Titanic Struggle Recap

Oh, Billy!

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds  (3-6)
 4  10  0
St. Louis Cardinals  (5-4)
 0  4  1
W: M. Leake (1-1)   L:  S. Miller (0-2)
Box Score   |   Play-by-Play    |    Stats    |    Depth Chart    |    FanGraphs Win Probability

It’s All a Happy Dance Today

Let’s just have a round of applause for Billy Hamilton, shall we? That was an amazing performance today. He reached base in four out of five trips to the plate, had a triple, two steals, and scored two runs — one of which it’s fair to say he created entirely on his own.

On any other day, Mike Leake would have gotten the first mention here. Eight shutout innings, four hits. 100 pitches exactly. Great day for Mike Leake.

Devin Mesoraco also continued his great, late start. He was 2-4 today with his first homer of the years.

All the position reached base today except Todd Frazier, and Frazier has been so good this year, we’ll just assume he knew he could relax a little today.

Three double plays made the game seem extra smooth.

Not so random thoughts …

Today, we saw what this team will be like if it’s good. Excellent pitching, great defense, and an aggressive team that can score enough to win. This team is not going to be an offensive juggernaut, but as we’ve already seen, the pitching will be good. The Reds scored four runs today without getting much from their three biggest offensive threats. Think about that for a minute.

These first two series against the Cards have been rough, but they have been very hard fought and exciting. it’s nice to come out on the right side of the equation today.

Yes, I am overly exuberant. It’s been a rough start to the season and the Reds are still only 3-6, but there’s an off day tomorrow. A new series starts against Tampa Bay in Cincy on Friday. The Reds have had some rough luck this season, but I think it’s time to turn it around. You know how it goes. They won today. If they win on Friday, that’s two in a row. If they win the day after that, that’s called a winning streak. It has happened before.

Smile. Today was a good day.

132 thoughts on “Oh, Billy!

  1. Predictions:

    1. We will have forgotten all our worries about BHam by the beginning of summer.
    2. Mes will be hitting in the 4 spot regularly before the end of the year.
    3. Someone will be awarded a large sum of money for finding Sam Lecure.

    • Here are my replies to your predictions:

      1) no comment
      2) I would agree. What would the order look like then? Would Votto move to the two hole and Bruce assume the three-hole duties? Or would you simply move Bruce to 5th?
      3) Price is managing his “closer” a lot like Dusty did. I’m still scratching my head as to why Sudden Sam didn’t go two innings to close out the game that Hoover gave away against the Mets.

      • I would bat Joey 3, Mes 4, Bruce 5. I like BP at 2 and with Frazier 6 and Ludwick/Heisey 7, our lineup gets much deeper.

        Also, at the beginning of the year with all the injuries to the bullpen, I think its fair to say Lecure was our best reliever and I would have assumed to see a lot of him thus far. Its mind boggling to me how he only has one appearance in the whole season, and honestly I think its inexcusable.

        And while I love everyone on this site, I think we have a tendency to say the sky is falling way too quickly. Maybe BHam shouldn’t be batting first, but with days like these, I think he will prove to be an amazing and scary (in a good way) asset. Its only been a handful of games. Let him settle in and show off what he’s got.

        • The Hamilton bandwagon has about 5 members currently but we are excepting applications, so don’t be shy.

        • Ah , make that “accepting” not excepting – we want a big club. Just want recognition as a founding member that’s all.

        • Phillips is probably the last guy that should be batting second. Probably the optimal lineup is:

          1. Hamilton
          2. Votto
          3. Frazier
          4. Bruce
          5. Mesoroco
          6. Ludwick
          7. Phillips
          8. Cozart

        • I’m driving the Billy Hamilton bandwagon and just finished gassing her up. It won’t be long before we leave the station. All Aboooooooard!

        • Charlotte, you are more than welcome to be a founding member of the fan club – please just remember who introduced you to the group – because after a few games like today the bandwagon is going to get awfully crowded.

          Thanks!

        • You bet Pete and you were certainly one of the five I was thinking of.

        • I’ve been on that bandwagon, cautiously, whether or not it has been noted. That speed is game-changing: If memory serves, he now has 3 stolen bases when Molina was catching, and on two of them, Molina–best catcher in baseball–didn’t even throw. Can any other player make that claim?

      • Too soon on Hamilton, but I am hoping it is not an aberration. TB comes to town and brings Hannigan with them. Don’t think Ryan wont want to do something to the
        Reds and he is pretty good at stopping the running game, for what that is worth.

        Moving Votto up in the line-up will stifle Hamilton, because Votto does not like people running when he is at bat. Phillips is a better choice because he will hit behind the runner. He is not ideal, but he is who we have.

        Mesoraco batting 4th? OK as long as he is hitting close to 300 and can get 20 HR. He then might have a chance at 100 rbi. Then Bruce, Ludwick/Heisey/Bernadina, Frazier, then Cozart and the pitcher, some of whom can hit. Now THAT might be a juggernaut!

        • At this point us Reds fans can only hope – and after we get Homer going – the Reds will have a stellar starting rotation – GO REDS!!

        • Votto addressed the Hamilton/distraction thing on one of his McCalister interviews. He basically said that if Hamilton running helps the team then he has to learn how to bat with Hamilton running. They’re not going to give Hamilton a red light just because Votto’s on the plate. He’ll get used to it and when his RBI numbers start to climb he’ll be happy he learned.

      • Reds can’t afford to give many games away this year and still be relevant. I have the count at 2 and quite possibly 3 – grand salami game and game both of Homer’s starts. By the way Homer, Mike Leake showed you today what you do when you get a 3 run and then 4 run lead against the Cardinals. Let’s just hope you can hold serve next time out.

      • Sam Lecure? What a ridiculous name!

        Can you imagine if there was a baseball player with that name? Why, people would spend all the time making puns on his name, like “He’s Legreat!” or “He got Lestrikeout!”.

        Come on, stop making things up. Next you’re gonna tell me Elvis is your neighbor?

  2. Billy raised his season OBP to .250 today. One more good game and that number will start with a 3…right where we want him!

    • Not exactly sure what you’re saying here, but I’m assuming it’s something along the lines of extend Mike Leake. I don’t know how I feel about that. Homer’s obviously locked in. Next priority should be Cueto and Latos. There’s an outside chance we can extend both, but if you give Leake a significant extension then you have to let one of those guys leave. Considering Stephenson is just about ready for primetime, I’d hate to lock ourselves into another Arroyo situation – Not that I wasn’t a fan of Bronson, but we overpaid him and kept him probably a year too long out of loyalty. In the long run, I think most of us would have rather held onto Travis Wood on the cheap. Leake had a great game today, but he also had a horrible game last week. He’s the 5th best starting pitcher in the organization and he could be the 6th by the middle of summer.

        • I would suggest buying out Cingrani’s arbitration years ala Moore right away. Sooner the better.

        • I agree with this. I disagree that the Reds will be able to resign both Latos and Cueto. I’m guessing a Latos’ deal will be out of the question now with the Bailey extension, but Cueto’s injuries maybe end up helping the Reds out a little. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Reds are unable to sign either, and/or end up dealing one or both.

          A rotation with Cueto, Bailey, Cingrani, Stephenson is top 4 or 5 in the NL, regardless of who the #5 is.

        • Under current circumstances, I agree signing both Cueto & Latos is probably not doable but…..if BHam becomes the player many of us project to be, ticket sales will exceed 3 mil a year and the Reds will probably sell more uni and tee shirts than any other ballclub. The vast majority will be #6.

          He will be the thing to see in any city the Reds travel to because fans will have a chance to see something happen, on the field, they have never seen before. Just my opinion.but at the very least plausible.

        • Because of one injury? He’s coming back a little slower than expected from a minor procedure. I wouldn’t start writing off his career just yet.

      • I guess that all depends on whether Homer can get his act together. A player’s salary shouldn’t determine his status on the team nor his spot in the starting rotation – only his production.

        Player | Record | ERA
        Simon 1-0 1.29
        Cueto 0-1 1.93
        Leake 1-1 2.45
        Cingrani 0-1 2.45
        Bailey 0-1 7.71

        I was thinking Bailey to the pen until he gets things figured out.

        • Or maybe some time in extended Spring training or at Louisville – the Reds will need a spot in the rotation when Latos comes back and the bullpen is going to fill up quickly enough as guys get healthy. From my vantage point, Homer almost single-handedly cost the Reds a split of their first 6 games versus the Cards. If he was anyone but the – MAN – the Reds would be considering their options with him just about now (sorry had to vent especially after someone posted on this board that the Cards are a superior team – NOT – with B Ham running wild and Leake pitching a gem the Cards looked like a AAA team yesterday – and I for one would like to see more of that this year. GO R – E – D – S !!

        • There is no question that Bailey was not sharp in either of his 1st two starts, but Bailey was not responsible for those losses. In each of his 1st two starts Bailey only went 4+ innings, but the bullpen (specificaly Bell) was responsible for the pitching loss after
          Bailey exited both of those games. I think sending Bailey to the bullpen or DFA him to the minors seems like a pretty severe knee-jerk reaction to a couple bad starts considering the terrible weather and lack of game work in spring training.

        • After 1 start, surely Simon is the ace. Lock him up with a 10 year deal!

          If teams sent good starters to the pen after 2 subpar starts there would be no starting pitchers left.

      • You’re probably right, but Leake is good, and in a number of ways (fielding, running and hitting), is a good contrast to the other guys who are power pitchers (I did note, however, that his fastball was often at 90mph, and Cingrani was often there in his last start). And he appears to be getting better quickly.

        • Having Leake follow a fire baller is his best chance for success. Loved seeing Cardinal fans complain about the knots Leake was tying Molina up in. SWEET

      • You must be speaking about Homer’s pitching – and I wholeheartedly agree – yes, Homer’s pitching was!

    • Not overly concerned about Homer at this point of the season – he just needs to get some work in and he will be fine. And yes, the Reds chances are very strong to have a very effective pitching staff this year – once some injured players get healthy.

      • Then why suggest moving him to the pen or L’Ville? 2 starts against a very good lineup and he didn’t pitch well. I don’t think that’s grounds for a demotion.

        • My comments about Bailey’s demotion were simply meant to be in jest – as well as driven by quite a bit of frustration over these past 10 days (something most of us can relate to – as the Cards are definitely not a better team than the Reds – and hopefully this season will decisively deliver that point to the rest of the Central Division). And as previously mentioned, Homer will be fine. But he is no way near the ace of this staff as another home grown talent, Johnny C, actually deserves that honor. If Homer got $100M – and Cueto stays healthy and true to form (which I believe he very well could) – then what’s he going to want? $150M? I would take Johnny C over Bailey any day of the week when both are healthy – and you (as well as Johnny C) can take that to the bank.

  3. If Billy can consistently get in base, we have an All Star CF. GREAT to see Mesoraco start off 2014 HOT, we need his RH bat to be very productive in the middle of the order. By the summer, I hope the lineup is this:

    Hamilton
    Phillips
    Votto
    Mesoraco
    Bruce
    Frazier
    Heisey
    Cozart

    • Another pending member of Billy Ham’s fan club? We have plenty of applications but please remember they are going fast and with game’s like yesterday they are going to be gone quickly (sorry folks, only so much room on the bus). And actually received a request last evening from a fan in the Saint Louis area – someone named Yadier Molina – says he’s affiliated with the Cardinals in one manner or another.

  4. There is a very fun article over on FanGraphs about Billy Hamilton’s run-creating escapades today.

    Definitely worth the read, even if you aren’t the FanGraphs type. I promise, it doesn’t have any math or new-fangled statistics in it.

    • Great read. In the minors BH scored on roughly 50% of his times on base. That will obviously drop a bit in the majors, but is 45% out of the question after what we saw today with Molina behind the plate? He has the potential to be possibly the best of all time in that category. It’s why an OBP of .320 would be a total victory.

      • Yes, 45% is out of the question. He reached a very poor Miller today, which is great but it is one game. It will keep his head on straight for a little while longer, but he needs to put some games together with a hit or two. And, he was not running on Molina today, he was running on Miller.

        • Ok, but 40%+ seems reasonable, no? Again, this is totally independent of OBP. this is only once he’s on base. Read the Fangraphs article. 40% is all time elite. He could easily top that.

        • Drew Stubbs has scored about 45% of the time he has reached base during his ML career. He has some HR power, not a lot, that Hamilton doesn’t. But it’s not unreasonable to believe Hamilton could do just as well.

        • Mike are you comparing Billy Ham to Stubbs? Did you see yesterday’s game – only a week into Ham’s rookie season? Stubbs never had a game like Billy – because Ham’s a gamer and a winner while Stubbs? Well, I will allow fans on this board to enlighten you about him. Because in time, people will be comparing him to my namesake – and you can count on it. Peter Edward was a bona fide winner – and so is Billy Ham.

        • Now I am not saying that BH will ever hit .300 over an entire season but if he doesn’t have to face Adam Wainright every night – things could get real interesting in a hurry. Pete was a slap hitter – and so is Billy. And mind you, Pete is the only Red’s hitter to get a base hit in the middle of an intentional walk. That is what sets winners apart – baseball smarts – Drew Stubbs never had them and Billy has them in full color. So buckle your seatbelt Red’s fans – if you thought riding a roller coaster was fun wait until you have a full season of Billy Ham – he is a game-changer. It’s going to make you forget who he replaced – and maybe sooner than later.

  5. Good to hear (did not see) the Reds won a game. If they could score 4 runs every night, they’d win 100 games, easy.

    Bruce still is just another bat. Does he move runners or come through with clutch hits? Hit for average or get on base at a high clip? Homer is getting a lot of heat for being overpaid, but what about Jay Bruce?

    • What you did not see is that Bruce drove in a run. He is who hit the pop-up that scored Hamilton from third.

    • I’m not even a Jay Bruce fan, but Bruce’s contract, along with Cueto’s contract and maybe getting Choo for essentially nothing, are 2 of Walt Jocketty’s biggest accomplishments.

      I think Jay Bruce is probably “overrated” by a lot of casual fans, but “underrated” based on the value he provides relative to his contract.

      But then again, you’re just a contrarian troll who likes to come in and stir up trouble. You never support any assertions you make, otherwise, you’d see Bruce is more than just a bat. The people bashing Homer are misguided, but so is calling a guy whose put @ a 120+ wRC for each of the past 4 seasons.

      • Jay Bruce with his .320 OBP and OPS around .800 ain’t special for a left handed hitter. He hits for power and that’s about it. Not a complete hitter and hasn’t developed much since he was put in the lineup. Looks to be another stubborn Red in the underdeveloped mold of Drew Stubbs.

        • Drew Stubbs and Jay Bruce both were top draft picks by the Reds. Neither slugger has lived up to the billing. Both have struggled to be disciplined hitters in the major leagues.

        • Believe I heard Bruce has hit more HRs since 2011 than anyone else, in the NL, so yeah he might be just another warm body but I’m happy it’s in a Reds uni. We should welcome as many incomplete hitters as we can find.

        • Wait… Are you calling a just-turned-27 hitter who posted a 5.1 WAR last year “just another bat”?

          Ok, then.

        • I’m not an expert on the 29 other fanbases in the MLB, but I can’t imagine there is a single one that is less appreciative of what they have than the average Reds fan. I don’t think a single other fanbase would ever dream of complaining about Bruce or Votto. It’s really unbelievable sometimes.

        • Enigma,

          Bruce was 18th in the NL in wRC+ from 2011-2013 with a minimum of 2000 ABs. The list above him is a list of all stars. A wRC+ of 20 indicates that Bruce, by definition, is 19% better at creating runs than the league average hitter. This is adjusted for league and park.

          Bruce may not be a superstar, but he’s a well above average hitter, and is generally thought of as an above fielder, with a very team friendly contract.

          You keep using these vague terms like “not a complete hitter”. This makes having an intelligent discussion with you impossible. Why don’t you tell us what you mean by an above average hitter? What criteria should we use? How do you account for year-to-year variance, park factors, or the fact that some hitters are better at certain things than others (Carlos Gonzales v. Giancarlo Stanton, for example)?

        • In response to Reds fans being the most unappreciative: I remember Phillie fans booing Mike Schmidt. I remember Expo fans booing Gary Carter. I’m not saying any of it is right, but kneejerk reactions among fans (from the root word ‘fanatic’) should not be totally unexpected. I’m still a Reds fan. I do think this blog is on more of a negative slant than I have seen in the past and some of the attacks feel more personal. We really need to police ourselves.

    • As long as the bad Homer isn’t the starter – can’t wait for the real Homer Bailey to show up – this imposter brings tears to my eyes.

    • Bruce is an inconsistent hitter–I’ll give you that–but his value extends to the other side of the ball. He’s certainly one of the best defensive right fielders in the game. And I believe that, over the last 2 seasons, he has more home runs off left-handed pitchers than does any other left-handed batter. He’s an important piece of the puzzle and a good player to have on the team, even though he probably won’t ever be a triple crown candidate.

  6. Much needed win but again, so early. Let’s not be too harsh or reap too much praise before 10 games are played. This is a good team. Pitching looks solid and now that Mesoraco has returned, it’s obvious Hanigan was expendable. Yes, Hamilton was stellar and he makes such a difference…when he’s on base. Quiet little shout for Manny Parra. Remember, if Dusty were still Manager, Santiago would have bat 2nd today. See, you feel better already.

  7. Well, seems like Hamilton has overcome all that pressure that was on him…. At least for one game.

    Here’s hoping this will be remembered as the game when the light went on for BHam. And kudos to Price for patiently sticking with him at the top of the order.

  8. Last year, in the Reds first 3 series against the Cardinals (two of them in St. Louis), the Reds won 1 of 3 in each. The one win each time came when Mat Latos started. In 2 of those 3 games, Latos got the win. So as far as Latos-free wins over the Cardinals goes, the Reds are well ahead of last year’s pace.

    But it will sure be nice to have him back.

  9. Leake is now 5-5 in his career against the Cardinals. That’s not bad.
    The Cardinal lead off hitter got on in 3 innings. All 3 times, they were erased by GIDP.
    When he has late sink to his pitches, he’s very tough.

  10. Yes, the Cards just proved that they still own the Reds, but the look of helplessness on Molina’s face today as BH ran wild was a nice parting gift. Congrats to BH on a great game.

  11. Paul, I think Molina’s “look” was more one of disgust as Miller couldn’t keep BH within the same zip code as 1st base. Molina had no chance.

  12. The first nine games have been admittedly rough, but the team has held the Cards–who are one of the toughest offenses in the league–to one, zero, and zero runs in three of those games. That is impressive. There’s been an excess of doom and gloom on this site in the last few days, but if the pitching staff can hold opposing teams to 1 or 0 runs in forty percent of the games (which they have done so far), the team will be .500 at worst.

  13. I have not posted yet, so not sure if it goes through, I did not see the game, put I did see the replay of the tag-up. I have no doubt that ball was hit shorter than the play-in game infield fly rule Cards got gifted to them in 2012 against Braves.
    Very surprised that ball was not called an infield fly rule, I was absolutely blown away he even had a chance to make it close and it looked like a good throw.
    All in all I think it is a much better line-up with Hamilton batting 9th(yes) and move everybody up,

      • There are some people saying there might never have been a player who could score on that pop. Fangraphs broke down the shallowest pop flies from last year and, discounting the ones where the fielder straight up fell down, the shallowest was a good 10-15 feet deeper into right field.

      • I doubt it. Chris Welsh was comparing BH to Usain Bolt by extrapolation (Bolt’s time at 30 meters, adjusted for meters to feet, etc) and, of course, Bolt was faster, but not by a great deal. Not saying BH is as fast as Bolt, but the problem with Chris’s methodology is that Bolt is running straight through and Billy needs to modify his stride to anticipate a possible turn toward second. He’s fast–faster even than he looks.

    • You want to bat the pitcher ahead of BHam? Really? Ha! I’ll take that with as much seriousness as I would from anyone else who has no idea what the infield fly rule is.

      • It’s not that crazy of an idea. Tony Larussa used to do it all the time. It basically gives you 2 leadoff guys after the first time through the lineup and takes some pressure off someone in Hamilton’s situation. It’s not implying he’s a worse hitter than the pitcher, it’s a way to still put him ahead of your high OBP bats without making him think he has to have one of the highest OBP on the team, which is what batting leadoff implies. That being said, yesterday was an eye opener and if it can start to put him in a groove it might be a moot point.

        • That’s probably why I reacted so negatively – it’s a LaRussa thing! I also found it a little odd to advocate moving him to 9th immediately following his best game.

  14. Great game by Leake. The one consolation on the “strikeout” of Votto in the 1st inning was the thought “if the ump will give a strike zone like that to Leake, then it should really help him.” Now that Bronson is gone, Leake is the one guy in the rotation who really NEEDS a generous ump to help him out. (Still, in the whole game there was nothing quite like that Votto AB. If you haven’t seen it, check it out on gameday or something.)

    • Even the Cardinals’ radio announcers were saying Votto got hosed on that called thirtd strike, though they didn’t say it quite that way. …

  15. I don’t know if Hamilton is going to turn out to be a solid everyday major leaguer but he does things on the field that no one has ever done. He sure is fun to watch.

  16. Double post. For some reason my wordpress name is gone?

    Anyways, there’s a lot to like here. They played like a professional team today.

    It will be very interesting to see what they do with Leake. He has to have some pretty good trade value if you can bring back both Cueto and Latos, which I think can be done.

    Even if it can’t be, Bailey/Latos/Stephenson/Cingrani is one of the best in baseball, and I think with the decent SP depth in the minors, you move Leake for a big bat anyway. I think Ludwick will have a bounce back year and Heisey is solid, but not the answer – so LF could be an upgraded spot. If Cozart continues to hit like this SS could be upgraded as well.

    Lots of options there. That gives me about as much optimism as anything else, even if this is a down year.

    • I’ve got a certain amount of optimism, too, and had it even before yesterday’s entertaining win. The catching, for instance, looks solid and set for some time. Mes won’t always hit the way he has in his first two games, but he’s got real pop and a compact swing. Pena has pop, too, and serious hustle. And I was very impressed with Barnhardt. Even impressed with Santiago–defense only, yes, but he looks more than solid, and defense is one thing that sets the Reds apart from the Cardinals and just about everybody else.

  17. It is good to see Mesoraco off to a flying start. If he needed any additional motivation, seeing Peña and Barnhart doing as his job without missing a beat probably supplied it.

    Too bad they couldn’t have found someone who could hold Cozart’s feet to the fire a little bit.

  18. Reds def need a ML ready SS in our system, someone to push Cozart. Maybe Chris Nelson can be his insurance policy.

  19. Another sign the Baseball Gods just won’t give us any breaks so far this year: watch the first pitch of Bruce’s AB in the 1st inning. Molina completely missed the ball, it went through the ump’s legs….and bounced up and hit his hand behind his back, keeping the ball right around the plate and Hamilton stuck at 3rd. If you were watching FSO you may have missed it, since the announcers did. (If sacrificing THOM! will satisfy the Baseball Gods, then I hope they televise it like when his Dad got his head shaved.)

  20. Did anyone see Hamiltom’s interview after the game? They were talking about Hamilton scoring on the sac fly. Hamilton said (and I paraphrase) that Smith (3rd base coach) was challanging him when the ball was hit to ‘show him (Smith) how fast he (Hamilton) really was’. That’s when Hamilton moved back to the bag to tag up and responded to Smith with something to the effect of ‘watch this’. All of that exchange took place while the infield popup was making it’s way out to deep 2B. Can you imagine how loose the team was in the clubhouse and on the flight back to Cincinnati after that game?

    The Reds hierarchy is fully committed to Hamilton in CF at GABP this season, sink or swim. I still think WJ made the wrong decision by not assigning Hamilton to AAA for the start of the 2014 season and bringing him up to the show once he demonstrated his capability at the AAA level. Since WJ made the decision to let Hamilton go through his OJT at the major league level rather than the AAA level, I don’t think they have any option other than riding that horse as far as it takes them and that includes leaving Hamilton in the leadoff position and simply dealing with his growing pains.

    • I second this.

      I know Hamilton is going to have his extreme ups and downs. Heck, I expect him to start wearing down in the second half since he’s never played a season this long before.

      But I think the future benefit of throwing him into the fire is well worth it. Some people can’t handle it. From what I’ve seen and know about Hamilton (how people talk about him being a “student of the game”), I think he can do it.

      • I agree with you 100%, but if those growing pains were in AAA, Hamilton’s arbitration and FA clock would not be running until he had completed his development at AAA. That’s my concern, not Hamilton’s ability to handle the bright lights of the big stage and continue his learning process at the major league level.

        • Didn’t his clock start last year when we brought him up in September or does that not count?

        • The thing is, though, growing pains or no, I think Hamilton can help the team this year. Let’s say he went to Louisville and put up a .310 AVG with 15 SB in March. What good do those stats do for the Reds? Basically, I think he was ready and didn’t have anything to prove in Louisville, so why waste him down there when he can help the Reds win right now?

          I guess it largely depends on if you think Hamilton’s good days are going to outweigh his bad days. I do, and I want those good days helping the Reds, not the Bats.

        • With his time on the major league roster from last season and starting this season on the major league roater, Hamilton will almost certainly make super 2 status with 2.162 years of service after next season.

          http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/04/service-time-considerations-for-top-prospects.html

          If Hamilton becomes as effective and dangerous as I believe he will become over the next year, that will result in a very significant payroll increase for the Reds as opposed to allowing Hamilton to finish his development at AAA and then promoting him to the show.

    • Remember at the end of ST when you were “sold” on Billy? The “founder” of the Billy Bandwagon Club. Trust your judgement and don’t let 3 games sour that trust. He is ready for the Show and it will become more evident each passing week.

      All he really has to do is put the ball in play and his blazing speed will take care of the rest. The bonus is that he also knows how to play the game.

      • I haven’t change my opion at all. I am still a very strong supporter and proponent of Billy Hamilton, but I believe now as I did at the end of spring training, that Hamilton and the Reds would be better served by letting his game mature at AAA, just as it did at the AA, A+, A and ROK levels. Hamilton is going to be a star and excitement incarnate at the major league level for the Reds.

  21. OK, I fully realize that 2 games and 8 PA is beyond even an absurdly small sample size, but 4-H, 2-2B, 1-HR in those 8 PA since coming off the DL as a full-time starter has to be a real confidence boost for Mesoraco. That includes 3-SO as an appropriate disclaimer, but confidence at the major league level may be all that has been holding Mesoraco back after the past 2 seasons.

    • Right… and imagine him knowing it’s not going to be 3 days before he sees the plate again. All signs point up.

      • Mesoraco is one of my breakout candidates for this year. I would not be shocked to see him hit 25 HR with about a .270 AVG.

        Think Jay Bruce, but from the right side.

        • Oh, and can you imagine if Frazier and Mez put up nearly identical numbers?
          Imagine having 2 right-handed hitters each hitting 25HR and getting on base at a .330 clip. I already expect Ludwick to put up those numbers.

          This offense might be something then, especially if BHam can have more days like yesterday.

  22. What is this “W” next to Mike Leake’s name? One of them there new fangled stats? Probably because it was Wednesday game and something about wind and vectors and stuff like that. You know what I think… back in my day, we just put a “G”… “G” for good game, nice and simple. I don’t need these fancy pants stats.
    ;)
    Have a good off day folks. The smell of burnt rubber that Billy left behind has almost wafted out of St. Louis now.

  23. Oh and one other thing about team chemistry related to the 2014 Reds. Votto’s Candian Mountie interview with MLB was absolutely hysterical. Votto handled most of the interview completely in character, without hesitancy or breaking a smile, keeping the interviewers guessing and scrambling regarding how to handle the interview. Votto may not have endeared himself with the talking heads, but he certainly enhanced his standing within the clubhouse and with the fans.

    • Not all the fans. Already people whining on Twitter and radio about how he shouldn’t be joking around when the Reds are off ot a slow start and his numbers aren’t great. I really have to wonder if the Reds have one of the worst fanbases in baseball.

  24. Speaking of Votto… This might be an old question, but… does he have historical trouble getting the guy in from 3rd with less than 2 outs? I don’t want to make anything of 2 at bats yesterday, but given his low RBI total from last year and his astonishing “I never pop out” stats, I wonder if his stroke is just inefficient at providing the sac fly.

      • Last year, 7-for-29, .241 avg., 19 RBI, 18 BBs

        Summary: Historically, he has been outstanding in these chances. Last season and so far this season, he has not been as strong.

        • Thanks for checking those stats for me. By my way of thinking, if Joey were intending to hit sacrifices in those situations–and had some control over doing so–we would expect his OBP/BA numbers to be slightly lower then than in other situations (and perhaps his chance of advancing a runner higher, if such stats are kept). I don’t know what the book says about what you should do in that situation, but Votto’s (excellent) career numbers seem consistent with the idea that he doesn’t “change his approach” in such situations. Given how good his usual approach is at getting hits, that may be the right way to play it over the long run, anyway, at least for him.

          Is there any standard to measure a player against in the ability to launch a fly ball to the outfield when he wants to? Is it truly within a player’s control? (and secondarily, is the sac reliable enough to be the savvy strategy for a .330 hitter?).

          Just wondering.

    • He had two such chances yesterday. In the first, he got called out despite only seeing one strike in the AB, in one of the worst displays by a home plate umpire I can recall seeing. His second chance they threw him no pitches anywhere near the plate. He then put himself in scoring position by smartly taking second on the pop up that scored Hamilton. His career OBP with RISP is something like .488 IIRC (If Bruce and Ludwick hit this year, Votto will score a lot of runs.)

      • When Votto is the ONLY hitter in the Reds lineup who opposing pitchers fear, he will not see any pitches in his hitting zone. After Ludwick went down last season, opposing pitchers were not going to let Votto beat them, even if they walked him every time. With Bruce hitting behind Votto and Ludwick back in his hitting groove, I expect Votto will get more legitimate opportunities to drive in runners from 3B. It would realy be nice to see Bryan recognize the ‘challenges’ with the lineup he currently fields and shifts Votto up to the #2 hole behind Hamilton. So many good things could happen with Hamilton hitting #1 and Votto hitting #2 with the sluggers coming up behind them.

        • Rut Ro, disagreement alert with the Old Cossack.

          I love BP hitting 2 in this lineup. I love the way he goes to right, text book yesterday with the 4th run scored. He is also going to see more fastballs.

          JoeBoo like fastball very much as does Phillips. You make him a 300 hitter in front of Votto and the good times roll.

          I did not like him popping up on the second pitch with Hamilton on first, so BP will have to realize he will get plenty of fastballs and not worry about hitting the first one.

  25. It is the front office decision to have Hamilton in center and leading off. We have to be patient with his good and not so good days and let Hamilton mature at the ML level. He’ll eventually be the sparkplug of many winning Reds teams.

  26. GEEZ!!! I just glanced at the preview for tomorrow’s ballgame against the Rays. What a battery matchup: Price & Hanigan v. Cueto & Mesoraco. That’s one game the Old Cossack really wishes he could attend. Alas, such is not the case. Shut ‘em down Johnny! After witnessing Hamilton run amuck on the bases against Molina, I’m anxious to see what he can do against Hanigan. If Hamilton proves he can beat those two catchers, no one else has a rat’s chance against him.

  27. Great win for the Reds. Leake was solid, and what a game for Billy. Good to see Mesoraco’s success so far. Much needed win, especially against the Cards. Hopefully we can keep it going against the Rays! :-)

  28. I’ve had the pleasure of watching Billy play in AA and AAA ball in the last few years. I’ve been looking forward to seeing him in a Reds uniform from the first time I saw him!

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