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A lot of the regulars were missing from the lineup vs. the Phillies. You may recall in Spring Training that manager Bryan Price tipped he would likely rest Devin Mesoraco, Zack Cozart and Billy Hamilton more often because they were coming off surgeries. They would likely play two of every three or three of every four games, at least starting out.
“Billy, I think, would be the best to play today but I wanted to make sure that I got Schebler and Duvall out there together every now and again,” Price said. “This first month will be a month of select days off for those three players. And also it is important for these guys that are going to be spending more time probably coming off the bench get some at-bats early in the season to stay familiar with their swings.”
Brandon Phillips is out of the lineup again because he’s still bothered by a stomach virus. Phillips, as of 10:30 am, was not at the ballpark.
Check out the video below that shows just some of what MLB.com’s StatCast can track with data. It shows the metrics from the diving plays made by Tyler Holt and Billy Hamilton that helped J.J. Hoover in the top of the ninth inning of Monday’s win.
Right-handed hitting Adam Duvall started in left field for the Reds on Opening Day. Left-handed hitting Scott Schebler got the start on Wednesday. The Phillies have right-handed pitchers going in both games.
How will manager Bryan Price work the platoon of the two players this season? There won’t be one automatic qualifier for the decision.
“I think I look at the match-ups,” Price said on Wednesday. “There is the obvious left-right differential between what the starting pitcher does, if they get left-handers out or right-handers out at a higher rate. Another part is I don’t want either of them to spend too much time away from getting regular at-bats in the starting lineup. There are also times I could play both. If I need to give Jay [Bruce] a day off, I can put Duvall in right field. If I need to give Billy [Hamilton] a day off, I can put Schebler in center. … it will not be a strict left-right platoon by any means.”
Last season, Schebler hit 14 of his 16 homers vs. right-handed pitching. For Duvall, hit 22 of his 35 homers vs. righties. He was also better vs. RHP, batting .276/.324/.513 compared .219/.283/.497 vs. LHP.