Daily Reds Obsession

DRO: How should the Reds handle playing time in the outfield?


This week’s respondents are Chad Dotson, Wes Jenkins, Jason Linden and Steve Mancuso. Plus, making a return to the pages of Redleg Nation is our guest, Nick Doran, who wrote a terrific weekly column during the 2015 season.


Our Daily Reds Obsession: How should the Reds handle playing time in the outfield in 2018?

Nick: Billy Hamilton’s glove and legs compensate for his wet noodle of a bat, so he is the everyday center fielder for one more year. Jesse Winker has a real chance to develop into a plus hitter and needs to start every day even if he struggles for extended periods, so he is the left fielder. Streaky, inconsistent veterans Scott Schebler and Adam Duvall platoon in right field. Giving Duvall regular rest might fend off his penchant for second-half swoons. If one of them gets hot just ride him for awhile.

Chad: The ideal solution would be to acquire Mike Trout and Cody Bellinger, and permit the trio of Trout-Bellinger-Jesse Winker to lead the Reds to the promised land. If we presume, however, that the Reds intend to enter 2017 with the same crop of outfielders — Winker, Billy Hamilton, Adam Duvall, Scott Schebler — the solution is so obvious that I can’t believe we’re discussing it.

First, we begin with the premise that Winker needs to play 140-plus games. After we’ve established that, it’s pretty simple to apportion playing time between all four of the guys, permitting each to play plenty of games. Give Hamilton and Duvall more days off than they’ve gotten the last couple of years (let Schebler play center field on the days Hamilton is on the bench), which will help keep each of them fresh and hopefully prevent the late-season crash-and-burn we’ve seen from each. If there is an injury, the Reds still have three good outfield options. If all are healthy, the Reds will always have a strong bat (or a speedy pinch runner/defensive replacement) available on the bench for late-game situations. It makes too much sense, which probably means that there’s no way the Reds will implement this system.

Wes: Oof. Jesse Winker needs to play, that’s the foundation I’ll start from. From my perspective, he should push Scott Schebler to a bench role, but Adam Duvall didn’t exactly finish the season hot and Billy Hamilton is more a liability than an asset. However, Duvall made an All-Star team and hits dingers without the batting average black hole that Schebler has, and Hamilton fits a very specific centerfield stereotype that the Reds gravitate to. So Schebler is the odd man out, and to be honest, he doesn’t make a great bench bat, so maybe cutting ties is for the best?

Jason: Winker plays every day unless he shows he can’t hack it. Every day. Duvall and Schebler are still reasonable question marks and should battle for playing time unless one of them is traded. If I had to pick, I’d take Schebler over Duvall. Assuming the Reds still have Hamilton, there will be days when Schebler starts in center. But Winker plays every day as long as he hits like he did in 2017.

Steve: I’ll consider the offseason a failure if the Reds start 2018 with a clumsy, 4-player outfield rotation of the same guys as 2017. Instead, they should trade Adam Duvall to force Bryan Price to play Jesse Winker in left field and trade for a new centerfielder. They should play Scott Schebler in right field. Schebler hit 30 home runs in 531 PA. He hit LHP (wRC+ 98) almost as well as he hit RHP (wRC+ 101). Schebler hurt his shoulder diving for a ball on June 3 but continued to play through it. He finally went on the DL on August 1. From June 6 to July 30, his wRC+ was 78. Before the injury it was 115 and after he returned from the DL, it was 106. Among Reds with at least 200 at bats, Schebler had the third highest xwOBA on the team, after Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez. Schebler also showed potential for plate discipline and average-to-plus defense at times. He turned 27 three weeks ago and is under team control through 2022.

76 thoughts on “DRO: How should the Reds handle playing time in the outfield?

  1. I like Hamilton as the late game substitution either for defense or as a base runner. He could also start when the team heads out west with all the large outfields. However unless there is another CF acquired it is either Hamilton or let Schebler handle CF. Assuming Duval, Schebler, and Winker are all fighting over two spots, I prefer Schebler and Winker due to age and potential for improvement. I think Duvall has some durability concerns playing everyday, but he does provide the right handed bat with a currently lefty heavy lineup. It is a difficult decision, but a good problem to have. Obviously the team has more intel than me, but from my view you see what demand there is for corner OF and offer Schebler an affordable extension. If there is no market keep all four guys and you have an insurance policy when one of them is injured

  2. Trade Hamilton. There you go! Problem fixed. To tell you the truth, though, I’m not too confident about ANY of our Outfielders. MAYBE Schebler is the only one the starting 3 from last year that I feel any kind of good about…but that’s not saying much. I like Duvall’s power but the low BA & second half swoons are getting old already. I didn’t like Schebler’s low BA either but I think he may be more capable of bringing it up than Duvall. But I could be wrong. If Winker can maintain what he did in ’17 then, yes, he deserves to start everyday. But it was a small sample size. I realize the only way to find out if JW can maintain it for a full season is to give him the shot to start everyday, therefore, trade Hamilton bcuz he’s the OF’r I dislike the most but mostly bcuz his weak offense is just too much for me to accept. I like the OF of Duvall, Schebler & Winker a lot better than the one we had last year. But really I’d trade Duvall along with Hamilton (but not in same package obviously) and hopefully we could go out and get an established OF to fill the void.

    • I agree. I would trade both Hamilton and Duvall. We need a center fielder for the next 4 years, so that might include Jackie Bradley Jr, Christian Yellich or a risky lower cost pickup like the recently injured Andrew Toles. We need to solve the CF and SS issue this winter if at all possible.

    • I would think a Platoon situation would be good for Both Adam and bill. Keep Adam at about 120 games,

  3. We are really discussing what the Reds SHOULD HAVE DONE with the outfield during the 2017 season. The only given for the 2018 season is Winker plays every game, almost exclusively as a starter (600 PA). I’m with Steve in the respect that if the Reds enter the 2018 season with the same OF makeup, the 2017-2018 off season will have been an utter failure.

    Something has to happen this off season with the 25-man roster. There are numerous ways to go in that regard, but the OF provides or is at least involved in many of the options. I simply don’t trust Price to ‘manage’ the situation to maximize the individual and team success. He’s done nothing but prove he simply can’t or won’t do that. With 2018 being such a critical season in the completion of the rebuild, I still can’t fathom why Price is at the helm. An organization simply shouldn’t ever have to manager-proof a roster because the manager can’t do his job, but I regress.

    Winker plays every day and we’ll just have to wait and see what other OF options exist come spring training.

    • Agree Cossack. Price shows some improvement but we always go back to not trusting him to make the right decisions. I think that speaks for itself. Your comment about “manager proofing” says it all.

      • We need to move off the Price bashing. He works for Dick Williams who can tell him who to play and does. It is the GM’s role to pick the players on the roster and manage their development. Write to Williams if you want him to play someone else. Price is stuck with the Reds roster. If the players perform he will look good. If I were Williams, after trying to fix the pitching staff, I would try to find a decent center fielder.

        • That’s a pretty bold statement to make to say you know that Dick Williams tells Brian Price who to play. I know we have all speculated about it but nothing has been confirmed on that as far as I know. And as far as laying off of Price, as fans who care about the team, it is our right to question the manager. You can lay off of him if you choose. Cossack and I (and others) will question his decisions, as well as give him props when he does well.

  4. If the four player rotation system remains for 2018 then the Reds are headed for another disappointing season. Good teams have three regular outfielders with a couple backups. I want Winker in one of the corner spots and after that will wait to see what the FO does or does not do to clarify the outfield situation.

    • The Cubs won it all rotating like 6 guys in their OF. Mixing and matching is modern baseball. Sadly, the Reds don’t have a manager who understands that.

  5. Agreed with the majority that Winker needs to play everyday (and be 1 or 2 in the lineup!). I think that Schebler has more of a ceiling than that of Duval, and has more team control, and is younger. So I would lean towards Schebler’s role also not being diminished. Billy is the only everyday CF on the 40 man, so unless there is some acquisition that changes that, he mans CF everyday, and is spelled from time to time by Schebler or Ervin. Duval gets platooned in when the other’s get an off day. Hopefully more regular rest can help protect against injuries/2nd half slides across the board.

    Or the Reds can package a deal for Yelich and call it a day!

    LF- Winker
    CF- Yelich
    RF- Schebler/Duval.

    Now that’s a OF I can be excited about!!

    Pipe dream 2018 lineup as of July….

    Senzel- 2B
    Winker- LF
    Votto- 1B
    Suarez- 3B
    Yelich- CF
    Schebler/Duval- RF
    Barnhart/Mez- C
    Pitcher
    Pereza- SS

    • Like your lineup, I thought I try mine because we know neither will happen.
      Winkler – LF
      Senzel – 2B
      Votto – 1B
      Suarez – 3B
      Yelich – CF
      Matte – SS
      Schebler – RF
      Barnhart – C
      try a 6 man pitching rotation of
      Stephenson, Mahle, Garrett, Romano,
      Castello & Reed.

  6. 162 games in a season * 3 outfield spots = 486 starts. Why don’t we give each of Winker, Schebler, Duvall, and Hamilton 120 starts? This keeps Duvall fresher and lowers Hamilton’s chance of injury. It also allows Winker to get over 400 PA in during the season. If you feel the way that I do and believe that the Reds aren’t going to trade anyone in the outfield, isn’t this the best scenario?

    • That is what I am thinking.
      Billy breaks down, Adam seems to slump.
      All get playing time.

  7. I agree with Steve and Cossack that the Reds need to trade at leas one of the two corner OFs that started last year. I simply do not trust BP to allow sufficient playing time for Winker. I love Duval’s hustle and attitude but he is the one I think needs to go. Again if his playing time was managed properly he might not wear down at the end of the season but does anyone trust BP to do that? Schebler because of his age and power might bring bak the most in a trade though. I would like to see the Reds get a better option in center. Billy is exciting to watch when he is in the field or on the bases but the reality is he just is not on the bases enough. If we have Peraza at SS we can not afford another low power, low on base position player.

  8. CF Joc Pederson is out of a job in LA. His career OPS vs. RHP is .824, vs. LHP it’s .599. His BABIP was 80 points below the league average this year. He’s a perfect guy-low condidate who’s controllable and ideal for a platoon. Ervin’s OPS vs. LHP is promising. I believe these two combined could put up a 3-4 WAR season for 1/3 the cost of Billy. Trade Billy, save, about $4 million, and use the money on a reliever.

    Good teams have major league players on the bench. Duvall is a legit major leaguer earning peanuts. I’m all for a trade that improves the team, but the Reds leave a lot of wins on the table by not fielding a competitive bench relative to big market teams. I don’t see why he couldn’t take Kivlehan’s role and (rarely) spot start at third or first while playing the OF corners as well.

    My OF would be Senzel in LF, Pederson/Ervin platoon in CF, Winker in RF, with Schebler rotating.

    • I like trading Billy. If not, he bags switch hitting, is a platoon player and my 8,9th inning defensive closer after Winker gets his 4th ab. Oh and he can never ever bunt again

      Jocks an interesting option. I would do that.

      Senzel is in my infield. I do not see Schebler as anything but a starter. He is not done improving

      • serious question, just to make sure…you guys don’t want Hamilton bunting .. because he just sucks at it,correct?

        • I’m not a good choice to answer your question but, yes, he’s not a good bunter. More importantly, bunting is rarely a good thing to do, since it reduces run expectancy.

        • The problem with Hamilton bunting is how the IF defense plays Hamilton. When Hamilton is in the batter’s box, the IF defense almost plays at little league depth. There’s just no room for error. Even with Hamilton’s speed, it has to be a perfect bunt and as GreenMtRed stated so eloquently, he’s not a good bunter. No defense respects Hamilton’s bat and until Hamilton makes opposing teams play a more legitimate defense, the bunt just won’t become an effective weapon in his arsenal.

  9. Options are a plenty for the Reds front office regarding the outfield. All 4 outfielders are keepers, have good upsides, but they all have some sort of warts, or negatives. That makes the OF puzzle a little harder to solve.
    Winker has the most upside and least negatives and should be a stalwart in LF. Duvall in RF is a good fit. His defense is vastly superior to Schebler. His arm strength and accuracy is much better. I wouldn’t mind a different type of LH hitter to pair with Duvall other than Schebler. Someone like Colorado’s OF David Dahl. Dahl spent most of 2017 on the DL, but he is only 23. Dahl, like Schebler has played all 3 OF spots. Colorado might like Schebler’s power in their OF to replace the aging Cargo. Ian Desmond was injured, but a big disappointment for the Rox.
    Schebler + 1 for Dahl would be a big get for the Reds. Dahl would be the 4th OF until he beats out Duvall by the all-star break. Ervin as the 5th OF gives the whole OF balance.
    This also allows the Reds to keep BHam in CF, batting 8th.

    • I like Duvall’s arm but how can he be better defensively than Schebler but not be able to play CF? Two measures for OFs would be range and arm. It would appear that Schebler has better range (which is why he can play CF to some extent) and this has to play out as an advantage in RF and LF. And Schebler must have at least a decent arm or you wouldn’t put him in CF.

      A player can look like a great defender by catching balls on the run or diving when a player with better range would have make it look easy.

      • Fangraphs has Duvall’s arm strength and accuracy as much better than Schebler’s. Not even close. Range is about even. I love Schebler’s hustle, but he seems like a LH redundancy on Duvall. That is why I suggested a different type of LH hitter. Winker is LH, BHam is better from LH side, so the LH Schebler is just the odd man out. Nothing against Schebler. Just a numbers thing.

        • Why haven’t they used Duvall in CF? Arm is important in CF but not as important as range. I can agree that Duvall may be a better LF for the Reds because of his arm and we have a gazelle in CF who minimizes the need to be mobile. The Reds are able to minimize his weakness.

          A related question. I always thought the the better arm would be put into LF as they have the longest throw going to 3rd base. Is that true or did I just remember incorrectly?

    • Dahl has 222 atbats in 2 seasons. On the bright side….did have a .833 road ops (only 110 atbats?) so maybe he’s not the typical Coors-heavy Rockies hitter. I like if they got him fairly cheap? I’m in for a big splurge w/Lorenzo Cain, but he’s only had 500 atbats twice in his career at 31? They need to do something? Winker needs to go full-time and they can’t keep Billy at leadoff with a .300 obp? He is what he is.

      • Rox think really high of him, will not be cheap.
        Also, he is injury prone.
        (note, I live in front range between Denver and Colorado Springs, so I hear about this on the radio and tv a lot.

      • Not sure Billy is what he is, Indy (remember Cozart), but he certainly shouldn’t bat high in the order until he is what he hasn’t been.

  10. Two trade this offseason:

    Reds get: Jackie Bradley Jr.
    Red Sox get: Duvall or Schebler, maybe a pitcher

    AND

    Reds get: Darren O’Day
    Orioles get: Billy and Sal Romano

    And just like that, the Reds are a better team

      • Because they want more power in their lineup, although they are probably more inclined to sign a 1st baseman. Benintendi came up through the minors as a centerfielder. They put him in left, because they still had Bradley.

  11. Peraza actually played a pretty good cf the few games he was put out there so he could be an option especially if the reds elect to keep scooter and cozart.

    I am frankly tired of the duval, Hamilton, Schebler experiment.
    we gave a good 2 year run and it netted us 68 wins each year.

    the reds haven’t had an outfielder that batted over .250 since 2013 when choo hit .285
    kind of scary

    I would like to see more of Ervin and Winkler for sure.

    • Seriously? Peraza was terrible in CF. He did not pick up the ball of the bat well. His routes to the ball were atrocious. Speed is not the be all, end all needed to play CF.

  12. I agree with Steve’s thoughts: We need to solve the CF and SS issue this winter if at all possible.

    I do have concerns about Winker’s defense, but it seems he does better in LF, lets hope or he’ll struggle to reach 2.5 war as we need him too.

  13. Sign Lorenzo Cain for CF and trade Billy. I’d prob move Schebler as well…just because they’re weaker vs lefties and Duvall is strong there. Schebler might bring more too in a trade. Cain might cost around $60/mil for 4 yrs but maybe get him for 3? He’ll be 32 next April. He has big WS experience and a career high .363 obp this year (4.7 war). 26-2 steals so he’s obv paying attention on the bases as well. He’d make a bigger impact then rolling the dice w/a 30+ something free agent pitcher.

    Lineup:

    RF – Winker/Ervin
    CF – Cain
    1B – Joey
    SS – Suarez
    2B – Scooter/Blandino
    3B – Senzel
    LF – Duvall/Scooter
    C – Tucker/Meso
    Pitcher

    That lineup is going to score a ton of runs! Subtract Billy and Peraza and you really have something imo!

    • I love the lineup! I do think it would score a lot of runs, but it unfortunately would probably give up a lot of runs defensively as well. I do love the idea of upgrading at CF and SS offensively, but not at the cost of degrading both those positions defensively too terribly much.

      If we are dreaming, what about trading for Yelich and Ketel Marte? Marte would be an upgrade over Pereza offensively and defensively (with also a higher ceiling for development), and Yelich would be a step down defensively, but would overwhelmingly make up for it offensively. Now Suarez and stay at 3B with his newfound high end defense too boot, and Senzel can play at 2B where his offensive skills will be a real premium at an up the middle position.

      Winker- LF
      Senzel- 2B
      Votto- 1B
      Suarez- 3B
      Yelich- CF
      Schebler/Duval- RF
      Marte- SS
      Banhart/Mez- C
      Pitcher

      Completely dreaming here I know, but that’s a lineup that would score a ton of runs, and still play some solid defense as well!

  14. Option 1 is to make a trade for a CF who is average or better defensively and at the plate. Yelich is the name typically mentioned but I’m sure there are others. Winker starts every day in LF. Duvall, Schebler and Ervin compete for the RF and 4th outfielder roles (unless 1 of them is included in a trade). I do not trade Votto, Suarez, Senzel, Winker or Castillo unless completely blown away by an offer. Everyone else is fair game to improve CF, SS and the pitching staff.

    Option 2 is going with the current roster. If that is the case Hamilton cannot be allowed to have more than a handful of at-bats all season against left-handed pitching. His wRC+ of 78 against right handed pitching is easier to swallow when combined with his defense. The wRC+ of 36 against lefties last year is what cannot be allowed to continue.
    So Winker plays every day in LF; Billy starts against right-handed starters only; Schebler starts in CF against left-handed pitching; Duvall and Schebler split time in RF.

    • yes I am leaning towards option 2 because I Don’t see the reds making any major trades this year. hopefully Price will get creative with the of rotation.

      Ervin, peraza, scooter can also play the outfield from time to time.

        • I thought peraza looked pretty good in center actually.now scooter did look lost, I agree. lol

          • Yeah, Scooter has issues anywhere on defense. He’s the kind of player that teams try to hide on defense, at least teams not managed by Price.

  15. Everyone on here is always talking about Yelich but what about Ozuna? He’s a year older…which means he’s that much closer to getting paid and Jeter & associates need to cut payroll. It would cost a ton of prospects, but he’s an absolute beast (.924 ops in a park that seems like twice the size of Gabp)

    • Not to mention…Ozuna is a RH hitter and we struggle much more vs lefties. Winker, Scooter, and Schebler are lefties and Billy/Tucker are much weaker vs lefties as well. Yelich is only ok vs lefties….737 ops

      • Other teams have more to give the Marlins for Ozuna. The Reds do not have any good players they can give up. Recall this team won 68 games.

        • I don’t know? I saw where the Reds now have the 8th best farm system. Stephenson, Romano, Mahle, etc. Alot of promising young arms as well.

    • That’s the problem. What about him? He can’’t hit enough to be a corner outfielder and can’t play good enough defense to be a center fielder.
      .

  16. Reds are getting some Gold Glove love today. One player did not.
    Billy Hamilton a finalist.
    Adam Duvall a finalist.
    Joey Votto a finalist.
    Tucker Barnhart a finalist.
    Eugenio Suarez did not get named a finalist. He deserved to be named over Freese.
    Scott Schebler nowhere on the RF list. Who to trade? Maybe it is Schebler.

    • Wow, that’s a lot of love for a very good defensive team. Yes, Suarez deserved to be a finalist at 3B. The GG for 3B begins and ends with Arrenado, but Suarez is a top 3 anyway.

  17. As if the Reds didn’t have enough second basemen, they add to their hoard. Reds claim 2B Micah Johnson from Atlanta. He was part of the Todd Frazier trade that went from CHW to LAD. He is now a Red.
    MLBTR had this on his 2017 season. “He enjoyed a solid run with Atlanta’s Triple-A affiliate, hitting .289/.377/.400 in a small sample of 155 plate appearances but also missed a significant portion of the year due to a fractured left wrist.”
    It just adds to the off-season intrigue. Especially at 2B. Hmmm. Does that spell release for Dilson Herrera??

    • I think I read somewhere that Herrera may gain an option year due to injuries… Not sure where or if it was accurate reporting.

  18. Dick Williams needs to decide if Winker is the long term answer as a corner outfielder. If yes, he orders Price to play him every day and makes it easier by trading Duvall or Schebler. Reds need to find.a CF. Hamilton might get one more year to prove he can improve his offense but only if they can not acquire anyone better. Hopefully the Reds have someone in the minors who could challenge for the CF job by 2019. The most important thing the Reds need to do is improve its pitching staff. If they don’t do that it will be the same result next year no matter who is in the OF. My guess is Cozart is gone. Peraza plays SS. Gennett is traded and Senzel gets the 2B job. Duval, Schebler, Gennett, Iglesias, Hamilton are all available to trade individually or in a combination of 2 or 3 for pitching first and then a center fielder. At the moment I do not envision “an up the middle” combination of Barnhart, Peraza, Senzel, Hamilton as something that will rock the baseball world. Maybe we will be surprised. Dick Williams has lot to do. Hopefully we see a competitive by 2020.

  19. Reds have 2 Gold Glove finalists in their outfield again. And the dominant theme at this site is trade both? It’s just senseless. If you’re going to trade Hamilton, then you need to keep Duvall, or visa versa. So obviously, Adam & Billy are on a “death watch” & both will probably be gone by ST.

    • So what. This Reds outfield is bad. The Reds lost 90 games for the third straight year. Yes, pitching isn’t good, But Votto and Suarez and Cozart carried the team …not the the outfield

      13 outfielders in MLB had more WAR than Hamilton/Duvall/Schebler COMBINED.

      Another 5-7 were within earshot of being more valuable than all 3 COMBINED.

      How can over half of baseball teams have 1 outfielder more valuable than the Reds entire outfield?
      Because all 3 Reds outfielders have seriously flaws.
      Gold Gloves are great….didn’t help much in LA last night when a record number of home runs were hit in a World Series game.
      Baseball has changed. Games aren’t 2-1 anymore. Repeat. Baseball has changed.

      Of 92 outfielders with 350 at bats, Billy Hamilton has the lowest wRC+ of all except one. He is a horrific offensive player. MLB trade rumors called his offense putrid. Billy Hamilton cant hit, cant get on base, and cant hit for power. He also cant steal first base. There actually are a few centerfielders who are as good defensively as he and a handful of others who are close. He will cost $5 million next year and $8 million after that.

      Adam Duvall gives you good power and solid defense, until he doesn’t. He also strikes out a ton and cant walk or get on base. Are you really counting on him to beat Roy Halladay in that one game winner take all? He ‘s hitting the homer against Verlander or Strasburg to win game 5? game 7? No way.

      Schebler has great power and when he hits it, he hits it hard. But, he doesn’t hit for average or get on base and he is at best mediocre on defense. He is young and has value though.

      The Reds will likely stay put this offseason in the outfield, because they aren’t going for it in 2018. The outfield is cheap and it allows Siri and Trammel another year to gauge their potential. Hamilton at $5 mil in arbitration is nothing. Phil Castellini can market that.

      • I promise I won’t type this again. I’m tired of it myself, but Duvall had a .845 ops on August 19th. Thats over 4 months of solid baseball. He led or was near the NL lead in extra basehits thru atleast June. He’s good defensively. I think there is a solid player in there somewhere…if they can find it while he’s still in his prime. More rest after the AS break. Changing nutrition or something to combat the effects of diabetes. If they added Senzel and Winker to the lineup and subtracted Billy and Peraza, then you could drop Duvall to 6th or 7th and have a dangerous lineup!

      • You make a strong case regarding the Reds outfield not measuring up in WAR. But that was not the subject of my comment. Gutting your defense (Cozart, Duvall, Hamilton) , Trading away one of 2 LH relievers (Cingrani) seriously hampers efforts to establish a young starting rotation – mostly of right -handed pitching. Unless you think Winker & Ervin will attain GG finalist level defense, or Peraza can play ss as
        well as Cozart . Building a competitive rotation is job #1, & maintaining a strong defense as well as an effective balanced bullpen is essential to achieving that goal. As for your question about Game 5 heroics, the Reds have no need of that either in the last 4 years, or in 2018, or probably 2019. I’m all for trading Hamilton, simply because he doesn’t belong in the lineup vs lefties & as long as Price is manager he will play Billy every day as have him leadoff. Plus he’s arbitration eligible & will become somewhat expensive (by Reds standards) next year. Duvall makes league minimum and is an above average ML left fielder. He should be going nowhere unless a team offers at least 2 “top 100 prospects”.

      • Baseball has changed, and will change again. But one thing remains the same: Each team must record 27 outs in a 9-inning game. The outfield is not perfect–no outfield is–but “yeah, pitching isn’t good” really understates the importance of the main reson the Reds weren’t competitive in 2017. I’m not opposed to changing the outfield, but the suggestions for how to do so seem like either pipe dreams or unlikely to produce a better all-around outfield.

        • Well they were 29th in ERA and 14th in runs scored. Where will they need to be to compete for the playoffs? The pitching will improve but how much? I’m guessing they’ll need to be mid-pack ERA and top 10 in runs scored (2019?). Most likely subtract Cozart and add Senzel offensively. Scooter won’t repeat last year. I’d say 60% of the people on here want Senzel, Suarez, or Herrera, etc to play 2nd. I want to see if Scooter can keep it up somewhat? Its not like he’s 33? I was all over Dexter Fowler 2.5 years ago on here and nobody really agreed. The Cubs didn’t even want Fowler going into the 2016 season! Bottom line….they have so many good arms and the free agent starter list is underwhelming and overvalued imo. They could sign a Lorenzo Cain for CF or trade for someone! That’s not a pipe dream and it would improved the team. Their farm system is rated #8 by cbs sports. They have some trade chips now!

          • Indy,agree with almost all.

            But name the last impact free agent who chose to sign with the Reds

          • I was surprised to see LoCain was an AL CF gold glove finalist. Maybe there wouldn’t be much of a drop off in defense with LoCain over Billy.

          • Not Choo. Reds traded Drew Stubbs and Didi Gregorius for Choo. Indians then traded Gregorius to D-backs for Trevor Bauer I believe. It was a 3 team trade for Choo.

          • 3 way trade for Choo….never mind. Point taken. Big Bob’s team with its limited payroll and hundreds of ravenous fans isn’t exactly 1st on the wish list.

          • Doesn’t Cain’s age worry you? The Reds are presumably hoping to be competitive in 2018 but really aimingfor’19or ’20 and beyond.

          • No only Cain’s age, but the contract necessary to sign him as a FA. Cain is going to get $80MM+ when he signs. I do not want another $60MM+ FA contract on the books for an aging FA. The Reds simply can’t afford to pay for past performances.

          • I don’t see the Reds spending any FA money on position players or starting pitching. Williams has said they are not a player or 3 away yet and instead are looking to sign a FA guaranteed contract with a player who gives the club a bigger upgrade than recent players and who will pitch in the bullpen but also if things go wrong with injuries, etc, flex to the rotation.

            Brandon Morrow fits that bill. He is a dominant arm in the Dodgers bullpen.
            He is from the same draft as Andrew Miller as a top pick and experienced veteran at 33 and has gone from RP to SP to RP and now throwing 97-98 mph as a setup for Jansen. I see the Reds making a run at him( or similar player) in a 3 year deal to solidify the bullpen through 2020. Iglesias and Morrow would be 2 dominant righty arms with a potential third in Lorenzen if/when he rebounds from his poor second half.

            Or- could that give Lorenzen an opportunity to transition back to a starter’s role? Lorenzen turns 26 in January and came back healthy in 2016 to throw 50 innings and another 83 innings in 2017. Its now or never for his career as a SP. He could transition back into a starters role and throw 125-130 innings in 2018 and be ready for 160-170 in 2019.

            2018 will be a year of sorting the pitching staff for 2019 while letting Mesoraco’s onerous contract expire and paying down another year on the Bailey contract as we see if he can complete his comeback in full.

  20. I say clean house completely. No outfielder above a 2.0 WAR last year. IMO, not gonna cut it. Irvin in CF and Winker in RF. I don’t know about LF. At this point, this is my half-baked plan

    • I was going to post this same scenario. Trade off Duvall and Winkler. I think Winker and Ervin in the corners would provide the best future.

      The Reds just are not going to part with Hamilton. They feel he is a draw.

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