Colorado Rockies: Scott Schebler ready to put past behind, focus on 2022
By Kevin Henry
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Over the past three seasons, outfielder Scott Schebler has had to endure and overcome slow starts at the plate and injuries that have limited him to just 130 Major League plate appearances. He admits he was still not 100 percent health-wise when MLB’s lockout went into effect on December 1. However, once the lockout was over, Schebler felt he was ready to contribute in a big way at the MLB level. That’s when the Colorado Rockies came calling.
Walking off the field after his first batting practice with his new team, Scott Schebler smiled and acknowledged he was ready for a fresh start with the Colorado Rockies.
“The Rockies were one of the first teams to call (after the lockout ended) and they were very interested. They didn’t really mess around. They gave me a good offer and I just wanted to get into camp,” Schebler said. “I didn’t really want to be sitting at home any longer. I’m really excited to be here.”
On the flip side, the Colorado Rockies are excited to see if Schebler can produce the kind of power he flashed when healthy with the Cincinnati Reds during the 2017 and 2018 campaigns. He mashed a combined 47 home runs and drove in 116 runs during those seasons, production that the Rockies would gladly take in an outfield that needs more power and production in 2022.
Those are numbers that Schebler knows everyone will look at as he tries to make a splash and earn playing time with the Rockies, but he’s also ready to show the player he is in 2022 rather than the one he was seasons ago.
“You kind of rely on your past at that point (trying to land with a new team during the lockout), and I don’t really want to rely on my past any more,” Schebler said. “I want to get back to what that was, however. I’m just excited to be here and be in camp and I feel great. I’m ready to put some work in and see how camp goes.”
Schebler, who is one of 10 non-roster players invited to spring training by the Rockies, has primarily played right field during his MLB career, but has also seen time in center and left. He’s also looking to put a few seasons of frustration in the rearview mirror.
After starting the 2018 season strong, a shoulder injury landed him on the injured list in mid-July. After hitting 12 home runs before the injury, he would hit just five the rest of the way after he returned to the lineup in late August.
He was Cincinnati’s Opening Day starter in center field in 2019 and looked ready to rebound from a disappointing end to 2018 when a slow start, slashing .123/.253/.222 in his first 95 plate appearances, earned him a trip to Triple-A. He would eventually have surgery on that troublesome shoulder, cutting his season short.
In the COVID-19 season of 2020, he would get one at-bat with the Atlanta Braves. In 2021, he was designated for assignment twice by the Los Angeles Angels before injuries limited him to 41 combined Triple-A at-bats in August and September.
However, now fully healthy, all of that is in the past, Schebler said, and he’s ready to show he can make an impact.
“Obviously the Rockies had an interest in me and it (Coors Field) is a good hitting ballpark,” Schebler said. “I play all three (outfield) positions. I do think they have a younger crew, so maybe I can catch on and just get hot and take the opportunity and kind of run with it.”