Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton had to leave Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Brewers after being hit on the hand attempting to bunt in the bottom of the first inning. The Reds announced after the game that he suffered a fractured left thumb and is expected to go on the 10-day disabled list.
Hamilton finished the at-bat, flying out, but was replaced by Phillip Ervin in the third inning. On the season, Hamilton is hitting .248/.299/.333 with 82 runs scored and 58 stolen bases in 600 plate appearances. He is one stolen base shy of setting a new career-high.
A fractured thumb usually needs four to six weeks to heal, so Hamilton’s season is likely over. Even if Hamilton’s timetable is quicker, the last-place, 61-79 Reds have nothing left to play for in September, so it wouldn’t make sense to rush him back.
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.