In the days leading up to Opening Day, we’ll be previewing The State Of The Reds at every single position on the field. Check out the previous installments of our Redleg Nation 2018 Season Preview series:

Catcher | Shortstop | Second Base  | Bullpen


Since 2014 center field for the Cincinnati Reds has been branded with Billy Hamilton’s spectacular defense and his big time fan appeal. Hamilton has owned center field over the past four years aided mostly by his elite defense.  With patience running thin over Hamilton’s offensive limitations, center field could transform from the familiar to the intriguing.

The Opening Day Starter: Billy Hamilton

Like it or not, Billy Hamilton is most likely going to be your center field starter for the majority of 2018. Hamilton is one of the best defensive center fielders in the majors. He led National League center fielders in defensive wins above replacement (1.2), defensive runs saved (9), and assists (13). His defense is his identity.

For how good Hamilton is defensively, he’s been just as bad offensively. The single most important stat when looking at Billy Hamilton as a leadoff hitter is how often he gets on base. In 2017 he was fourth last in the National League in on base percentage (.299). What’s even more alarming is that instead of Hamilton’s offensive numbers improving from 2016 to 2017, they seemingly dipped. His on base percentage fell from .321 to .299, his average dropped from .260 to .247, and his OPS plummeted from .664 to .634. That’s certainly not something you want to see from a young player going from his fourth year in the majors to his fifth.

Hamilton’s real value on offense is what he does between the bases. He was second in the National League in steals in 2017 with 59 and was only caught stealing 13 times. Billy can be an absolute game changer when he does actually get on base.

It will be interesting to see where Hamilton lands in the batting order this season. Although he has game changing speed, his past offensive numbers and his performance this spring don’t justify him being a leadoff hitter. He will most likely start the year in the leadoff spot with a short leash.

The Backup: Scott Schebler

This is where things get interesting. Schebler is really the only player in the crowded Reds’ outfield with the ability to take playing time away from Billy Hamilton. When he saw time in center field last season, Schebler was more than able to hold his own defensively. He didn’t commit an error and FanGraphs rated him with two defensive runs saved over the 15 games that he played.

Offensively, Schebler has the advantage. He clubbed 30 home runs last season, had a higher on base percentage than Hamilton (though not great), and had a higher OPS (.791 compared to .634). Though the majority of Schebler’s stat line was down from 2016 to 2017, many accredit much of that to a nagging shoulder injury. Schebler just brings more to the table offensively; you know you’re going to get a decent at bat out of him when he steps to the plate.

Some people believe that Schebler is a better fit to see the majority of playing time, or at least a fair share of playing time, in center field. He’s having a great spring and is healthy. Giving Schebler more time in center field will also allow the Reds to give more at bats and playing time to Jesse Winker who’s sharing time in right field with Schebler. Moving Schebler from right field to center field opens up the right field position. If Scott Schebler is solid in center field defensively and continues to contribute significantly more on offense than Billy Hamilton, you have to wonder how long the Reds go before they truly give him a shot to own the position.

The Future: Scott Schebler, Taylor Trammell

Well, this has a lot of variables to it. The future of center field could look completely different two months from now than it does today. Scott Schebler could be playing center field full time for a traded Billy Hamilton or based on performance alone. It’s what makes the position so intriguing.

That being said, I honestly don’t think that Billy Hamilton is the opening day center field starter in 2019. The Reds have already tried to trade him once and I can see them trying to unload him again. Billy also is who he is offensively…and there’s a better option.

Although Scott Schebler is a nice player capable of bridging the gap and evaluating to see just how high his ceiling is (and maybe use as a future trade chip), the long term center field position belongs to outfield prospect Taylor Trammell. The now 20 year old was drafted in the first round by the Reds in 2016. According to redsminorleagues.com he is the 4th rated prospect in the Reds’ system and the 68th rated prospect in all of baseball according to mlb.com prospect watch.

Trammell has split time in the minors at left field and center field.  His 2017 minor league stat line was impressive:

Trammell continues to improve each year and continues to move up on prospect lists around the country. It’s only a matter of time before he cracks a spot on the Reds’ 40 man roster.

In my opinion, center field is going to be one of the more interesting positions to watch in 2018. What the Reds decide to do with Billy Hamilton, how Billy Hamilton performs offensively and where he bats in the lineup, and how Scott Schebler fits in and performs defensively are all things to pay attention to this season. Hopefully by the end of the season there are more questions answered about center field than there are asked.

About The Author

Jeff is Cincinnati born, Ohio University educated. Reds baseball has been a central theme of his family ever since his mom and dad helped him skip school to attend Opening Day. Jeff has been accused of having a "man crush" on Joey Votto and longs for the day that he gets to witness the Reds finally win a playoff series. You can follow him on Twitter @Gaaangs

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67 Responses

  1. Darrin

    Schebler and Winker need to play pretty much every day…..and let the rest sort itself out.

  2. Jason Linden

    I don’t know that Ervin is the answer, but he should be mentioned somewhere. I wouldn’t be surprised if he spent a season staring in CF at some point.

    • wkuchad

      I also wondered why Ervin didn’t get a mention. Is he only projected to be a bench player at best?

    • Jeff Reed

      This is Phil Ervin’s age 26 season and he’s still a rookie for 2018. He seems to me to have good offensive and defensive skills but has not been given much of a chance by the Reds. With the acquisition of Revere, I see him as a part of a future trade

  3. WVRedlegs

    Oh my. Schebler as the future CF? That just doesn’t leave a sour taste in the mouth, it would be front office malfeasance. Schebler is a below average fielder in RF, so I cannot see him being above average in CF. Schebler struggled, I mean struggled to hit at GABP in 2017. He may look good in Arizona this spring, but when he gets back to GABP, more of last season should be anticipated. Schebler’s future may be more of an AL DH if he cannot hit in GABP.
    I think the Reds should be calling the NY Yankees about recently DFA’d OF Jake Cave. The Reds know what he is after picking him in the Rule 5 draft a couple of years ago. Although they had to return him, he can play CF and would be a very good backup to Hamilton in 2018. He also may allow Cincinnati to trade Hamilton if no improvement is seen from BHam in 2018. Cave had a line of .266/.317/.516 in 31 G’s at AA and a line of .324/.367/.554 in 72 G’s at AAA in 2017. Combined he had 26 2B’s, 5 3B’s, and 20 HR’s. He is ML ready now. He just wasn’t ready when the Reds grabbed him.
    Cave can bridge the gap to Siri or Trammell.

    • MrRed

      I don’t follow, WV. Are you basing your conclusions off a limited sample of GABP plate appearances? Wouldn’t those numbers change pretty quickly if Schebler hits closer to his road numbers?

      And if Schebler isn’t a good hitter in GABP, then why would any AL team want him as their DH?

      • big5ed

        I agree. Schebler had an OPS in 2016 at GABP of .890, in 140 PAs. There is no logical reason why any hitter would be able to hit on the road but not at GABP, so to me 2017 comes with a small sample size alert.

        I am not opposed to picking up Cave, but I wouldn’t give up much for him.

      • WVRedlegs

        Lets do the math. Schebler’s 2017 stats say that he didn’t hit well at GABP. But he hit fairly decent on the road. That would make him attractive to AL teams, as well as other NL teams. In 2017 Schebler had:
        1. HOME= in 258 PA’s, a line of .198/.298/.387.
        2. AWAY= in 273 PA’s, a line of .263/.315/.570.
        3. VS. RHP= in in 393 PA’s, a line of .215/.313/.481.
        4. VS. LHP= in 138 PA’s, a line of .276/.290/.493.
        5. HOME VS. RHP= in 191 PA’s, a line of ..182/.309/.390.
        6. HOME VS. LHP= in 67 PA’s, a line of .238/.269/.381.
        7. AWAY VS. RHP= in 202 PA’s, a line of .244/.317/.561.
        8. AWAY VS. LHP= in 71 PA’s, a line of .310/.310/.592.

        Schebler has much better lines away from GABP. Of his 531 total PA’s, 393 were vs. RHP, that is 74 %. Of his 258 Home PA”s, 191 were vs. RHP, that is 74% also. The 2017 data suggests that Schebler should play in Away games, and especially vs. LHP. But that really only represents about 12% of his PA’s.
        Granted, in 2016 Schebler had 282 PA’s and almost a polar opposite outcome. But that was in almost half of the PA’s he had in 2017. He had 40 PA’s in 2015 with LA. But those RHP/LHP splits pretty much mirrored 2017. So it is hard to say about Schebler. Is the 2018 Schebler a combo of 2017 and 2016 Schebler? Or is the 2018 Schebler going to be much the same as 2017 Schebler?
        The one thing that bothers me about Schebler was his September last year. After coming off the DL, he had 2 good weeks in August and hit above .340. But the wheels fell off in September. He barely hit .200 with 33 K’s, by far his highest monthly K total in 2017.
        Was Schebler consumed with getting to 30 HR’s for the season?

      • big5ed

        My point is that there is not enough data in to suggest that Schebler will not be able to hit at home, nor that he will have big R/L splits. Nor is there any rational reason for his home/road splits last year, other than statistical noise; he may have just have been ultra-cold during some major homestands.

      • da bear

        Schebler has a long loopy swing prone to long droughts of little production. He’ll streak his way to a nice looking HR stat line for the season but that masks poor defense and inconsistent offensive contributions – part of why the Reds 2017 outfield ranked so poorly.

        Winker should play everyday while the other three can split the remaining 1300 ABs.

  4. Sandman

    I am so glad somebody finally pointed out how capable Schebler is in centerfield! He has above average speed so he can handle center. When you pointed out how he had 2 DRS in 15 gms there last season I did some quick calculations and that projected out to 21 or 22 DRS over the course of 162 gms. Now, obviously the chances of Schebler playing all 162 gms is highly unlikely. But coming anywhere close to that would be amazing. It is my hope that the Reds trade Duvall and Hamilton at some point and put Winker in Left, Schebler in Center and Bryce Harper in Right when he becomes a free agent in 2019. Or we get Charlie Blackmon who’s a free agent in 2019 as well and keep him in Center, Winker in Left and Schebler in right. I’m just tired of Hamilton’s weak offense. And Blackmon, Schebler or Harper all have above average speed and could play a solid Centerfield (yes MAYBE even Harper could play CF…anything’s possible).

    • Bill

      I would argue that not anything is possible. Things like Harper signing with the Reds is not possible unless he wants to live out childhood dreams of wearing a Reds unifrom

    • Indy Red Man

      Yeah I can watch Harper play for the Reds from my beach house….that I bought from the powerball I won. Harper is worth more then the Reds. Bob C. knows lettuce but he doesn’t know anything about that kind of lettuce.

    • lwblogger2

      I don’t know Sandman. Small defensive metric samples are really unreliable. One full season really isn’t particularly reliable if you listen to some more “advanced statistic” type folks. Those metrics also don’t jive with the “eye test”, even a little bit. I’d be very comfortable with Schebler in CF here and there, in small ballparks, while spelling a CF that can really play out there. I don’t think I’d want him out there every day though unless his bat is way far and above anyone else we’d put out there. The defensive dropoff between Hamilton and Schebler plus the dropoff of Winker in RF vs Schebler in RF may outweigh the benefits.

      It is yet another rebuilding year though. So, if the Reds want to find out for sure, they might want to consider putting him out in CF for 50 games or so this season and see if he can or can’t handle the defensive rigors.

      • Sandman

        Lwblogger2,
        I hear what you’re saying about small sample sizes. But Scheblers bat is far and above Hamilton’s.
        As far as speed…the avg feet per second among OF’s is like 27.0 (something) and Schebler’s is 28.4 (I think it was). So, he’s more than capable of playing CF in my opinion. Plus, I believe Schebler has said he either likes and/or prefers to play Center. Maybe the reason why he supposedly struggled in Right is because that’s not the position he’s meant to play. Maybe he’s more comfortable in center. Something to think about I guess.

      • lwblogger2

        I think he runs well enough to handle the position. Not sure that would be the issue.

  5. JoshG

    yeah, problem is Schebler isn’t even a good right fielder….

    • Reaganspad

      He may have work to do in RF, but he is a young player. I grew tired of watching Suarez when he first was a Red play in the field.

      Scott has also said that CF comes easier to him as he does not have to read the break on the ball off the bat, he can just react

      • Dave Roemerman

        Center is much, much easier, outside of running farther, taking command on whose ball it is, and having higher expectations. It’s like shagging fungos, with the occasional check-swing knuckleball for fun. Playing the corners, especially right, yields a lot of top-spin hook shots (especially lefties who get shifted against) and pulled off slices. The viewing angle is different than directly behind the pitcher and contact, unless it is to the pull side and hard, is seldom as solid. Plus, OF walls are closer and, worse, so are varied stands in foul territory. Give me center any day!

      • lwblogger2

        I’d agree that it’s way easier to read flies in CF than either corner, especially RF. I still saw Schebler make some bad reads though; or at least took some odd routes to balls.

        Of course if you don’t have the foot-speed, you can make great reads all day but you’ll never get there. Schebler runs pretty well. Like i said, if the Reds really want to know, they need to put him out there for 50 games during the year and see how he does. Too small of a sample to know anything yet.

    • Jeff Gangloff

      Schebler is more than athletic enough to play any position in the outfield. Is issues in right field stem from his judgment and fielding of balls off the bat. He himself has said multiple times that he prefers center field because he gets a better jump and judges the ball much better.

      • Ava do

        Just because he prefers it doesn’t mean he’s any better at it.

  6. Streamer88

    I’m not convinced there’s a clearly superior option at the MLB level BHam Vs Schleber thus I hope they make playing time decisions that produce the best front office outcome. If they’re attempting to trade Billy and him starting (or sitting to prevent injury) is what’s best for a trade, then so be it.

    *as long as Winker gets 500 PAs.

    • Indy Red Man

      Schebler/Billy vs righties. Ervin in CF vs lefties. Duvall sits against RH with nasty sliders like Scherzer with Schebler in LF. Winker plays most of the time in RF, but Ervin could spell him too vs lefties occasionally. This rotation makes Billy available to pinch-run in close games for a key run and a def replacement as well. You know Billy is on base when he pinch-runs….other then that its mostly right turns back to the dugout.

  7. Phil

    For the 2018 season Billy Hamilton can start in CF only against right-handed pitching. The .330 OBP and 82 wRC+ he put up against righties the last 2 seasons is good enough to go along with his defensive and base running skills. He should rarely if ever be aloud hit against lefties, due to a .252 OBP and 43 wRC+ over the last 2 seasons. Perhaps also weigh his defensive value a bit more when playing on the road at parks with bigger outfields.
    Schebler or Ervin can start against lefties.

    • scottya

      Agreed. Hamilton has no business hitting against lefties, he can be a pinchrunner, defensive replacement in those games. This would maximize his value. Give those innings to Schebler in CF.

  8. scottya

    I am a big Schebler fan and expect him to have possibly a breakout season offensively. I agree that he needs to be given more innings in CF to be sure that the small sample size that yielded +drs in CF. If he is average to slightly plus average and couple that with an ops hopefully .850+ he could be 3-4 war this season.

    I love what hamilton does in CF, highlight after highlight and his baserunning, tagging up on shallow fly balls and stealing bags. I agree he doesn’t need to be our full time CF going into 2019.

    Don’t forget Jose Siri, high ceiling potential star, or his strikeouts could stop him in AA.

    Trammell is a fantastic prospect and likely future Red. Hopefully he can get here in time to upgrade lf or cf.

  9. hof13

    Being an old guy, when it comes to roster construction I refer back to Bob Howsam and the Big Red Machine. Howsam went out and got Geronimo because there is a lot of overall value to having a centerfielder that can save runs. For the 3 years before arriving in Cincinnati, his OBP was .250, .293, .264 with OPS of .625, .536, .594. Pretty bad. He was young and did improve for a few years but the point is, Howsam didn’t get him for his potential, he got him for his, at the time, present abilities.

    I would also argue that the more Winker plays corner outfielder, the more you need Hamilton in center to take up the slack. A lot of balls will fall in that presently do not if Schebler or Ervin plays center with Winker and on a corner.

    • VaRedsFan

      Nice reference with Geronimo. At least Sparky had enough sense to bat him 8th.

    • JB WV

      Excellent points, and the mantra then and still should be to be as strong as possible defensively up the middle: C, 2b, ss, cf. Catcher and cf on this team qualify, ss a question mark, and 2b below average (especially with Herrara being sent to AAA; he cleared waivers). Geronimo hit decently the latter part of his career, but he and Concepcion were always the weak links offensively. Course, that team had so much firepower at every other position. Does this team have enough to overcome at least one weak bat, possibly two? I’m not including Barnhart. His production is solid enough and improving.

  10. VaRedsFan

    Every player on every team has injuries. Schebler’s shoulder injury seems to always get mentioned when his production dropped off. Yet Billy’s injuries never seem to pop up when his production falls. There would be times when Billy would have it going for a week or 2 only to get nicked up and start to digress. Whether it was his finger, or thumb, shoulder, or concussion, he’s had to play with several nicks also.

    This isn’t a post to excuse his lack of offensive production, but to bring up the fact that Schebler wasn’t the only one to lose production because of injury. It’s just that his gets mentioned while Billy’s doesn’t.

    • Indy Red Man

      Its because Billy can’t hit when he’s healthy. Plus he’s 150 lbs every year. Playing daily and running/diving for 6 months is hard and you need a little meat on your bones to take the punishment. Rickey Henderson was really strong…built like a NFL running back. Billy doesn’t have that frame, but he could (should!!) be stronger then he is now.

      • VaRedsFan

        You pretty much missed the point I was trying to make. It isn’t that Billy and Scott got hurt, it’s that it’s never brought up that Billy was hurt, only that schebler hurt his shoulder. Jay Bruce got a 1 year pass for missing 15 games with his knee. Even though he was back, running, stealing bases, full speed, ect. Brandon Phillips’s numbers suffered when he got hurt….but it too was always hidden when everyone bashed BP.

      • Old-school

        Stop with the excuses. Really. Billy is a putrid hitter…..awful…terrible
        He’s never hit …ever. he was drafted because he is fast.

        Why do you make excuses for a guy who has never hit???? Infield singles at high A don’t count. His exit velocity is less than most good high schoolers. His ISO is 9th grade.

      • greenmtred

        Well, he has hit, well enough at least, for stretches long enough to indicate that he might be able to. Also against rhpitchers. I don’t expect that nicks and dings are the reason he usually doesn’t hit well, but it isn’t true that he has never hit.

      • Old-school

        True-True- Unrelated.

        He has hit in some games and had good homestands. After 4 years he has never sustained any hitting and is a terrible hitter.

        .248/.298/.334/.632

        Eric Milton won 16 games combined in 2005/6. He was an awful pitcher for the Reds.

        Greg Luczinski somehow stole 37 bases in his career. That doesn’t mean he is a speed demon on the basepaths.

      • VaRedsFan

        Missed the point too. Never-mind folks.

      • lwblogger2

        Not quite everyone bashed BP. He played hurt a lot and at times it most certainly impacted his production. A lot of times though, 80% BP was better than other options. I didn’t want to see him go but trading him was the right thing to do. They had to make room for Peraza and see what he can do. Ended up that Gennett finished as the starter… I don’t recall ever bashing BP. I’m a big fan. It’s a shame nobody has picked him up but I’m guessing he wants a MLB deal and nobody is willing to promise him one.

    • Sandman

      VaRedsFan,
      Is Billy nicked up this spring? Bcuz he’s horrible so far. I know it’s only spring but it is indeed spring training. That means that he should be getting AB’s against minor leaguers in these big league camps. Last I heard he had just 1 hit. But that’s been a few days ago that I heard that.

  11. James H.

    Siri, Trammel, Winker, the future looks bright for the Reds’ outfield. Couple that with Senzel, Suarez, Votto, Barnhardt, and whoever plays 2nd, the Reds have an upcoming lign-up to dream about.

  12. abado

    Others have already commented on this, but I’m going to continue to pick the scab. Schebler is an average RF by almost every possible metric (seriously, look it up). He will not be an above average or even average CF. The 15 games in center yielding 2 DRS scream “small sample size” — over more games that number will regress. You can pencil him in as the team’s future CF on a wing and a prayer, but you have to recognize it as just that.

    Also surprised that Siri (our best defensive CF in the minors who just had a monster year offensively) and Ervin (who is more of a CF than Schebler, younger, and could make the roster) didn’t get mentions in this article. There was just way too much space devoted to Schebler. Maybe he deserves a mention, but 2/3 of the article is about an average (maybe) 27 year old rightfielder!

    • Bill

      I’m not going to say Schebler is a good defensive CF, but when you look at the 2012 team with Choo in CF it proves defense isn’t everything. I am also not saying Schebler is the equivalent to Choo, but there is no harm in giving him some time in CF until there is someone better

      • greenmtred

        I must have missed that World Series win in 2012. Defense isn’t everything, but it is far more than most comments here at RLN acknowledge. I agree that giving Schebler some time in center is a good idea, because he hasn’t played there enough to settle anything definitively. But he’s not the long-term answer and and he hasn’t gotten on base much more than Billy has. Dare I say that, at age 27, he is what he is? I don’t actually believe that, having a certain amount of blind faith in human potential to learn and grow, but if the argument applies to BH, it applies to Schebler..

      • Bill

        I must have missed where anyone was talking about a World Series win in 20102, but if you would like to discuss it we can. It was the team who beat the Reds after they blew a 2-0 lead in the series

    • Shchi Cossack

      CF and a corner OF position are different positions with different requirements. Schebler’s arm and speed play up in CF as opposed to RF. The reads in CF are completely different in CF than RF or LF. Schebler appears more comfortable in CF than he does in RF, but he also doesn’t have the playing time in CF to make any definitive evaluation regarding his defensive capability in CF. Schebler may surprise with his defense in CF with additional experience and regular playing time. He will certainly not provide elite CF defense, but it might be more than adequate with his offensive capability.

      • Old-school

        Walt Jocketty is still running the team. Bob loves him and price is his guy. Pitching and defense always first. The Reds have had (3) 90 loss seasons in a row…first time since the great Depression.
        The Reds outfield starters last year combined for less WAR than ~ 15 individual outfielders. The greatest lie in Redsland is the 2017 outfield was good. They weren’t..they are deeply flawed….The Reds had a chance to fix CF and build a bridge to get the OF to Winker and Trammell and did not.

        The owner is on record as saying he loves Billy….and wants him here forever. Thats Bob being Bob. He fired a qualified GM a decade ago to promote his guy… who will be here forever too. What better way to support Billy than by doing nothing and retaining Price. He’s been here forever.
        Bob being Bob.

      • I-71_Exile

        As a former outfielder, I concur that the center field read is different than left and right. It was also the easiest one for me. If Schebler has the speed and arm, he can man a serviceable center until Trammell or maybe Siri arrives.

      • JB WV

        And Schebler is on record as saying he prefers cf because of the less difficult reads, not having to deal with the knuckle balls in right and left. I always preferred center. And in GABP there’s not that much to cover anyway.

      • abado

        I could be wrong (and I am all the time). But this line of thinking seems incredibly wishful. Speed and arm strength play up in all three outfield spots, maybe slightly more so in center but only slightly. Most of the best corner outfielders have some speed and a good arm. Right now, Schebler’s plus speed and average arm haven’t made him a good right fielder. Is there any example of a corner outfielder moving to center and not being worse? The reverse (an average centerfielder moving to the corner and being better) happens often (see Mookie Betts – average CF in 2015, maybe the best RF in the game today). CF is the more demanding position in the major leagues. Full stop. And I don’t want want to put someone there everyday who has trouble making reads in RF.

        Like I said in my previous post, Schebler’s fine as a backup. And I actually think he’s got some potential to stick in RF for a few years. But he isn’t a center fielder.

      • abado

        Other examples (like Betts): Yelich & Blackmon.

  13. james garrett

    To me its that Billy has 4 years of really bad offensive production and well Schebler just finished his first full year in the majors.Much easier to use an injury to explain a few months then 4 years although Billy does go all out and does get banged up a lot every year.Price may want to give him more rest.

  14. TomatoTovotto

    CTrent reporting that D. Herrera has been outrighted to AAA after clearing waivers. The write up on mlbTradeRumors curiously does not mention his injury history as part of the story. Reds probably took the right risk in trying to sneak him through but are also lucky to have him not be claimed (though I imagine that any team that claimed him would have also had to keep him on the 25-man? if so, then it makes sense that if he’s in no shape to make the Reds at this point, he’s not fit to be on any other team’s 25-man).

    • Thomas Jefferson

      This is great news. In order to have a decent shot at succeeding, he needed more time to get healthy and get into a groove before re-entering MLB. The Reds were able to sneak him through now, with his shoulder less than 100%. Good move.

    • Bill

      I am not sure it is luck that he made it through, more the fact that a 2B who can’t throw a ball is not something that is sought after. Hopefully they can find a bionic arm for him, because it looks like he can hit well enough to be in the majors. I understand the difficulty of shoulder problems. I injured mine and two shoulder surgeries later and I can’t throw a ball without pain. Of course I didn’t have access to the level of medical and rehab staff a professional baseball player has so hopefully they can figure it out

  15. jessecuster44

    If they would just bat Billy not at leadoff, he instantly becomes better offensively.

    • greenmtred

      I believe you’re right, Jesse.

      • Jeff Reed

        Yes, to lessen the fan turmoil over Billy, just don’t have him in the leadoff position.

  16. james garrett

    It would lessen the turmoil for sure but you still can’t hide bad hitters in the big leagues.Pitchers will find you and pitch around guys until they do.Its just the way it is.Billy has no power,doesn’t hit for an average or get on base.Again its just the way it is but his defense is elite and the Reds just paid over 5 million for just that alone.Go figure that one when we discuss why we don’t have the money to go out and get players.

  17. gusnwally

    I wouldthink batting Billy 8th or 9th against righties is a solid plan. If he can get on at a 325obp with Winker,Suarez and Joey following it’s a plan. He should steal enough that those guys would have a man in scoring position quite frequently.

  18. Eric the Red

    One of the interesting questions for the Reds is whether Schebler’s L/R splits are real. He’s probably a better player to hang onto in every respect than Duvall, except Duvall is right handed on a team with a lot of LH production–especially with Winker eventually playing almost every day. But if Schebler is really, truly, one of those rare players who has reverse splits, than it makes it easier to part with Duvall and treat Schebler as a “RH” bat for roster construction purposes.

    • greenmtred

      If we choose to ignore Duvall’s excellent defense, Schebler is a better bet. Duvall may benefit greatly if the outfield rotation is actually implemented.

      • Indy Red Man

        Outfield rotation? Price has “got to get Duval going”! Never mind the fact that Scherzer held righties to .136 last year. Pencil Adam in on Opening day. Reds have the same problems as my Colts had with Chuck Pagano. Not only limited in talent, but too many key injuries, and one of the worst game managers in the league.

  19. bouwills

    Duvall is actually a decent left fielder April through July. Schebler is a decent right fielder, sometimes, just not all the time. The opening is in centerfield, & Winker is not a centerfielder. Oh, that life was simple. Maybe had the Reds completed the Iglesias for Robles deal with the Nats last year, we’d be asking if Jesse could pinch-hit in the 8th & close out the 9th.

  20. Ray Scott

    Hamilton is good enough to specialize in pinch running situations and defensive outfield situations. He could manage to gain an offensive run via running and gain a defense save in some situations. Forcing him to perform as a full time player just hasn’t worked. The Big Red Machine functioned largely without a leading offensive CF.