Phillip Ervin was with the Cincinnati Reds for five days to begin the month of August. You may not have noticed because in those five days the team played five games and Ervin didn’t appear in a single one of them. There was even a rather good spot to play him when Billy Hamilton was ejected early and the team needed someone to take over in center. Bryan Price chose to go with Patrick Kivlehan instead.

Things have been a bit different this time around. On Wednesday night Phillip Ervin entered the game in a double switch and took full advantage of finally seeing the field by racking up his first hit, which also turned out to be a home run.

On Thursday afternoon he was back in the lineup for the Reds and once again took advantage of the playing time. In the second inning he singled, drove in a run and later scored. Later in the second inning he came back to the plate and doubled in another run. In the 4th inning he fly out to end the inning. In the 7th inning he came up with a runner on and smacked his second home run in as many days,

The Cubs were clearly terrified of Phillip Ervin by this point, so to lead off the 9th inning they walked him. He moved up to second on a sac bunt and then scored from there on an infield single, showing off his plus speed. He would finish the day by going 3-4 with a walk, double, home run, three runs scored and four RBI.

With Scott Schebler due back as early as tomorrow, the Reds may send Phillip Ervin back to Triple-A Louisville. I can’t imagine that we won’t see him up in September, and there’s also a small chance he could stay up even if Schebler comes back – but it seems to be the most likely move, especially with the team maybe also needing to add another pitcher to give the bullpen some depth for the next few days.

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23 Responses

  1. L.A. Red

    Doug – You having said that Phil has 60 plus speed. Do you believe he can be a full time center fielder?

    • Doug Gray

      Depends on the bat. I think he’s probably a fringy-average defensive center fielder, maybe below-average. But, if he can hit a little bit, he’s not going to kill you out there. He’s kind of the opposite of Billy Hamilton in that way.

  2. John

    I’m ready to see more of him. His approach plays up in the bigs. I’m just dreaming of an Ervin, Winker, Schebler outfield.

    On a side note I really feel Cozart has earned an extension with the Reds especially if he’ll accept a discount.

    • greg

      I’m dreaming of an outfield good enough that Ervin is the 4th outfielder.

  3. Wes

    So now there’s 2 guys scheblers taking playing time from. when reds compete again scheblers not going to be the right fielder. Time to give other options a chance to prove they can be that guy.

    • RobL

      The Reds have 5 more years of control on Schebler. One less than the two you want to play. Are you saying that the Reds won’t compete for the next 5 years? If so, then the team will have a one year window 2023.

    • Tony Cloninger

      Man you can’t shut up about Scott can you. He’s already useless based on one injury induced month. Ervin should be getting time but in CF for Hamilton. Winker and Scott can co exist for the rest of the year. They can figure out what to do next year but Scott does not deserve just to rot on the bench based on an injury.

      watch the language

  4. kevin z

    thinking if Schebler comes back to start Winker should get sent down..
    like to have Ervin play all Of spots dfa kivelhan then bring a pitcher up
    why have winker on the bench?

    • Wes

      Ervin’s potential as 4th outfielder is through the roof! He seems very situational to me. Late decent defensive fill in, pinch hitter w some pop, pinch runner w some speed. Can play all 3 spots.

      • DaveCT

        The Cubs seemed to have learned what the Southern League and the International League already know. You cannot get pitches by Ervin of the inside part of the plate. That said, I’m anxious to see if he can handle pitches away at the ML level, as he seems to have an adjustment this year at AAA.

  5. kevin z

    yea I agree. except think could start, he has what non our OF has in MLb.
    has the speed to steal, plus the arm, can also take a walk. has some pop.
    usually a month or two weigh his numbers down.
    his upside is a starter his floor is a 4 outfielder imo though
    ive always been high on him though than most
    if could be a 250- 34 or 35 % obp guy I will be happy

    • kevin z

      I’m excited too, I like the adjustments he has made.
      has choked up on bat, for more control over his swing.
      he dropped his hands now to, where his bat facing more up, towards the sky, where before the bat head was more towards third base.

  6. Shawn

    I hope he gets the start in CF tomorrow if we face a Right handed pitcher.

    • kevin z

      think ra dickey pitching knowing reds will send down Ervin SMH

  7. Shawn

    Doug, if Ervin has great speed and a good arm how is he below average in CF? Bad routs?

    • Doug Gray

      Because every center fielder has great speed. Most of them are 70 runners with some being 80 runners. Ervin’s a 60, maybe a 65 runner. Compared to all baseball players, that’s tons of speed. Compared to only center fielders, that’s below-average.

  8. kevin z

    his speed on par with polluck of dbacks and Pederson of lad right?
    jw cuz if is, it shouldn’t be a huge problem right? asking honestly

  9. Simon Cowell

    Nobody thought Billy Hamilton would be a great Center Fielder. Now with that said he becomes a free agent in 2020 and there is zero reasons for the Reds to consider a new contract. What they should do is trade him for pitching while he still has a few years of attraction without a big payout.
    The Reds have a crowded outfield and the best way to start thinning it is by looking at who is coming up next on contracts. First is Billy and then Duvall if I am not mistaken. Bring up Ervin and Winker to ride the bench as backups and Pinch hitters for the 2018 season. Find a trade partner for BHam and look at 2019 as the year to move Duvall and or possibly Scheb.

    • Greenfield Red

      Hey Simon. One thing I don’t agree with is bringing up Winker and Ervin (or any potential starter for that matter) to sit the bench. I think players need to play. I think the bench should be manned by veterans who understand their role, young guys who will likely not be starters, and late Spring Training pick ups.

      Ervin and especially Winker project as major league everyday players at some point. I think they need to play somewhere everyday next year.

      Just my opinion.

    • greg

      Nobody thought that Billy Hamilton would be a great CF? Is that a joke?

  10. Arnold Ziffle

    That 4 man OF rotation has taken a turn. Duvall, Hamilton, Winker and Ervin make for a much more flexible rotation.
    It is often said that a player shouldn’t lose his job because of injury, but I think we just witnessed Schebler lose his RF starting job.

  11. Andy

    For the past few years, it seems like Ervin has gotten a bit of a bad rap. His numbers don’t jump off the page, but his wRC+ has been average to good (mostly due to average power and good OBP). He also has good speed and a decent arm (from what I hear). Doug, you and Chad discussed Hamilton vs. Ervin in CF; I’m also interested if you see Ervin in the corner outfield mix with Duvall, Schebler, and Winker. Winker has to start next year, right? Duvall is almost 29, probably is at peak value, and is playing Winker’s long-term position. As the last move of the rebuild, I think the Reds should trade him. I’m not sold on Schebler as a valuable everyday player and think Ervin has more potential. Does he have a shot for the RF job in 2018?