Jesse Winker will be starting in RF for the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night against the Atlanta Braves, just one day removed from Phillip Ervin getting a start in the same position against the Chicago Cubs. How that RF jumble shakes out going forward just got even more interesting, too, since the team activated Scott Schebler from the 10-day DL on Friday afternoon.
Today the Reds returned from a rehabilitation assignment and reinstated from the 10-day disabled list OF Scott Schebler. pic.twitter.com/xq0W5dPiyq— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 18, 2017
Schebler and his 23 dingers staked a pretty effective claim to the everyday reps at the position early in the year, but a shoulder injury sustained while diving for a ball in the OF seemed to sap both his power and production. Ultimately, he conceded to the need for rehab time, and hit the DL, having last played for the Reds on July 30th. Prior to finally being shut down, he’d hit just .083/.167/.167 over his previous 66 PAs, which has gone a long way towards torpedoing his overall numbers.
Aside from Ervin’s stellar day on Thursday (in his first career start), it’s been Winker who has primarily filled in for Schebler for the last three weeks. And Winker, long noted for his great eye at the plate and ability to get on-base, has been just as advertised, sporting a .273/.377/.409 line in 77 PAs, with 11 walks against just 14 strikeouts in that time. Now, however, the Reds appear to have quite the logjam in the OF as they work Schebler back into the lineup, especially considering that the corresponding roster move to open up a spot for Schebler didn’t include optioning either of the rookie OFs back to AAA Louisville.
Instead, Scott Feldman hit the 10-day DL thanks to the nagging knee issue that continues to plague him.
Reds place on the 10-day disabled list RHP Scott Feldman (right knee inflammation).— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 18, 2017
For the Reds, this DL stint effectively ends all chances of them cashing in on Feldman’s solid start to the season by trading him during the August waiver period. A free agent at year’s end, there was some hope that, if healthy, Feldman might get flipped to a contender in need of a back-of-the-rotation guy down the stretch to eat innings, but now twice Feldman’s had to be shut down due to his knee pain. It’s not just the pain, either, as his velocity has plummeted with his inability to use the full strength of his leg, which is a major bummer.
Odds are that we’ll see both Ervin and Winker stick around until Feldman’s replacement in the starting rotation is needed after the weekend, at which point you’ll see one - likely Ervin - optioned back to Louisville for the end of their season. For now, though, the Reds will have quite the prospecty bench.