Sports Today: Who deserves most at-bats in the Reds OF the rest of 2017?

  • Marcus Hartman
Aug 18, 2017
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 19: Scott Schebler #43 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with teammate Jesse Winker #33 after hitting a home run off of pitcher Jake Odorizzi of the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning of a game on June 19, 2017 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

Was that a wild time in Chicago for the Reds or what? 

Too bad the series is over because it’s anyone’s guess what insanity might have happened if there were a rubber match in the Friendly Confines today. 

What else can you say when a series goes 15-5, 2-1, 7-6 and 13-10? 

RELATED: Reds outlast Cubs in series finale

The Reds earned a split in improbable fashion Thursday with Phil Ervin’s 2-run homer proving to be the winner. 

Ervin was 3 for 4 with four RBIs, leaving him with a .500 batting average five games into his major-league career. 

He hit a pair of homers in the series, and it will be interesting to see how many at-bats he gets the rest of the season. 

Manager Brian Pryce was already facing a conundrum trying to find ABs for Scott Schebler and Jesse Winker (assuming Adam Duvall and Billy Hamilton remain healthy), but Ervin might have too much talent to leave on the bench to watch. 

His major-league debut came earlier this season after he appeared to have stalled out in the mid levles of the minor leagues. 

I have struggled through the minors a bit so to come up here just showing everybody I can play, it just feels good,” said Ervin, who appeared in three games in April before his recall this week from Triple-A. “So I’m just trying to take it as it is and have fun right now.”

Key to this situation could be how the Reds view upside. 

Winker and Ervin were both first-round picks while Duvall was chosen in the 11th and Schebler the 26th —but the latter two have already shown they can handle playing every day in the big leagues. 

Duvall has proven he is a bona fide major-league player, so let’s assume he is going to be in the long-term plans unless someone comes along and offers another Luis Castillo for him this winter. 

Schebler has had a solid first full season in the majors after a nice finish to last year, but how much better is the 26-year-old going to get? 

Winker is without a doubt the most exciting player in the bunch (excluding Hamilton, who might never reach his ceiling but also unequivocally belongs in the bigs) because he’s had the best minor-league career and looked solid in his limited big-league chances. 

Ervin has more speed, but Winker has proven to be a better all-around hitter. 

Neither of them have the power of Schebler or Duvall, but we’ve previously noted the Reds could make up for that if they get more pop from places such as second base. And shortstop if Eugenio Suarez ends up back there to make room for Nick Senzel. 

(Senzel, by the way, has already hit nine home runs in 50 games at Double-A Pensacola after hitting only four in 62 games at Single-A Daytona to start the year.) 

So, if you’re looking for a reason to keep watching the Reds the rest of the season, there is a big one... 

Ohio State’s efforts to make Justin Ahrens a Buckeye again will continue next month on a football weekend. 

Is there any better way to do it? 

The Versailles guard tweeted he will make an official visit to Columbus on Sept. 23 when the Buckeyes host UNLV. 

Also set to be in town: Cleveland Holy Name point guard Dwayne Cohill. 

A 6-2 point guard, Cohill is the No. 5 prospect in the state according to 247Sports. 

Ahrens, a 6-5 wing, is No. 7. 

The top three players in Ohio have all committed to out-of-state schools while No. 4, Moeller forward Jaxson Hayes, has a long list of offers that includes Ohio State, Xavier, Butler and Texas. 

Earlier this month, Ahrens listed a top six of OSU, Dayton, Michigan, Xavier, Vanderbilt and Purdue. 

RELATED: Ohio State, Dayton, Purdue, Xavier among suitors for Ahrens

We close with a weird story about Michigan football.

Yes, those have become more common since Jim Harbaugh became head coach of the Wolverines, and he is probably to blame for this one.

It turns out Michigan hasn’t posted its 2017 football roster to its official team site. 

NJ.com did some digging and determined that is not a mistake

The school even put off a Freedom of Information Act request, citing “the large number of requests being processed by the office.” 

Refusing to list an updated roster until game day is a sort of annoying kind of petty stupidity.

Going so far as to deny a legal request for information literally everyone else publishes months in advance is a whole new level of insanity, even for Harbaugh.

I wasn’t sure how they could top refusing to accurately list the year of eligibility for players who have redshirted (something Michigan already did), but they have managed to do just that.