Cincinnati Reds right fielder Scott Schebler runs the bases during baseball spring training Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Goodyear, Ariz. (Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)
Photo: Kareem Elgazzar
Photo: Kareem Elgazzar

Cincinnati Reds: Healthy Schebler trying to regain old form

“It’s just not something I really care to talk about,” said Schebler, who is out of options. “It has bothered me for sometime for sure.”

Schebler, 29, hit 30 home runs in 141 games for the Reds in 2017. He dipped to 17 home runs in 2018 and played in just 107 games due to various stints on the injured list.

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Battling through the pain Schebler made the Opening Day roster for the fourth straight time last year with a strong spring. Thirty games later he found himself in Louisville for the rest of 2019, hitting .216 in 53 games. Finally Schebler gave up on rest and recovery and had surgery to repair a torn labium in his left shoulder on Aug. 6.

“My shoulder feels great but if you look at my stat line, you can’t tell,” said Schebler, just eight months from surgery. “My swing is slowly coming together. I have high expectations of myself. I thought taking eight months off and rehabbing the shoulder I would just jump back in. That’s not how it works.”

Schebler is hitting .182 this spring with two hits in 11 at-bats. He threw out a runner at home on Saturday but Schebler uses caution before drawing conclusions. He had a strong spring statistically last spring but he felt “terrible.”

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“My swing feels good but there are adjustments I need to make,” he said. “There are adjustments I need to make because there were adjustments I made with my shoulder for such a long time. I am trying to figure out what muscles I used BP in the game. I’m happy with where I’m at but I will know better after 30 at bats.”

Schebler finds himself in a free-for-all to make the roster with eight other outfielders. If he doesn’t make the team, he will be exposed to waivers. He is out of options.

“We just want to see Scheb healthy,” Reds manager David Bell said.

Schebler and Phillip Ervin, who is out of options, too, both played Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers. Ervin played in center and went 2-for-3. Schebler was in right and was 1-for-3.

“I take a lot of pride in my defense. I feel like I can play all three positions very well,” Schebler said. “That’s the one thing I held on to last year. I was hitting .120. But like yesterday when I threw that guy out at home, a play like that can get momentum back on your side.”

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