2017 Reds

Odd Man Out

Hamilton, Duvall, Schebler, Winker…four names to occupy three spots in the Reds’ outfield. At the end of the day it’s a good problem to have, but the Reds’ front office will have to make some decisions in the near future regarding what they want their outfield of the future to look like. Although it’s a good problem to have, that doesn’t mean it’s an easy problem to figure out.

The most obvious answer to the Reds’ outfield shuffle is to trade either Adam Duvall or Scott Schebler. Schebler and Duvall are pretty similar players with similar skill sets. Both players are relatively young and aren’t eligible to be free agents until 2022, both hit for above average power, and both are pretty good defensively.

Adam Duvall

 Scott Schebler

If I had to pick one player to keep though, it would be Scott Schebler. Schebler is younger (26 compared to Duvall who is 28), has one more year of team control, has the ability to get on base at a higher clip, and hits for slightly more power than Duvall. It’s not always about whom you’re keeping though; it can also be about who you’re trading.  In my opinion, I think Duvall could yield more in a trade based on his name alone. He was a Home Run Derby darling not even a year ago and the Reds’ lone All Star in 2016. People know who Adam Duvall is and that can count for something in a trade. When the dust settles Duvall is probably the better overall player but Schebler has the higher ceiling and has a skill set that better suites the Reds’ lineup with his raw power and on base numbers.

I think trading either Schebler or Duvall is inevitable but then the question becomes WHEN to trade them. Jesse Winker is currently blossoming in Triple A Louisville which puts some pressure on the Reds to get him big league experience. Winker doesn’t have to be an everyday player this year but he needs big league reps. The Reds can either trade Schebler or Duvall at this year’s deadline or hang on to them and make the trio of Duvall, Schebler, and Winker work in left and right field for the remainder of the year.

Unless the Reds receive a legitimate quality offer at this year’s trade deadline I don’t think there’s any shame in keeping Duvall and Schebler through the end of this season and even up until the trade deadline of next season. Duvall and Schebler’s free agent years of 2022 and 2023 gives the Reds time to continue to evaluate their players to ultimately make a decision on who they want to trade. Their remaining team eligibility also gives the Reds flexibility with a trading partner knowing that those players will be under team control for a significant amount of years.

The Reds’ outfield has come a long way over the past couple seasons. The corner outfield spots have evolved and improved (yes, I said improved) from Jay Bruce and Marlon Byrd to Scott Schebler and Adam Duvall. Hopefully the Reds can figure out a way to maximize the talent available to them in the outfield and make the right decision when choosing which players to move forward with.

76 thoughts on “Odd Man Out

  1. If some team comes with a nice package, I agree – you move Duvall. I think he’s shown clear value and will continue to produce. I also think an AL team might be more advantageous since we kind of expect his defense to decline more quickly than Schebler’s and the AL would give the team a DH option that allows Duvall to continue focusing on mashing the ball. It’s an eye test on my part, but it appears his plate discipline and coverage is improving.

    • I haven’t read all the comments but what would it take to go get Archer from the Rays? Duvall, & two pitching prospects? Some combination of Duvall+ 2 of the following: Reed, Stephenson, Romano, Mahle. Would that be enough and would you pull the triggle on a trade like that?

  2. Based on hitting ability, Hamilton is obviously the odd man out. If one of the other three could play center I think the Reds would be more open to trading Billy, who hits just barely enough to warrant his spot in the lineup. (It doesn’t help that Hamilton is 4 for his last 28.)

    Winker vs. Duvall or Schebler comes down to this: Would you rather have Votto driving in Winker or Duvall and Schebler driving in Votto? I know which I prefer.

    • Hamilton’s value doesn’t come from his hitting, but it’s still considerable. I can’t see a downside to the 4-man outfield rotation, since it would give the Reds a chance to see whether Winker can translate his skills to MLB, and is able to play defense well enough to merit a full-time starting job before they burn their bridges by trading a productive player.

      • I like the potential power of having Schebler and Duvall off the bench at least one or the other. The games where they are starters gives them a good contact guy off the bench, with Winker. The problem with that is that means Gennet would be the odd man out and that would mean losing his versatility in the field and he would have almost trade value

    • I agree with you from an offensive standpoint, but the cost may be too high from a defensive/base running standpoint. What Hamilton brings to the table defensively and on the basepaths is hard to fully quantify, but it is game changing in both regards.

      Also, I’m not sure Hamilton would bring back the same kind of value in a trade that Duvall would. So the net loss in trading away Hamilton versus Duval may be too great to make it worth the net gain of the offense we get from keeping Duval, Winker, and Schebler.

    • I thought about putting in a scenario where the Reds would play WInker, Schebler, and Duvall over Hamilton….but I honestly don’t think the organization has the balls to do it even if it becomes the right thing to do.

      I think Hamilton is the center fielder for the foreseeable future. Like someone else said, his value comes from his defense and what he can do when he does actually get on base…not his offense.

  3. You know, this seems to be the conventional wisdom. Four guys for three spots, gotta trade one of them. Good problem to have. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. You have four outfielders who create positive value (assuming Wiker’s AAA success translates). They’re all on cheap contracts with a few years left. Schebler and Duvall make a great L/R platoon. And having a +WAR fourth outfield/bat off the bench/LIDR is absolutely an asset the outweighs the likely returns on any of these guys. Sure, if the right deal comes along, nobody is off the table, not even Votto, but why are we in such a hurry to trade one just to trade one. I say keep all four, and rotate them through starts. Each guy still gets to start 75% of the time, and you’re guaranteed a plus bench bat every day. THAT is a good problem to have. Plus, at some point somebody’s going to get hurt. There’s 25 spots on the roster, not nine. We absolutely have room for all four of these guys, and a little creative management can find ways to extract positive value from all four. I just don’t get it.

    • I know Votto wants to play everyday, but forcing him to take a few days off each month would allow Duvall to play there too.

      • Duvall could also potentially play 3rd if needed depending on how rusty he is.

        I also do not think you need to trade anyone.

    • I totally agree. The Reds don’t have to trade any of them and play all of them. Schebler can play CF, not on a daily basis, but when BHam needs a rest. Then, based on the pitcher they’re facing that day, decide among the 4 who should start. Injuries cannot be predicted and having a capable 4th OF makes total sense to build a playoff caliber team

    • All good points…very good points.

      The problem is the business of baseball eventually gets in the way. Duvall and Schebler’s agents are going to complain that the Reds are hindering their arbitration value by platooning them when both have put up numbers…to this point…that justify playing every day. That has a trickle down effect in the clubhouse as well. Fans only care about winning and players care mostly about their career (rightfully so).

      Also, unless you’re great at drafting and developing you need to be able to trade
      “excess” in one area to meet needs in another.
      If your starting pitching sucks, it negates the extra value created in having that extra outfielder. I don’t think they should do anything until that have a better sense of who is actually going to pitch…..but the reality is that they’ll eventually likely move an excess outfielder.

  4. I don’t see the urge to get rid of any of them. If you do trade one, you’re essentially saying that those three are the answer. What happens then if one doesn’t pan out? Gets hurt? Depth is a good thing to have. Kivlehan, Gennett, and Alcantara have started a combined 17 games in the OF this year. Bring Winker up, stop giving Kivlehan and Alcantara starts, start Gennett exclusively in the INF, and give those ABs to Winker. There’s plenty of playing time in the OF for all four

  5. I think that it probably would be Duvall that would be the odd man out . He’s older than Schebler and would probably be on the downhill slide by the time the Reds will field a team that has a solid rotation to match the offensive production that they have . He would most certainly command a top tier package of prospects with his offensive and defensive skill set combined with his years of control. Winker definitely has to get some playing time in the big leagues . If we could get back an experienced CF veteran with defensive and offensive numbers to improve the OBP at the top of the lineup , we could move Billy Hamilton to a 4th outfielder slot where he could be used as a late inning replacement and pinch runner when the team needs a run , late in a tie game. As much as I like his speed when he does get on base, he still doesn’t hit consistently to warrant a spot as the lead off ahead of Votto . Choo was the best lead off hitter we had , so if we could find someone like that, our offense would be so much better.

  6. I don’t see any issue with keeping all three right now but also if the right trade came along that can improve the club in another area, then go for it. I was okay with keeping Straitly this yea, he would have been a help in the rotation. but so fa what he brought back in return is greater than he would contribute over the next couple of years.
    BTW I don’t think Frazier ever played left field, if he did it was just as a fill in.

  7. If the return is right I’d be fine to trade Duvall. In the meantime I’d promote Winker (probably in favor of Kivlehan) and find starts for all four players. When BHam doesn’t start, what a weapon as a late inning base running replacement he could be. And when he does start and comes up late in a game in a key RBI slot, what a nice option to pinch hit with Duvall or Schebler or Winker. It is indeed a nice problem to have, but I’d rather have Winker in Cincinnati than Kivlehan, even if you can’t start four outfielders at once. Wait maybe you can – what an infield shift that would be!

  8. Someone with more understanding of the nuances of the CBA help me out….but doesn’t billy Hamilton only have 2 more years of team control? Won’t his arbitration number for 2018 be $5 mil. And then 7-8 mil in 2019?
    It would seem this offseason is the time for the Reds to decide what to with Billy Hamilton…

    The braves and cards and Padres avoided huge salary arbitration numbers to Inciarte and Carlos Martinez and Will Myers by signing all 3 to huge 5-6 year deals.

    It would seem winker.duvall.and schebler are not what we should be talking out. What the Reds do with Hamilton between now and next February will have huge ramification. There won’t be a trade of any of those three unless Hamilton signs a bigger deal than the Ender Inciarte like 5 year deal….as Hamilton already signed a 2.5 mil to avoid arbitration this year.

    I would expect a definitive long term extension for Hamilton at 5/40+ before anyone is traded….or a Billy Hamilton trade. This will be an offseason decision.

  9. Its a tough call! They should swap out Alcantara for Winker and play him semi-regularly like Scooter. They better find out what he can do in the majors before dealing away a cheap/productive big leaguer like Duvall or Schebler! Whats the point of a rebuild if 2017 comes and goes and we haven’t gained any real info on Winker, Reed, Bob Steve, etc?

    I think the Reds could get away w/Schebler in CF fulltime in GABP since we have such a small outfield but there is only 1 Billy! Colorado would seem like the ultimate fit for the Reds if they ever move Billy! They can carry his weak bat and move Blackmon to a corner OF spot plus they have a lot of young pitching! Its probably crazy but trading Votto is a real rebuild and solves this problem as well! He’ll be 34 shortly and are we really going to the NLCS or WS in his prime? Houston for example…would go from one of multiple contenders to heavy favorite with Joey in the middle of their lineup!

  10. Not sure if this was brought up before, but I thought Duvall was a 3B in the minors- if they trade Cozart, move Suarez back to SS, then they could have Duvall play at 3b, open LF for Winker . I think they would down grade every spot defensively- but I thought issue with Suarez at SS was not his range just booting routine plays like last season. He severely improved- how bad of SS could he be. They could get some idea of what they got when Senzel is ready be it next season or 2019

    • Duvall is a much better LF than he ever was a 3B – thus the move

      Although possible and creative, I don’t think it’d be the best for Duvall or the Reds

      • Maybe Suarez would be ok at SS now, given how much he improved at 3B but I still have PTSD from watching him play there in 2015. All I’ve heard about Duvall at 3B is that he was not any good defensively.

          • I don’t think Duvall’s future with the Reds is at 3rd base but, it appears a lot of people are putting the cart before the horse. Adam learned left field last year & was a gold glove finalis. Why is it so easy to believe Suarez was a lousy ss last season, but in less than a year has become a great 3rd baseman, while a very good LF can’t adjust to playing 3rd?. If the need arose for any of our corner outfielders (Scott, Adam, or Jesse) to become corner infielders, I’d put all my money on Duvall & give odds.

  11. This presumes that Jesse Winker would definitely be one of the players worth keeping, but I’m not so sure we (or the Reds) should be assuming that at this point. This will be clearer at the end of the season, but both Duvall and Schebler are reaching the point where they are establishing a track record of performance at the major league level, and are right in the middle of fueling the best Reds offense in a long time while being plus defenders. Winker, with all the promise he has shown at AAA and his Votto-esque approach to hitting, hasn’t proven anything at the major league level yet. I wouldn’t trade him without giving him an extended look at the major league level, and I think it would be more than doable to give him 4-5 starts a week later in the season while rotating rest to the current starters, but I wouldn’t rule trading him in the next year or so as the best option either. Especially if it can net the team a high quality starting pitcher that is more of a proven quantity than the current crop.

    • That’s why I think you wait until mid year next year to make a decision. The Reds are in a good spot. They can evaluate players at the big league level while not losing much trade value.

    • Mostly agree, but Winker wouldn’t bring a high quality pitcher without a seriouspackage of additional talent. The Reds don’t know at this point what they have for starting pitchers (I discount the current crop, except Garrett), and need to be careful about trading good prospects until they have a better idea about that.

      • As armchair GMs we really don’t know for sure what deals would be out there, but it doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility that a deal constructed around Winker + Stephenson or Reed + a B+ level prospect would yield a youngish #2 level starter on the next contending Reds team. The key will be timing – not pulling the trigger so early that you give up on the wrong guys, but not waiting so long that they lose their value to other teams. I will say that I have infinitely more faith in DW to thread that needle than I ever would have in Jocketty.

  12. Let’s see what Winker can do at the ML level before anything is decided. It doesn’t have to be by July 31 that a decision be made on this subject. A 4-man rotation in the OF should be the way to go with all 4 getting a good number of AB’s. A good off-season evaluation could then take place with a plan moving forward. Kivlehan will have to get some deserved AB’s, too, though.
    Assuming a Cozart trade, Peraza moves to SS and Gennett and Kivlehan make a good L/R combo for 2B with Alcantara in the mix and also backing up SS.
    On the other side, when an OF like the caliber of Miami’s Christian Yelich (and his contract) becomes available on the trade market maybe two of those OF and a couple of pitching prospects can bring Yelich to Cincinnati. Duvall could play 1B on a Marlins team and wouldn’t necessarily have to be a LF. BHam, Duvall and some pitching might get it done. BHam could run wild in that spacious OF.

  13. Blind journalism. Billy Hamilton is the first to go. You don’t need a top flight defender to play center. Hitting trumps defense anyday. You just need an adequate defender. Remember shin soo choo ? Defense was shabby but great hitter. Set the tone for the season. Hamilton is a one trick pony except it’s the wrong end of the pony.

    Question. What if Duvall is doing something unusual for a late 20’s player. What if he’s progressing to be a batter who can hit for average and 50 HR in this ballpark? Most of you used to make fun of Adam Dunn. Yeah he struck a lot, but averaged what 35-40 hr and 110 RBI? Oh and he had about 100 walks per year. If he was on those dusty baker teams , my god we would have made it to the World Series. 40+ hr and 100 RBI . Duvall will be just as good. Schebler might be the deal of the century. You trade Hamilton who is the weakest on this club. Winker is more patient and is a .285 to .320 guy. Duvall is gonna make you sick while you’re watching sports center.

    Leave him alone. Also how many pier hitting prospects do you have in the minors? Go ahead. I’ll wait.

    • What is better… a 6-5 win, or a 5-4 win?

      A run saved on defense is the same as a run created on offense.

      The phrase “hitting trumps defense anyday” is short-sighted at best, and downright silly at worst.

      • And in any case it’s wrong. Got to have both. And when it comes down to it, you don’t just give up the best defensive CF in a generation and try to replace it with slightly above average offense. Which is all you’ll really get. This is chess, not checkers.

    • How did the Reds do with Choo and Dunn? Bad defense is a sort of feedback loop: It doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It weakens the pitching.

  14. News that warms the heart.
    After getting swept by the Reds, the bloodletting and blame game in St. Louis has begun. They re-assigned their 3B coach. The asst. hitting coach takes a leave of absence. Bring up 2 coaches from the minors. They DFA’d Jhonny Peralta and activate Wong.
    The headlines say Cards in disarray. Is it fake news or real news?

    • They suck! They really have little to no talent. Their rotation is pretty decent but Wainwright is about done and Leake is a 3.80 guy 3rd-4th SP when its all said & done! I wonder if they’ll just blow it all up and it will be like the Reds/Stros & Reds/Cubs 5-6 years ago (or Reds/Cubs now)

    • The schadenfreude is strong with this one. Could it be that the mighty Cardinals are remarkably similar to every other organization when they can’t rely on PEDs and PED enablers (McGuire/LaRussa), drafting Superman in the zillionth round and paying him peanuts (Pujols), hacking opposing team’s draft/org plans (Astros)? PANIC!

      It it wrong that I love this so?

  15. We know Duvall and Schebler can play and hit at the big league level. Same can’t be said of Winkler. Sure looks he can but potential is a French word meaning he hasn’t done squat yet. I wouldn’t trade either Duvall or Schebler this year. I’d be more inclined to create space in CF but that’s just me.

    • I’m not saying you’re wrong BUT If that’s Schebler picking the ball up off the wall the other night with the relay to Scooter then their guy scores standing up! Its a case of a backup CF vs the best defensive CF in the game (and maybe ever?). Billy can also tease you with a walk or a bunt hit and steal 2nd/3rd a few pitches later. Speed doesn’t slump. Playoff baseball is colder and HRs don’t come as easily but once again…speed/defense don’t slump and everyone’s goal is to make to October! That being said GABP has to be the smallest OF in mlb….atleast it looks like it to me?

      Tough decisions!

        • Thats why I said it was a tease….but I’d say he has atleast 3 in the last few weeks. If he can ever actually hit consistently then the bunts could get his obp to 320 or so? How many guys have got on and stole 2nd/3rd before the 3rd hitter is done? I’d say probably zero….and Billy has done it 4-5 times atleast. I’d say his replacement better have atleast a 800 ops and atleast average defense to make up for his loss.

        • BHam has 3 bunt hits, the leader has 4 as said on a recent broadcast. Baseball is about streaks and when Hamilton is running the bases and playing defense you keep him cause of the low salary and no one in the wings to play CF.

        • On the other hand, he’s tied for third on the team for hits, and 5th in walks.

    • Don’t act like Schebler and Duvall are consistent, established players. They haven’t even been around for 2 seasons.

      If you aren’t worried about sample sizes, then Jesse Winker has a career 1.500 OPS in MLB.

        • But you’ll take a 1.500 OPS even with a slow outfielder and no power, right?

          Though it’s hyperbole, I haven’t heard anyone say Winker can’t play LF and be at least average. No one’s asking him to be a Gold Glover in LF, especially with Hamilton in CF. The value, if he can carry it over to the big leagues, is his bat and ability to get on base.

          • Winker has been playing RF this year. Hopefully he’s working hard on defense and throwing. The said Schebler had a weak throwing arm and he worked on it.

          • He’s much more likely to be slotted in LF at the MLB level. That would be a better fit for a guy that doesn’t have a big arm.

    • Don’t get me wrong, I like Schebler and Duvall a decent amount. They are what they are. Probably will continue to be 5-15% better than average as overall hitters with good power.

      But it’s just a little silly to act like a hitter with a 125+ wRC+ in two AAA seasons at 22/23 yrs old is merely a “prospect” and say he hasn’t done squat. He’s a low-risk, likely-to-produce MLB-ready prospect. He won’t have Duvall/Schebler power, but he’ll likely carry a higher AVG and OBP than both, with a chance to get some of his power back.

      • Especially because he’s 23. It’s not like he’s anywhere near his ceiling. Certainly not in the power department. He may not be a 30 HR guy but he could be a 20+ HR hitter and you’ll absolutely take that with his on base skills.

        • Based upon hitting 5 HRs in his last 500 AAA ABs you think he’s going to go into the majors and hit 20+? Not down on Winker, he can hit and get on base. But a corner outfielder with no power and no speed just clogs the bases. Ideally, trade him to an AL team where he can play DH/LF/1B. I’d think come the trade deadline, pairing him with Cozart in a trade might land you a big time Starting Pitching prospect.

          • Jay Bruce was a double hittera for long time. He lacked plate discipline too. Yes. I think Jesse Winker will hit 15-20 home runs and be the best young hitter since Joey Votto. Hitting a baseball hard and possessing plate discipline are 2 incredibly difficult tasks. GABP is also a hitters park.
            Minimizing Jesse Winker at 23 is a mistake.

          • So on one hand you’ll pan his power but on the other you think you can pair him with a 2 month rental for a “big time Starting Pitching prospect”? On what basis then?

            It seems you’re implicitly acknowledging that he has potential as a big time contributor at the big league level. He’s not likely to do it with his glove or base running…

  16. What would the Reds get for Winker in a trade…a slow outfielder with no power. Who needs another Denforia? Why worry about finding a place for Winker? The guy has proved nothing except he isslow with no power. Keep Duval and Schebler until they prove they are not worth keeping.

    • But have they proven that they’re worth keeping? Serious question. Take your time before you answer…

      • Well one of them was 2nd in the major leagues in rbis a few weeks ago and the other one was leading the NL in HRs last week. Can Winker hit lefties like Schebler can? If I’m not mistaken Winker had like 1 xtra basehit total at Lville (double) in his first month. Thats not going to cut it!

        • 4 doubles in April…my bad. I’m not rooting against him but I just feel like 75% of the people on here want to deal Duvall and Cozart. If they did that then watch the pitches walk Votto and mow down everyone else. I’ve been playing and studying the game for 35+ years and guys like Suarez (and Schebler) have longer and more slump prone swings then Duvall. Those are the guys I worry about! Duvall’s swing is short and powerful. You can acquire patience but its hard to fix a long swing.

          • Just so I understand your point Indy, do you really think Duvall is a patient hitter? His BB% has been less than 7% these past 2 seasons. I’m not sure that qualifies. But you do make the point for Winker. He is indeed a patient hitter. I get that he doesn’t have the power numbers. But it should at least be noted in that critique that he has had wrist issues in the past. I’m just not ready to make a conclusion on Winker’s power. At least not as much as I would make a conclusion on Duvall’s plate discipline.

  17. I’m not sure why the post doesn’t discuss possibility that Winker is the one traded. Reds need major league starting pitchers, Winker can be a piece in a trade to go after that. I don’t think selling teams with MLB SP’s to trade want established MLB bats…. they want a package of prospects. I think with a top-5 lineup and a couple of quality starters nearing return from DL and striking distance of first place… Reds should be buyers, but only for pitchers with team control to at least 2019 season. No rentals.

    • Good point! Teams like Oak or Tampa have young arms but they want guys that are even further away from getting paid then the 27-28 yr olds they’d be giving up. Winker fits that although Schebler is only 26. Teams that are in contention are not selling off established pitching normally.

  18. Winker needs to called up and platoon right now with the other 3 guys.His OBP skills will work out fine up here and I expect his average will also.He will play in GABP so I expect him to hit some homers.The big question to me is how long Billy gets by with an OBP under 300 and no power.Yes he is an elite defender and base stealer but if Winker gets to play it won’t take long to figure out who the best 3 outfielders on this team really are.Billy will not be traded because of his defense but should that alone be enough?

    • Defense and base-running are his main values now, but he’s not without some value as a hitter (current slump notwithstanding). He’s on pace to score over 100 runs (yes, I know, dependent stat). So yes, to my mind that’s enough. Plus he’s one of the most exciting players in the game.

  19. Senzel is the only untouchable. He was 4 for 5 with 4 runs, 4 rbi’s, 3 doubles and 1 triple yesterday. Besides I cannot identify one pitcher who’s value to the Red’s would dictate the inclusion of Senzel to any potential deal.

    Note: Senzel has been batting clean-up the last 2 weeks instead of third.

Comments are closed.