By now you’ve surely heard of Reds youngster Billy Hamilton, regarded by many prospect evaluators as the fastest player at any level of professional baseball. Well, he just made some history:
That’s from the official Twitter account of the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos, for whom Hamilton currently serves as the starting shortstop. The record that he broke belonged to Vince Coleman, who tallied 145 stolen bases in 1983 for Single-A Macon and went on to swipe 752 bags over a 13-year major league career.
Hamilton entered Tuesday’s game with a .318/.415/.435 batting line this year in the minors. There’s some thought that the Reds might call him up in September to provide an element of speed off the bench.
Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.
This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.