Scott Schebler not afraid to bunt to beat shift

Defensive shift frustrated Schebler on Wednesday


The defensive shift tempts batters as much as it frustrates them. A well-placed bunt kills the shift and discourages defenses from trying it in the future. Of course, beating the shift is easier said than done.

Cincinnati Reds right fielder Scott Schebler discovered that Wednesday at Great American Ball Park. His attempt to beat a shift by the Baltimore Orioles failed when he bunted back to pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez. Schebler was not pleased when he returned to the dugout.

“It stinks to throw away at-bats,” Schebler said Thursday before the series finale. “That’s part of the game. You’ve only got so many chances.”

Schebler bunted to the left side for a hit to beat the shift Sunday against the Brewers. He has tried it twice now.

“It’s all situation based,” he said. “It’s definitely one of those things you can’t do until you get to the plate because you don’t know if they’re going to shift you. I messed up on a changeup yesterday. I came forward with it. It’s just one of those things. I practice it a lot. I have had success with it. I will do it again at some point.”

Even if he’s successful half the time, Schebler will consider that an accomplishment.

“Three out of 10 is a success in this game,” Schebler said. “If you can do something at a 50-percent rate, that’s a good thing.”

Schebler has struggled in the first month. Through Wednesday, he was hitting .170. In the first six games of this 10-game homestand, he was 3-for-19.

Schebler has hit sixth in the order 10 times, fifth twice and fourth once. Manager Bryan Price batted him seventh Thursday but said it didn’t have anything to do with his struggles. It was more about the pitcher on the mound, Orioles left-hander Wade Miley. Price wanted Zack Cozart to hit sixth, one spot after Eugenio Suarez because the right-handed Cozart hits better against lefties than the left-handed Schebler.

Price remains confident in Schebler, who isn’t the only Reds batter struggling. Jose Peraza is hitting .228. Joey Votto is hitting .222.

“I have no loss of confidence in Scott,” Price said. “I think Scott can be a sensational player in this league. He has all the physical tools to be an outstanding player. I have as much confidence in him being a great player than maybe even he does, but I doubt that. I’m very optimistic about Scott’s future. It’s a slow start, but he’ll be joining that fraternity of a lot of really good players who have got off to slow starts.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

HS Scores 12/12: Stebbins, Wayne, Monroe boys win it in OT

PREP RESULTS Boys Basketball Monday’s Results Stebbins 75, Greenon 47: Mpanzu (S) 17; Downing (G) 12. Tuesday’s Results Bellbrook 67, Valley View 51: Crouch, Greene (B) 10. Brookville 47, Oakwood 46 Centerville 42, Fairmont 35 Fort Loramie, 49, Franklin Monroe 39: Braun (FL) 17; Cable (FM) 13. Franklin County 47, Ross 39: Nichols (FC) 12...
HS Results 12/12: Legacy Christian boys net two double doubles

In a 74-51 win over Yellow Springs, the Legacy Christian boys basketball team had two players in particular with outstanding offensive nights. Erik Uszynski led Legacy Christian with 20 points, tacking on 15 rebounds for the double double. Following closely behind was Keano Hammerstrom with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Both Uszynski and Hammerstrom shot...
2018 DT Jerquavion Mahone commits to Kentucky
2018 DT Jerquavion Mahone commits to Kentucky

Michigan DT Maurice Hurst is Wolverines’ MVP
Michigan DT Maurice Hurst is Wolverines’ MVP

LIVONIA, Mich. — Maurice Hurst joins a distinguished line of Michigan honorees. Hurst was announced as Michigan’s most valuable player for the 2017 season Tuesday at Michigan’s annual awards banquet. Previous Michigan MVPs include linebacker Jabrill Peppers (2016), quarterback Denard Robinson (2010, 2011), quarterback...
USC’s Tee Martin says he was only interested in going to Tennessee as head coach, not as assistant
USC’s Tee Martin says he was only interested in going to Tennessee as head coach, not as assistant

Tee Martin was a rumored name to potentially become either Tennessee’s head coach or offensive coordinator. However, the Vols hired Jeremy Pruitt and Tyson Helton to fill those two roles, respectively. However, Martin, a former Tennessee quarterback, apparently was never interested in becoming the Vols’ offensive coordinator...
More Stories