Billy Hamilton Injury: Updates on Reds OF's Sprained Knuckle and Return

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Billy Hamilton Injury: Updates on Reds OF's Sprained Knuckle and Return
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Updates from Sunday, May 11

C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer confirmed that Billy Hamitlon is in the lineup for the Reds on Sunday:

Updates from Saturday, May 10

The Reds' official Twitter feed has an update on Hamilton for Saturday's game:

Updates from Friday, May 9

C. Trent Rosecrans of The Cincinnati Enquirer has the latest on Hamilton's status:

Updates from Wednesday, May 7

MLB Lineups Tweeted the Reds lineup, which did not include Billy Hamilton:

Updates from Tuesday, May 6

MLB.com Lineups confirmed that Billy Hamilton will miss the first game of the series against the Boston Red Sox:

Mark Sheldon of MLB.com provided details on how a batting practice session went this afternoon with Hamilton: 

John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer provides more details on Hamilton:

Updates from Sunday, May 4

The Reds confirmed that Billy Hamilton is out of Cincinnati's lineup today via the team's Twitter account:

 

Updates from Friday, May 2

According to the Reds' official Twitter feed, Hamilton is out of today's lineup:

Hamilton talked about the injury to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Original Text

On the very first pitch of Thursday's National League Central Division game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Milwaukee Brewers, Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton robbed Brewers star Carlos Gomez of an extra-base hit.

Unfortunately, it came at a price, as Hamilton sprained the third and fourth knuckles in his left hand after making the excellent catch to bail out his starting pitcher, Homer Bailey. Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reported on Hamilton's condition:

MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports on Hamilton's timeline for return:

MLB.com provided video footage of the play in the top of the first at Great American Ball Park:

Video Credit: MLB.com

ESPN Radio personality Mo Egger was a bit perplexed by Hamilton's diagnosis:

Hamilton is just 23 years of age but is already making a splash in the big leagues. He hit his first career home run in Tuesday's win over the Chicago Cubs, but manager Bryan Price mentioned how that's not really Hamilton's game, per Sheldon's recap:

It's nice to know the power is there. The power can be seductive too at times. The thing is, I've never seen Billy try to hit the ball out of the ballpark and give away at-bats trying to get the ball into the air. He's been very cognizant of really trying to stay on top of the ball and trying to shoot line drives and hard groundballs through the infield.

Range in the outfield and speed running the bases are Hamilton's strengths, the latter of which is second to almost no one in baseball. According to Hamilton's ESPN.com profile, he's on pace to steal 64 bases in 2014, which will be his first full MLB season.

If he finds a way to get on base more than his current .245 batting average and .280 OBP dictate, Hamilton could really make some noise. Although he's still adjusting to the highest level, there is promise to suggest that Hamilton can morph into a star.

The hope is that the Reds can see him get back onto the field soon, because experience will inevitably accelerate Hamilton's development and help Cincinnati improve over time. That's necessary after a 12-15 start to the season, which already has the Reds behind the Milwaukee Brewers by 7.5 games.

There is considerable ground to make up even at this early stage of the year, so losing Hamilton for any extended period of time would be tough for Price's club to overcome.

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