GOODYEAR, Ariz. — If the Jay Bruce trade talks resurface and the deal actually gets done, the Reds will be looking at filling both corner outfield positions.
Some of the candidates for left field — Scott Schebler, Yorman Rodriguez, Jake Cave, Adam Duvall — have experience in right field. The Reds were looking at Duval-Schebler platoon in left. Schebler was obtained from the Dodgers in the Todd Frazier trade. Cave was a Rule 5 selection from the New York Yankees.
"We have some flexibility with our outfielders, which is a nice thing," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "From a depth perspective just in general with our outfielders, I think we have good coverage.”
There has been talk in the past of playing Devin Mesoraco in left field. He took plays there while trying to come back from hip impingement last year.
“Last year the thing that was so challenging is we were trying to get him to be able to play. We knew that, if his hip required surgery, it wasn’t going to require 12 months,” Price said. “We had that timetable to say, ‘Hey, can we get him healthy enough to play, and if so can he help us in left field?’"
Mesoraco ended up having surgery on June 16 to correct the hip condition. He’s working on getting back in catching shape.
“I don’t think you’re going to see him out in left field a bunch," Price said. "But, like a lot of guys, if they weren’t able to play at one position due to certain limitations, we would look at an alternative position."
José Peraza played some center field. Is he possibility in left? Possibly, Price said.
“(Peraza) is athletic enough to play anywhere in the infield and anywhere in the outfield," the manager said. "The question for him is if we’re healthy with our guys and we’re intact, how does he best develop and play regularly. And can we get him enough at-bats moving around on the field opposed to playing regularly in Triple-A.”
When the Reds got Peraza, they hoped to play him at second. That plan fell through when Brandon Phillips rejected a trade to Washington.
Peraza has also played shortstop, second and center field. There’s a chance the Reds would bring him north at super utility type.
“I want to play him all over because he could play a lot in spring and I want to see his versatility," Price said of Peraza. "Brandon’s at second base, so we don’t have the big blow-up debate. There’s not going to be a platoon second base position. If I can get Brandon a day off and then get José there or give Billy a day off in center, or whoever’s in left could get some time off or at short for (Zack) Cozart.
"But we’ve got to get to April 4 to see who’s left standing," Price said. "If everybody’s healthy, we’re going to have some tough decisions to make as far as roster spots.”