The other day, Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic asserted that perhaps Billy Hamilton is still in Cincinnati in large part because Bob Castellini is so smitten with him. He cites some “sources” and quotes Castellini in January 2017 saying “I hope Billy Hamilton is with us forever.” I have some thoughts.
For one, if Castellini really is giving his front office directives regarding player personnel, then I would not be very pleased. I can’t recall a single instance of a professional team owner getting involved to this active an extent and it ever turning out okay. Not only are owners generally simple-headed money pigs, but asserting this kind of power over the people they have hired to do this particular job can go a long way to demoralize and neuter those decision-makers.
Of course, Rosenthal does not provide any direct evidence that any such thing is actually happening. There is enough here to get me to speculate, but not enough for me to accuse.
Billy has one more season under team control before he can become a free agent, and given that he could make north of $6 million next season in his last trip through arbitration, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the Reds could simply decide to non-tender him. I don’t think that possibility is very big as they don’t really have anybody who could take over for him. But at this point it is abundantly clear that he is not capable of handling full-time duty and would be best deployed selectively.
Joey Votto got wanged in the knee by a fastball back on Saturday and then sat out Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s games in New York. The hope is that he will be back in the lineup tomorrow against the Diamondbacks. If you have yet to see the Ryan Madson pitch in question, I highly suggest clicking through and checking it out. Votto was none too pleased about it, and most likely with very good reason.
It is apparently remarkable that sometimes Jim Riggleman will raise his voice when talking with his players. Welcome to August with an unremarkable team playing a stretch of unremarkable baseball.
On a more positive note, Eugenio Suarez is a second-tier contender for the National League MVP award, according to ZiPS. He is so much fun and I have a lot of fun watching him play this fun game of baseball. What fun.