By: Kimberly Wyatt
When Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton suffered a sprained capsule in his right shoulder on August 18, the team was hopeful that a 15-day stint on the disabled list would give him enough time to recover. However, a week later, it doesn’t appear that he will be ready to return to the outfield when eligible on September 3. Hamilton is still wearing a sling, and only began exercising his arm yesterday.
Hamilton was injured during an 11th-inning diving play against Kansas City. Despite landing badly on his shoulder, he still managed to snag the ball and throw out Alcides Escobar before exiting the game. This is not the first time the notoriously fast outfielder –who leads the MLB in stolen bases with 54 so far in 2015—has injured himself during a defensive play. Hamilton was forced to sit out the final days of the 2014 season when he struck the center-field fence during a catch and suffered a concussion.
As in 2014, however, Hamilton seems to be accepting of the fact that great defensive moves run the risk of injuries. “I’m just happy I was able to stop it…so we could at least have a chance to make the play…If you’re going to get hurt, you want to get hurt trying to make a good play at least…”
Prior to the Reds’ Tuesday night game against the Dodgers, Hamilton stated that he wants to resume playing as quickly as possible. However, manager Bryan Price was more cautious, simply saying, “It looks like it’s going to be a while before baseball activities start, let’s put it that way.”
Jason Bourgeois and Ryan LaMarre have spent time in center field in Hamilton’s absence.