Published: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 @ 1:39 PM
By: Gary Schatz - Contributing Writer
GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Cincinnati Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton is expected to resume baseball activity Thursday after suffering a sprained index finger.
Hamilton was scratched from the lineup for Tuesday’s game vs. the Indians. The swelling was down Wednesday but he was restricted from hitting and fielding.
“We didn’t want it to linger around this spring,” Hamilton said. “This is the best time to take care of it.”
Hamilton was on his way to the outfield during batting practice when he stopped to pick up a baseball. Jose Peraza hit a line drive at Hamilton, who instinctively stuck his glove up to catch the liner. He didn’t think anything of it until his finger swelled to the point he couldn’t get the glove on or grip a bat.
Hamilton called the injury “no big issue.”
Hamilton robbed Japanese star Shohei Ohtani of an extra-base hit with a diving catch Monday and survived uninjured.
The speedy lead-off hitter is still looking for his first hit this spring.
Pitcher Jimmy Herget has been impressive this spring. The 6-foot-3, 170-pounder right-hander is slightly built and comes at hitters with all arms and legs.
The 24-year old, a sixth-round draft choice out of Tampa in 2015, can reach mid-90s with his fastball.
Herget split time between Pensacola and Louisville last season where he was a combined 4-4 with a 2.90 ERA.
Reds manager Bryan Price believes he is close to making an impact.
“He understands what makes him successful with the varience in hesitations, the multiple arm slots,” Price said. “We are focusing on his effectiveness against left-handed hitters. That makes him more Major League valuable for us. He’s working hard on it, cross-firing the fastball inside and being more able to come over the top.”
Herget’s delivery is deceptive.
“He understands the importance of being able to slow his velocity, which creeps over 95 at times,” Price said. “He had a straight change up in college. We’re trying to get him to create the separation in that speed from the 91-95 plus to go with the mix of breaking balls. Next thing you know he’s getting lefties and righties out.”
Herget has three scoreless innings in three Cactus League appearances.