In the bottom of the 3rd inning, Billy Hamilton checked his swing and grabbed his left rib cage. After a protracted discussion involving the Reds trainer, Bryan Price, Zack Cozart and Joey Votto, Hamilton left the game. Later it was announced the Reds centerfielder had suffered a strained left oblique muscle. Oblique injuries can linger.

If we’ve seen the last of Billy Hamilton in 2016, at least his last full game included two stunning defensive plays yesterday that took place right in front of the Redleg Nation Meet-Up section. Small favors. Best wishes to Billy (and Chad, who witnessed the injury in person).

Would a season-ending injury to Hamilton change the Reds thinking about calling up Jesse Winker? Before today, the club may have been reluctant to have Winker join the major league club just to sit on the bench. But an outfield of Duvall-Schebler-Winker could give the Reds a look at him. Winker could also bat at the top of the order.

Or the Reds may stick Jose Peraza in CF for the rest of the season. That would clear the way for them to play Brandon Phillips at 2B every day with no controversy. Is Phillips getting outsized playing time this season (outsized in the context of Rebuild) because the Reds think it could help their cause in trying to trade him?

Cincinnati 2  St. Louis 5 |  FanGraphs  

Tim Adleman (28) pitched five innings, striking out six and walking one. Two home runs accounted for all three runs he gave up.

Jumbo Diaz (32) pitched a lousy 6th inning. He gave up a hit, a wild pitch and threw a pick-off attempt of speedster Yadi Molina into right field. This circus performance contributed to the Cardinals scoring two important insurance runs. Enjoy watching Diaz the best you can (or don’t enjoy it) this month. Jumbo will get squeezed right out of his Reds uniform by the 40-man roster crunch.

Wandy Peralta made his major league debut, pitching the 7th inning. He’s began the year at AA-Pensacola and was promoted to AAA-Louisville where he pitched most of the season. What to expect? Over seven minor league seasons, he’s had a low strikeout rate (6.9) and a high walk rate (4.0). Not a combo offering much promise.

Keyvius Sampson (25) pitched a clean 8th inning. He struck out one batter.

Ross Ohlendorf (34) came in to pitch the 9th and walked the first batter he faced on four pitches. No, really. That’s the crazy thing about baseball. Every game you see something you’ve never seen before! Then, after giving up a fly ball to the right-center fence, he hit the next batter. Ohlendorf squirmed out of his self-made trouble by retiring the next two batters. Free pizza for all.

The Reds best opportunity to score, the 7th inning, started with a single by Hernan Irribaren (32). Irrabaren was called up from Louisville for today’s game. He started at 2B in place of Brandon Phillips. Ivan De Jesus Jr. (29) followed with a double to the left-center wall, scoring Irribaren. Tyler Holt grounded a single up the middle, knocking in De Jesus. After Zack Cozart lined out to right field, Joey Votto dumped a single into right field. Eugenio Suarez smashed a single up the middle. Cardinals reliever Zack Duke got his glove down and slowed down the ball but no play was possible, loading the bases. But Scott Schebler, after swinging at ball four, hit a short fly ball out to left field. Tyler Holt was thrown out at home by ten feet.

Schebler made a nice leaping catch at the right field wall to record the last out of the 8th inning. Would have been a double, not home run, but still a nice play.

Jose Peraza was 3 for 4 today and is now batting .336. That’s his main offensive contribution. His walk rate is 2.8% and isolated power .073.

Two out of three against the Cardinals is still a good weekend. And yesterday’s game counts double because of the aforementioned meet-up.

Tomorrow, the New York Mets – and Jay Bruce – come to town for a 1:10 game. The Mets play the 8 p.m. night game tonight. Monday’s pitching match-up should be interesting, 23-year-old Robert Stephenson against eleventy-billion-year-old Bartolo Colon.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 26 Comments

  1. Strange scheduling for the Mets with a night game in N.Y. and then a day game at GABP. A welcome home to Jay Bruce and then a mature/young pitching match.

  2. So…..why isnt Peraza getting more ABs?

  3. I can’t muster enough points for the eleventy-billion Colon comment, so here’s a +1000, Steve.

    I hope Billy is OK, even if it means he finishes on the DL.

  4. I would give AB’s to Peraza and let Winker rest his injured wrist. Play Phillips with the hope he does well enough to interest a team over the winter. I expect the Reds would need to pay $7 million of his 2017 $14 million salary, if not more, to move him. Hopefully he agrees to a trade this time. Cozart. has hit in the .220 range since early June when his hot streak ended. He will be moved for a warm body before spring training. As a lefty Peralta has a future with the Reds if he proves he can pitch. One of the latest trends is the explosion in the number of oblique injuries. I don’t recall them being a problem in the past. Tough break for Hamilton.

  5. Two out of three is never bad as per the song by Meat Loaf but we could have swept them if Diaz hadn’t just made a mess of the 6th inning.Even with the mess we had the bases loaded in the 6th and 7th and just couldn’t get the big hit with one out.Still not sure where Holt was going in the 7th.On a positive note we kept fighting even with the B and C squad on the field.I personally thought we would roll over after being down 5-0 but we didn’t maybe because guys are playing for jobs next year.I like it.

    • Agreed. This team has shown resilience this season. It has made it a lot less painful to watch. Despite the record, its rare I feel like we are out of a game. Conversely, it never feels like any lead is safe. #bullpenchangewecanbelievein

  6. Looks like the Angels have claimed Daniel Wright from DFA waivers.

    • I don’t understand why the Reds have DFAed Waldrop and Wright in the last several days while keeping the likes of Ohlendorf and Jumbo around. Wright in particular is in just his age 25 season and looked like he might provide some utility as reliever.

      Perhaps the Reds had already decided they were not going to keep Wright on the 40 man over the winter and felt he was prime pickings for somebody in the Rule 5 draft; but even then unless the picking team kept him on their 25 man roster all of 2017, the Reds could have gotten him back or perhaps elicited some sort of return on him. Now, he is just gone like Somsen earlier in the season.

      • Wright would likely would have been squeezed out anyway. The Reds have a lot of pitching to protect. Here’s a list of locks to stay on: Bailey, Disco, Finnegan, Straily, Reed, Stephenson, Garrett, Davis, Romano, Iglesias, Lorenzen, Cingrani, Wood. The Reds will likely add Travieso and Mella in the off season.

        That’s 15 pitchers that should be locked into spots but only 4 bullpen guys. The Reds aren’t likely to carry more than 21-22 pitchers on the 40-man for roster balance. (12-13 positions players on 25-man and a 3rd C are guaranteed, and the Reds will have Winker, Ervin, Aquino, and possibly Hererra in minors to start the season).

        So then you have guys like Adleman, Moscot, and Lamb who have been starters for the Reds, and a guy like Jackson Stephens coming off a nice AA season. The Reds have Cotham, De Los Santos, Diaz, Peralta, Sampson, and Smith to consider filling out the bullpen. That’s 10 more guys to consider when only 6-7 at most will be kept.

        At the end of the day, Wright probably falls into that long man/early relief role. The Reds have Sampson and Smith still competing for that role (with Sampson having the most success and also 25), and could also add Adleman, Moscot, and Lamb to that competition. Would I have kept Wright over Diaz and Cotham? Yes. Maybe even another name or two. But we’re still talking about fighting for one of the last spots on the roster. Which is why at the end of the day it’s “nothing to see here”.

        • I agree Wright has fallen well down in the pecking order but in Ohlendorf and Jumbo we’re talking two guys who aren’t even in the pecking order. Wright had been on the 25 man roster during the season, so all three of them represent sunken cost. Why not keep the guy who might have some utility next season, even as organizational depth as opposed to guys who have none?

        • The only thing I can think of is that it may look bad to cut veterans in September. It may affect the way future minor league free agents view the organization? Maybe more sunk cost into Ohlendorf?

          Not sure that’s good reasoning if it is the reason. I think the larger point of him not being under future consideration for the roster left him vulnerable to the waiver wire. Now the Angels will pick up his September salary.

        • I believe the thinking was similar to the thinking with the Waldrop DFA. Neither player would have survived the 40-man roster crunch after the season and now might be the best opportunity to avoid the waiver claim for those players when they are DFA’d. Neither Ohlendorf, Jumbo nor Simon will survive the 40-man roster crunch, but losing those 3 players is not a consideration. Waldrop survived the DFA, but Wright did not. If Wright could not survive a waiver claim now, he would not have survived the uptimate waiver claim after the season either.

  7. Really stinks for Billy. He has had a really good season and at this moment he is a top 5 cf by fWAR. His offensive runs above average, which includes baserunning value is right at league average. That is really valuable for a cf with his defensive skills.

    But you have to wonder if his overall value is going to be brougbf down by lost playing time due to injuries. This injury happened swinging the bat, but the way Billy plays makes him susceptible to injuries. But you wouldn’t really want him to change because a lot of his value is because of that all out play. We may have to accept Billy as a 2-3 win, 120 game guy instead of a 4-5 win, 150 game guy. It would be nice if the reds had a backup who was above replacement level.

    • Winker, Schebler, Duvall and Hamilton give you 4 outfielders. Invariably, injuries and DL stints happen. I would tend to start Schebler as the 4th guy with left handed pop off the bench, but give him 2 starts a week. Billy plays with incredible energy and will need some rest over the 162 game grind. Duvall is a diabetic and needs rest in the hot months and day games after night games and odd travel situations. Votto needs more rest as well and I would think Duvall could give you 10 games a year at first base. Per the Tortugas web site, Aquino just won the FSL player of the year award in high A- a rare feat for a Reds minor leaguer. Ervin should be slotted for AAA next year and with a nickname like “the punisher”…..maybe Aquino is on the horizon for 2018 in RF. He led baseball in outfield assists and his defensive numbers are historic. The Reds outfield situation looks good.

  8. I guess nothing more has come to light about why Iribarren was brought up to play 2B instead of covering with the guys they already had in the dugout? With Hamilton going down early, I guess they were fortunate to have made the move as it turns out..

    • I tend to believe the Reds are rewarding Iribarren for a good season. He was leading the INT league in batting average at the time he was called up. He’s played all over the field and done whatever was asked of him. He’ll get a nice pay day at the end of the month for all of his efforts. He probably won’t stick with the 40-man crunch coming this winter, but it’s a nice gesture by the Reds to call him up.

      • Don’t disagree but the timing of the call up was strange, coming after the announced “first wave” and ahead of the promised “second wave” upon the end of the AAA season. It seems suggestive that something else was also in play.

        • Phillips being hampered by a nagging injury is my guess as to why they made the move when they did.

          The first game in September and the Reds still barely had a full bench with Phillps out, by the 2nd game they adjusted.


    During the Redleg Nation Gathering at GABP, we watched Joey Votto go 1-2 w/ 1-2B and 3-BB, or as LWBlogger2 observed at the time, just another day at the office for Votto. Votto continues to maintain his superior 2nd half performance at the plate of .426/.526/.677/1.203 while most of the league leaders regress below a superior level of performance. The two notable exceptions are Kris Bryant (.339/.431/.586/1.017) and Freddie Freeman (.308/.437/.651/1.061). Bryant has placed the Cubbies squarely on his back for their playoff run while Freeman has refused to allow the Braves to become completely irrelavent. Daniel Murphy finds himself being passed down the stretch with no readily available answer to the charging trio of Bryant, Votto and Freeman.

    During the past 74 games, Votto has increased:

    .195 OPS from .765 to .960 & 3rd in the NL
    .105 SLG from .421 to .526 & 11th in the NL
    .089 OBP from .345 to .435 & 1st in the NL
    .090 AVG from .221 to .312 & 7h in the NL

    There are 27 games remaining in the season.

    Votto’s full-season results of .312/.435/.526/.960 leave him:

    .022 OPS behind NL leader Bryant @ .982
    .016 OPS behind NL 2nd place Murphy @ .976

    .067 SLG behind NL leader Murphy @ .593
    .055 SLG behind NL 2nd place Bryant @ .581

    .018 OBP ahead NL 2nd place LeMahieu @ .417
    .022 OBP ahead NL 3rd place Goldschmidt @ .413

    .032 AVG behind NL leader LeMahieu @ .344
    .028 AVG behind NL 2nd place Murphy @ .340
    .008 AVG behind NL 3rd place Segura @ .320

    It now a race to the wire. Murphy has plummeted from his apparently insurmountable lead and is now struggling for viability. Bryant has surged to the forefront with Freeman charging hard and Votto running consistently strong among the league leaders. Bryant has the advantage of being surrounded by a strong supporting cast while Votto will suffer from being consistently pitched around.

  10. For the 5 games played in September, Winker is slashing .308/.526/.538, for the last 11 games, Winker is slashing .324/.477/.441 and for the last 16 games, Winker is slashing .294/.446/.431. That’s an IOS of .230, .117 & .137, respectively. Maybe Winker is trying to make a statement prior to the AAA season wrapup that the power is there or maybe its just a sss fluke. Irrespective of the power, Winker’s game is getting on base and not making outs. That’s what makes the decision by DeShields to hit Winker 5th-7th in the lineup so grossly absurd.

    I still hope that the Reds delay adding Winker to the 40-man roster until after the season and set him up on a supervised strengthening and rehabilitation program for his wrist. I think we still need to see how Duvall and Schebler perform during the first 2+ months of the 2017 season before promoting Winker up to the show. I can’t wait to see Winker and Votto in the same lineup, with the assumption that the Reds have a manager to maximize the potential of a Votto/Winker lineup.

  11. I can wait for Winker to show up but we must have a new manager to start next year.Its time for a new voice in the clubhouse.I could agree to a point that a manager makes little or no difference over a 162 game season but do we really want Price driving the bus when we become good again.I think not.

  12. “I [Hal McCoy] was told when he knew he would be traded he went to the Reds and asked them to trade him anywhere but to New York.”

    That’s not going to make Jay’s time with the Mets more pleasant once the quote by Hal reaches the NY media. Good luck Jay. Looking forward to seeing you back in GABP, even if it’s in the opposing dugout.

  13. Bruce has denied several times he had no problem going to NY. Bruce had a no trade list and the Mets were not on that list. The Mets have a chance to be in the playoffs. It is a much better place to be than with the floundering Reds. If Jay produces in NY., which is a big if, he can make a lot of money on his next contract. The greatest thing that ever happened to Paul O’Neil was being traded to the NY Yankees. Maybe Bruce will have the same success with the other NY team.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


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