All Billy Hamilton did in Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the Cardinals in Cincinnati was lurch slightly at a 2-0 pitch. Next thing he knew, his manager and a trainer were on the field, and he was pulled from the game with a strained left oblique.
It can happen that quickly, it seems, and the remainder of the speedy outfielder and base stealer’s season had the chance of being jeopardized, as September injuries typically do. But the 25-year-old is not quite done yet.
Reds believe Billy Hamilton's oblique injury will not end his season. 5-7 days before resuming baseball activity, though— Zach Buchanan (@ZachENQ) September 5, 2016
The injury, of course, occurred as Hamilton was pounding the ball and swiping bases at a rate that outpaced even last season, when he stole 57 bases. He stole his 58th of 2016 just this past Saturday, while also putting up career highs in BA (.260), OBP (.321), OPS (.664), BB (36), and tying his 2014 WAR of 2.5. He also leads the league in sacrifice bunts with 11. Jose Peraza will get some reps in center in Hamilton's absence.
There has been a oblique epidemic sweeping the Reds this season, with Anthony DeSclafani and Tim Adleman also missing time. Adleman, knowing what Hamilton was going through, even said “...having gone through one myself, you almost want to tell [Hamilton] to just shut it down.” But Hamilton intends to play on as the Reds finish out a disappointing year.