Price leaning toward young left-field platoon

Right-handed-hitting Duvall, lefty Schebler likely candidates

Price leaning toward young left-field platoon

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The battle for the vacancy in left field for the Reds likely won't be won by one player. Manager Bryan Price is leaning toward employing a platoon.

"I think it's a way to get two young players to play regularly enough to keep their swings comfortable," Price said on Saturday. "It's like anything, if you get somebody who simply out-performs and warrants an everyday status on the club … but we've got two relative unknowns at the big league level. I just wouldn't feel nearly as comfortable having a young guy getting three or four at-bats a week and thinking he's going to develop and produce. If we're going to do that with two young, yet-to-be-established players, they're going to have split time."

Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler are having the best springs among the candidates, offensively. Duvall is right-handed and Schebler is left-handed, but if they are part of the platoon, it won't be strictly based on whether the opposing pitcher is a lefty or a righty.

"If you use just a small sample size from last year, you could say Duvall hit right-handed pitching better than left-handed pitching," Price said. "The reason I haven't looked at the starting pitchers in Spring Training to dictate who plays is because I want to see them against both. I've seen Schebler against left-handed pitching, I've seen Duvall against right and vice versa. Those are the things I want to see."

Schebler's two-run homer

More notes from Saturday:
• Pitcher Alfredo Simon, who was signed Thursday to a one-year, $2 million contract, is now officially slotted to make his spring debut on Tuesday vs. the Cubs.

• Price was pleased that he could have all seven projected regular position players on Sunday vs. the D-backs. Schebler is also starting in left field. It will be the first game this spring that Devin Mesoraco, Zack Cozart and Billy Hamilton have played together following their late starts as they all worked their way back from various surgeries.

"[We] have a team that could very much resemble the team that we're going to have on Opening Day or in that opening series against Philadelphia, if we can get through all these hurdles with their health issues," Price said.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.