In a strangely timed move and announcement, the Cincinnati Reds seem to be flipping their corner outfielders.

None of this really changes much when it comes to what’s happening with top prospect Nick Senzel. Left field, right field – he was going to try out both spots. And on the surface, swapping Jesse Winker and Scott Schebler from left to right, or right to left, isn’t much of a story. Neither guy has a right fielders arm in traditional terms. Scott Schebler has more range thanks to better speed. And he’s generally rated out as the better defender of the two. Still, it’s the same two guys – the odds are strong that the overall defensive trade off won’t be much of anything.

What is strange about this move is the timing. Jesse Winker last played in a game two entire months ago. He’s been out for the season for almost that entire span. The team knew he was not returning this season. And now, with a week left in the year, they are deciding to finally put Scott Schebler in left field and say that the two guys will swap positions.

Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer seems to have an answer as to why the move is just happening now. Essentially, it wasn’t until last week that Scott Schebler told the manager that he would make the move to left field and that is where he is more comfortable. It’s unfortunate that all of that time was wasted. While Schebler has plenty of time and experience in left field in the minor leagues, and there’s an entire offseason ahead, the last 50 games probably would have been nice to see the team have Schebler in the spot he’ll be at next season.

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27 Responses

  1. BurgRed

    Are other MLB teams this disfunctional ? I mean wow this team is a long way away from being contenders because of the circus they call the CINCINNATI REDS! Just can’t take this anymore

  2. rgslone

    Does defense from the CF position become more important with Schebler (arm) & Winker (range and arm) in the corners?

  3. Hal

    Agreed Burg – this organization is a hot mess. It couldn’t be more poorly run if that were the goal.

  4. Tom B.

    These are all just symptoms of a team that has neither a master plan nor the discipline to stick to it.

  5. RpbL

    I don’t see what all the complaining is about. Schebler is not a good fielder in right field. He finally asked if he could play left. When he came up starting out, Duvall was in left and wanted to stay there. The manager just assumed he was right fielder, because that has been where he has played the last two years. The whole stuff about Winker being better in right is probably just a cover story. I know that on this site, everyone has complained about how bad Winker is in right, and that he needs to be in left. Well, looks like that isn’t happening anytime soon.

    Schebler has shown he’s a major league hitter. If he can be a better defender in left, then great, you have an above average player. With Winker, you just hope the bat is enough to offset the glove, and it doesn’t matter what corner you put him in.

    • Hal

      I think most of the complaining stems from the fact that the team has lost 90 or more for 4 straight seasons. Days of giving the benefit of the doubt are long gone.

    • BurgRed

      So Shebs wakes up one morning and finally tells someone “I think I want to play Left”. It must of came in a dream. because the season is almost over and he comes up with this now? Not complaining, I love loosing 90 games a year! What’s to complain about? Never mind
      Thanks Hal we both must be crazy.

  6. Simon Cowell

    This makes more sense considering we are hearing the news Snezel is practicing Left. This sadly probably also means we are stuck with Hamilton until his contract runs out. Scheb is effectively being demoted to part time with these words

    • RedsFaninPitt

      Winker is trade bait this off-season now. This is the plan and makes sense why Senzel will be trained on the corner spots. My guess is the Reds will be trading Winker + someone else for pitching. They will also be looking for another ST bridge to cover CF until Siri or Trammell are ready and then will move Senzel to 2B when Gennett is gone – probably 2020.

      • Scott C

        I agree that I think the Reds will be shopping Winker this off season. The Reds do not appreciate OBP. And while I believe that every team needs some power hitters, they also need some the can just get on base. Two and three run homers are a lot better than solo shots. I believe that the “Winker to right” narrative is just a cover lie just like the “Bailey is going to the bullpen” tale.

  7. Hoyce

    Here’s an idea to fix the reds: trade Suarez and hunter Greene to rays for Blake snell- an overpay for reds for sure but get a legit LH ace
    Trade Winker, India and bob Steve to Indians for Trevor Bauer- now listen to my reasoning here. Indians payroll is getting way up there. They will scale back imo. Brantley will need replaced (Winker). And while bobsteve might not add much in trade value (may have to swap out w santillian). Bauer has only 1 year left on contract I believe and has been on record sayin he wants a bunch of 1 year contracts. That’s perfect for reds. Since any player that comes to Cinci never wants to leave. And lowers risk for reds. Bailey will be off books when reds need to extend Bauer.
    Put Senzel at 3B and Trammell in cf when he’s ready.
    That’s a rotation

    • CP

      Love the idea of going after some top of rotation arms, but boy that one is coming at the cost of not only the future but also the present. Without Suarez in the line-up plus the loss of Winker, the Reds lineup will look much weaker than it has this year. That’s two above average bats out of the line-up and only one can be reasonably replaced with Senzel. Maybe someone else works out in the OF but there are not obvious heir apparents like with Senzel/Suarez.

  8. redlegs4ever

    As long as Winker is put in just one corner and left there it’s progress. The timing and thought behind all this though is just typical unorganized Reds. It’s really hard to defend the Front Office against scrutiny that they don’t have a plan. I’m beginning to believe they don’t myself.

  9. asinghoff

    I don’t let the little leaguers I coach pick their positions. I put them in the best position to maximize their talent.

    Why in the ever living frick does a major league baseball team allow this? Chapman, Iglesias, Schebler. Christ.

    • Doug Gray

      They definitely didn’t let Iglesias pick. His shoulder couldn’t handle it. Heck, they didn’t even let Chapman pick. For years he kept saying he wanted to start, but Dusty wanted him in the bullpen. After like 3-4 years, Chapman then said he likes it in the bullpen. I’m also pretty sure that Christ didn’t ever play for the Reds, but I’ve been wrong before.

      • RedsinWashst

        No sadly Jesus never played for the Reds but maybe the Angels.

  10. Reds H8tr

    Why is Schebler penciled into any position at this point? Has he really earned it? He’s not a great fielder and while known for power and exit velocity has managed to drive in less than 50 runs. For a team that loses close to 100 games a year there are a whole lot of comfortable players.

    • Doug Gray

      Scott Schebler is a well above-average hitter. RBI are an opportunity stat, not a skill stat.

      • Billy Sweetwiener

        Maybe attitudes like that are why they lose 90+ every year. Next you’ll try and convince me wins for pitchers are overrated.

      • Doug Gray

        I don’t need to convince you. Whether you believe it or not, wins for pitchers ARE overrated. Team wins matter. Which pitcher gets the stupid W next to his name simply does not.

      • GM Nep O'Tism

        I almost feel like he’s trolling you with the RBI/Win bit, but I will say I am not sure if I consider Schebler a “well” above-average hitter.

        He was at 112 wRC+ in 2018, but 99 in 2017. He has a career 104 wRC+.

        NL RF in ’17 combined for a 102 wRC+, and 106 wRC+ in ’18.

        Combine that with iffy defense (worth -1 DRS in his career) and he’s been worth 2.4 WAR (both f and b) over the last 2 years. A bench player/4th OF. A really good bench player, but hardly someone who should be guaranteed a spot, at least in my view.

      • Doug Gray

        I don’t care about the career. And 2018 is far more important than 2017.

        Also, WAR is a guide, not something to be beholden to….

        But with Chris Heisey, the reason no one was saying similar things about him is that he never played anything remotely close to a full season. Schebler hit better than Heisey did. And he did it against everyone, not just the guys he was specifically picked to hit against.

      • GM Nep O'Tism

        Forgot to add…. I really think Scott Schebler’s first three years with the Reds compare quite a bit to Chris Heisey’s first three years. Schebler just got more playing time because it’s been terrible teams while Heisey was on some good ones. Schebler has a tiny edge offensively, Heisey defensively.

        Heisey ’10-12: .259/.315/.438/.753 , 100 OPS+, 3 DRS
        Schebler ’16-18: .250/.323/.461/.784 , 104 OPS+, -3 DRS

        Heisey ’10-12: 3.6 fWAR, 2.9 bWAR
        Schebler ’16-18: 3.0 fWAR, 2.9 bWAR

        – – –
        …and nobody ever said coming into 2013 that Heisey should be assumed to have a starting role.