut are right now. Game is tied pitched spot up… who do you want with a bat in his hands…. Winker or the guy who has struck out 6 times in 8 at bats.
    Glad Romano pitching also. Have needed Reed and Stephenson in their current roles.

    Sometimes you just put your best 25 out there and get in line to shake hands after the game to quote Mr. Price

  15. james garrett

    I find this a strange move because unless he is going to play it serves no purpose.I also think if he takes Scott’s spot in the outfield that’s a big mistake.Scott takes his walks and when he hits it even when he is out he hits it.Too soon to give up on him especially after the same thing happened last year and he was sent down.

  16. seat101

    In the old days, before the Internet, we’d be speculating that a trade is in the works

    Just sayin’

  17. doofus

    It’s Good Friday and Peter Edward Rose’s birthday today y’all…and you’re yammering about winker/romano/schebler/reed is excessive naval gazing.

    Geez, give it a rest and enjoy watching our 7-3 Reds tonight.

    • MrRed

      Hey Doofus, what if I told you that you can do both? Mind blowing….

    • brunsfam

      Am going to hear Pete speak in St Henry in a couple weeks. Should be fascinating!

      I agree – the beauty & beast of the internet – get all the Reds coverage/insight at your fingertips but also get the endless speculation by the “armchair Managers and GM’s” that patrol the website! Isn’t it great!