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The Cincinnati Reds are hoping Scott Schebler is at the center.
12.04.2019, 06:33,
The Cincinnati Reds are hoping Scott Schebler is at the center.
GOODYEAR http://www.indiansfanproshop.com/authentic-b.j.-upton-jersey , Ariz. (AP) —Following an offseason that saw a lot of turnover for the last-place Reds, they’re beginning this year with Schebler in center field, taking over after the departure of Billy Hamilton.Schebler doesn’t have Hamilton’s range or speed. Few players do.But Schebler has played 49 games at the spot over the last three seasons. New manager David Bell has given Schebler the job, eager to see it he can make the transition from right field — by far his most familiar spot — and give Yaisel Puig a chance to settle in somewhere else in the outfield.“Schebler is going to play all over this spring, but I’m interested in seeing him in center field,” Bell said. “It’s valuable that he can play all three positions in the outfield. There’s no question he can play at this level.”The question is how the Reds’ new components fit together. They let Hamilton leave after years of trying unsuccessfully to improve his hitting. They got Puig and outfielder Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers in a trade that provided Bell with several new options.“It is kind of like going to a new school,” Schebler said. “The first couple of days I was meeting people for the first time. It was like you’re in a brand new clubhouse. You’ve kind of seen them play. You wonder what they’re like.”The Reds got the 28-year-old Schebler from the Dodgers along with shortstop Jose Peraza after the 2015 season as part of a three-team trade that sent Todd Frazier to the White Sox. During his time in LA’s farm system, Schebler got to know starter Alex Wood, who came to the Reds as part of the deal for Puig and Kemp.All the new players have brought as sense of optimism to a team that has lost at least 94 games for four straight seasons.“There is a lot of energy here,” Schebler said.Injuries have slowed Schebler the last two seasons. He missed 43 games last year with two stints on the disabled list. He suffered a bruised right elbow when hit by Sean Doolittle’s pitch in April. He sprained his right shoulder when he ran into the outfield wall in July. He batted .255 with 17 homers and 49 RBIs.“He has the ability to do a lot of damage http://www.indiansfanproshop.com/authentic-b.j.-upton-jersey ,” Bell said. “We see him as a big part of the team.”The Reds don’t have a prototypical leader off hitter. They spent four seasons trying to get Hamilton to fill that role, without success. Schebler hasn’t stolen more than five bases in a season. Outfielder Jesse Winker didn’t steal a base in 89 games last season, but he batted first Monday in a game against the Cubs.Given all the last-place finishes in recent years, players are willing to try new things under the new manager.“We’re willing to sacrifice all the individual stuff just to win,” Schebler said.Notes: RHP Sonny Gray will throw batting practice on Tuesday. He developed a sore elbow and had to take time off early in camp. He threw in the bullpen over the weekend without problem. WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — As important as setting his pitching rotation, Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez will begin to determine his catching platoon when Grapefruit League games begin on Saturday.After two years of subpar play at one of the game’s most important positions, the Nationals elected to let Matt Wieters leave via free agency and fortified the position by trading for Yan Gomes and by signing Kurt Suzuki.A little more than a week into spring training, both have been a hit with the Nationals’ pitching staff.“The targets that they give makes you feel great as a pitcher, makes you feel a little bit closer — like it’s easier to hit Danny Salazar Jersey ,” said closer Sean Doolittle, a former teammate of Suzuki’s in Oakland. “They both have an incredible reputation of being guys that are really smart back there, that work really hard.”Gomes, absent from Washington’s camp on Thursday because of illness, and Suzuki spent the first days of camp getting to know one of the league’s best pitching staffs, led by Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and free-agent signee Patrick Corbin.“It’s always fun catching those type of pitchers because you’ve got so many weapons to work with and also you don’t have to face those guys — they’re on your team,” Suzuki said.Martinez has yet to establish a true catcher rotation for spring games. Gomes is slated to play in Saturday’s opener against Houston. Suzuki won’t make his spring debut until Tuesday when he’ll catch Anibal Sanchez, his teammate last season with Atlanta.“I just want to make sure they each catch Strasburg, they each catch Scherzer http://www.indiansfanproshop.com/authentic-b.j.-upton-jersey , Corbin and Anibal, (Jeremy) Hellickson, (Joe) Ross,” Martinez said. “They’re going to play. The biggest thing for me is their at-bats. We want to keep them around 40-50 at bats.”With Wieters frequently injured during his two seasons in Washington, the Nationals haven’t enjoyed a true offensive threat at catcher since Wilson Ramos’ 2016 season.At Cleveland, Gomes hit double-digit homers in five of his last six seasons. Last year’s 16 homers, which complemented 26 doubles and a .266 average, are more than the Nationals received from the position in either of the past two seasons.Suzuki, a 12-year veteran whose four previous stops includes a stint with the Nationals, enjoyed a resurgence over the past couple seasons. He hit better than .270 and drove in at least 50 runs in each of the past two seasons.“Both of us believe that we’re No. 1 guys Edwin Encarnacion Jersey ,” Gomes said. “We’re going to have to put our feelings aside a little bit and, whenever our names are called, be ready to control that game.”Martinez envisions something close to a 50-50 playing time split between his two catchers once the season begins.“Maybe one guy likes throwing, they work better with a certain catcher, we’ll see how that plays out,” Martinez said. “But they are both exceptional. I don’t think we’ll lose anything with either one of them playing.”