Richard Justice of MLB.com has written about Billy Hamilton this weekend. It looks at a lot of the things he can do from the defense, the base running the hitting and the plate discipline. Bryan Price seems to be right along with a lot of fans as far as Billy Hamilton’s offense goes:
“We might be selling Billy short in what he’s able to do offensively,” Price said. “We don’t know yet. I think that’s what we’re talking about here. What is he ready to do?
“I think what he’s ready to do is take the opportunity and show us what he’s capable of doing. I’m looking forward to seeing him evolve based on how he’s being pitched and how he makes those adjustments.
Hamilton is a big unknown on the offensive side of things. Two years ago he was outstanding. Last season he really struggled. His performance falling somewhere between the two would be very good for the Reds and at the extremes of those two he would go from outstanding to questionable starter. There is a very large range of outcomes with Hamilton.
Mark Shelson wrote about Robert Stephenson yesterday at Reds.com and his experience thus far with the big league club. Stephenson had this to say about his first time out on the mound this spring:
“It was my first one. It was fun and good to have it out of the way now,” Stephenson said. “I was pushing stuff out. I was trying to work on my two-seamer and I started it on the corner and it was running off of the plate. It’s something I want to work on. I was just kind of missing outside a little when I walked that guy and the inning just sped up for me.”
Stephenson was using a 2-seamer last season in April, but scrapped it for the most part the rest of the season as he relied more on his 4-seamer, so it is interesting to see him bringing it back this season. Bryan Price was a big 2-seam fastball guy as a coach goes. I don’t know if new pitching coach Jeff Pico has the same ideology, though I doubt Price would have brought in someone with big differences in beliefs.
On Friday Mark Sheldon wrote about Tucker Barnhart and Corky Miller and the relationship that they are looking forward to during the 2014 season in Triple-A. Barnhart had this to say about Miller:
“He’ll probably get sick of me and how many questions I’m going to ask. I’m very fortunate to able to learn from him,” Barnhart said. “What some people don’t realize with Corky is that his laid-back nature and everything is fantastic. But also it’s how much he’s teaching when that is going on. It’s a very laid-back style but it’s also ‘You better get your stuff done or I am going to be all over you.’”
It seems that they will be the two main guys in Triple-A behind the plate. I would expect Barnhart to catch at least 100 games (assuming he is healthy and spends the year in Louisville) with Miller getting a majority of the others with Max Ramirez getting a few as well (he can also play at the corners on the infield).
Friday night Sheldon wrote about Yorman Rodriguez and his experience in big league camp so far. The article gets into his history as well, going back to his experience of leaving home at sixteen to play baseball in another country. Here is one of the things Bryan Price had to say about him from the article:
“But he’s shown us a lot — his instincts, his running and throwing ability, a much better approach at the plate, more disciplined. He’s definitely one of the guys we’re excited about as far as his development and his chance to help us in the next year or two.”
Those are the notes for now. With the game coming in a few hours there may be more later on.