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.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.
At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.
Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.