With Castellanos and Akiyama, Reds are working with a crowded outfield

Posted at 7:56 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 19:00:20-04

CINCINNATI — After signing Nick Castellanos and Shogo Akiyama in the offseason, the Reds have a crowded outfield in 2020.

“Depth is a strength," Reds manager David Bell said. "We also have guys that are very impactful that are going to need to play a lot, so it'll be a balancing act."

There are only three starting spots, but guys like Aristedes Aquino, Josh VanMeter, Scott Schebler, Philip Ervin and Jesse Winker are all competing for playing time.

“As far as my role, wherever David wants to hit me in the lineup, wherever he wants me to play in the field, I'll be ready for that," Ervin said.

Ervin says he loves his situation and embraces the competition.

"I can go out there and just prove myself against other great players," he said.

Former top prospect Nick Senzel is trying to shake off his latest injury and make a play for an outfield spot as well.

“I've missed Christmases and Thanksgivings the last two years because I've been focusing on being healthy," Senzel said. "That's really what I want to do is be healthy.”

Reds manager David Bell says his variety of options is a good problem to have.

“It’s easy to say, 'Hey, this is our best matchup this day,' but the communication and understanding from a player standpoint is that they'd like to know their role, so that communication ahead of time is really important," he said.

With the MLB season delayed, the outfield situation headed into Opening Day is fluid, but Bell is confident in his players.

“I feel great about our outfield and I really believe this, that things take care of themselves and it kind of works itself out," Bell said. "They all want to play. They want to play every day. They want to start every day, but when they don't, they have a great approach to what that needs to look like.”