• Billy Hamilton’s shoulder injury resurfaced last night and he was pulled from the game. He could be out for the rest of the 2015 season. Hamilton injured the shoulder on August 18 trying to make a diving catch. He was placed on the DL (sprained shoulder capsule) the following day.
“I’m worried about it; that’s why I told them I was hurting,” Hamilton said. “I hate coming out of a game so I really tried to battle through it as long as I could. It got to the point where it was bad and I didn’t want to hurt it any worse. I hope it gets better. It still hurts me. We’ll see where it goes from here.” (Sheldon)
Hamilton dealt with finger and wrist injuries earlier in the year. If the Reds center fielder is done for the year, he will have played in 113 games, missing roughly one-third of the season. Is Hamilton injury-prone? If so, it is based on his game (diving in the outfield, sliding head first), his slight frame, or just bad luck?
• The two errors committed by Eugenio Suarez last night led to two unearned runs in the Reds 5-3 loss. They bring his total number of errors in 2015 to 17. Zack Cozart committed 3 errors this year. The advanced defensive metrics (defensive runs saved, ultimate zone rating etc.) also show a clear advantage for Cozart over Suarez. Suarez has hit better than Cozart this year, but not by a wide amount (wRC+ of 109 compared to 104 for Cozart). Suarez has a career wRC+ of 99 while Cozart is a much worse 78. I don’t have a good answer for what the Reds should do about shortstop next year (although I don’t like the idea of moving Suarez to LF). But I do have one more stat to share: Cozart 30, Suarez 24. Those are the two players’ respective ages.
• Our leader is nothing if not fearless. Chad makes a case for not firing Bryan Price.
“If the Reds could get Joe Maddon to take over the club, I’d be okay with that. But Joe or Sparky aren’t walking through that door, and I really don’t think we have enough data on Price to say that he’s incapable of handling the job. With all the roster shenanigans and injury problems, it simply comes down to my belief that Price hasn’t been given a fair shake over the last two years. And I think there’s a good argument to be made that he’s done pretty well, considering all the roadblocks that have been placed before him.”
• If you can stomach it, check out the nearly identical second half struggles of Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier (since July 1):
- Bruce: .227/.269/.433 wRC+ 81
- Frazier: .225/.265/.391 wRC+ 71
Both players are under team control through 2017. Neither should be considered untradeable and neither should receive a pricey long-term contract extension.
• To finish with a pleasant image: The Cardinals blowing the NL Central division race.
“That cushion’s gone, though, and the possibility of having to play in the dreaded one-game wild-card is suddenly a way-too-close reality for the team that’s owned the best record in baseball for most of the season.”