Billy Hamilton gave Reds fans a big scare Saturday when he crashed into the outfield wall in the Arizona Fall League championship game and stayed down for several minutes before leaving the game.
Hamilton played center field in the AFL after being a shortstop in the minors and fortunately the fastest man in baseball appears to have avoided a serious injury. He’s been diagnosed with merely back spasms, telling Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com: “It’s sore, but I’m OK.”
Reds assistant director of player development Jeff Graupe told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that Hamilton “has a little bruising, nothing serious” and “he’s fine.”
Before slamming into the outfield wall Hamilton went 2-for-5 with a triple and a bunt single. During the regular season he stole a minor league-record 155 bases in 132 games while hitting .311 with a .410 on-base percentage between high Single-A and Double-A.
On Monday, Cardinals reliever Brett Cecil was placed on the 10-day injured list due to Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Cecil, who notably lost 42 pounds since the end of the 2018 season, was having trouble with his mechanics throughout spring training and only logged two official Grapefruit League innings.
Cecil, 32, is entering the third year of his four-year, $30.5 million contract. He struggled last year, finishing with a 6.89 ERA and a 19/25 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings. The lefty dealt with shoulder and foot injuries during the season as well.
The Cardinals bolstered the bullpen in December, signing lefty Andrew Miller to a two-year, $25 million deal. It would be nice to have a healthy and effective Cecil, but the high-leverage workload will be managed by Miller and Jordan Hicks as well as Alex Reyes.
Cecil was among a handful of Cardinals to hit the injured list on Monday, joining Carlos Martínez (right shoulder cuff strain), Jedd Gyorko (right calf strain), Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement), and Justin Williams (right hand second metacarpal fracture).