The Atlanta Braves designated Scott Schebler for assignment on Thursday. Could he fit the SF Giants?
Many people probably do not even realize that the long-time Cincinnati Reds outfielder was even on the Braves. However, after just one at-bat, the Braves decided to cut ties with the slugger.
From 2016-2019, the 29-year-old roamed the outfield at the Great America Ballpark while playing for the Reds. In that time, Schebler posted a .250/.325/.500 (127 OPS+) line with 58 home runs and 163 RBI.
This includes an impressive 2017 season where he blasted 30 home runs and drove in 67 runs while generating a .791 OPS across 531 plate appearances.
However, his production had slipped in recent seasons. This caused the Reds to part ways with the outfielder before the start of the 2020 season as part of a roster crunch. Then he latched on with the Braves, but that proved to be a short stay.
Now, the left-handed bat is on waivers yet again and could become a target for the San Francisco Giants.
SF Giants struggling against right-handers. Scott Schebler can help.
As currently constructed, the Giants have both Mike Yazstremki and Alex Dickerson hitting from the left side as part of the outfielder contingent. Steven Duggar had been part of the mix but was sent down today as the Giants needed to reduce their roster to 28 players.
The infield mix is light on left-handed hitting power as Brandon Crawford (33 OPS+) and Pablo Sandoval (19 OPS+) have struggled to start the year. Given this, the Giants could use an extra left-handed power bat.
On the year, San Francisco is 6-8 but the team lacks thump against right-handed hurlers. Giants manager Gabe Kapler has ridden the platoon matchups pretty hard so far this season.
On the year, Giants hitters have posted a .254/.313/.395 line against right-handers, so there is room for improvement.
This is where a player like Schebler comes into play. Defensively, Schebler offers the type of versatility that San Francisco seeks as he has extensive experience at all three outfield positions.
This is especially important considering that Duggar was called up before the Colorado Rockies series to give the Giants an extra glove in the outfield. Schebler checks off this box as well.
In the batter’s box, the former Reds outfielder does not show extreme platoon splits. That said, Schebler offers a slight advantage against right-handed pitching as he has posted a .764 OPS and swatted 48 of his 61 career home runs against righties. On a similar note, he produced a .745 OPS against southpaws, so he can hold his own in these situations as well.
In addition to this, Schebler has posted an 8.3 percent walk rate against a 23.4 percent strikeout rate. The strikeout rate is a bit high and some swing-and-miss is built into his game, but he does show some solid power when he connects:
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On a final note, Schebler’s brief time with the Los Angeles Dodgers does overlap with Farhan Zaidi’s tenure as the Dodgers general manager, so there is a sense of familiarity.
The downside is that the outfielder does not have any options remaining, and if claimed, he would need to be added to the major league roster.
As San Francisco looks to make minor improvements to the roster, Schebler is worth taking a flyer on given that the power-starved Giants could use an extra bopper.