Reds prospect Billy Hamilton–also known as the fastest man in baseball–is making his first career start tonight after spending the past two weeks coming off the bench.
Hamilton is playing center field and batting ninth against the Astros, with the Reds’ season-long center field, Shin-Soo Choo, shifting to left field.
Through his first two weeks in the majors Hamilton has five stolen bases compared to just three at-bats, but his tremendous range in the outfield could come in handy for the Reds and prior to struggling at Triple-A this season he’d shown quite a bit of promise offensively. And of course he swiped 75 bases in 123 games this year after breaking the all-time record with 155 steals in 132 games last year.
Here’s hoping the Astros hit a bunch of fly balls into the gaps and Hamilton finds a way to get on base. Should be fun to watch.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.