The Utility Player: Hamilton, Chapman, Frazier, Baker


If you’re a Reds fan looking for Billy Hamilton to be among the September call-ups, well, you’re going to be disappointed. According to John Fay, Reds GM Walt Jocketty says that the Reds will “probably not” bring the record-breaking shortstop to Cincinnati. Jocketty was going to see Hamilton play this weekend, but the chances of seeing Hamilton on a Reds uniform this season appears extremely slight, if at all.

And I know there will be some that take issue with this decision. Here’s a couple more things to keep in mind besides those I brought up the other day.

Hamilton will be 22 in a little over a week. I know we frequently read and hear about all these young guys making the big league level with other teams, but that’s not the concept the Reds usually follow. As one reader pointed out, not bringing Hamilton up is conservative. True, it is. There’s no debating that. There’s also nothing wrong with that approach. At this time last year, Hamilton was swiping bags for Dayton.

That’s Low-A baseball folks. He began his 2011 struggling some with too many strikeouts and not drawing enough walks. While Hamilton has exhibited improvement on both fronts, they are still in the corrective process. Plus, Hamilton will be heading to the Arizona Fall League. Thought is he will be making the transition to the outfield especially since he and Didi Gregorius are on the same team.

I cannot argue that a player can’t make the jump from A-ball to the bigs within a calendar year. There’s a guy in Houston named Jose Altuve that was brought up a year ago and he has prospered. Altuve started 2011 in High-A and was promoted to Double-A before making the Astros for the last couple of months (and then some). It can be done, but keep this in mind.

Altuve is an exception, not the norm.

I get it would be only for the remainder of this season. Guy needs a little downtime to recuperate especially since he is heading to the AFL.

Chapman on MLB Network

Thanks to Mark Sheldon for this…

When we held our little chat on BRM’s Facebook page yesterday, Aroldis Chapman was one such subject that was discussed. The question posed was for 2013, does Chapman stay as the closer or move to the rotation? I have been extremely adamant about having Chapman as a starter. Always have and always will despite his extreme success as a closer this season.

I know that sounds, well, just plain silly to some, but as they say, there’s more value in a starter than a closer. If Bill Bray, Nick Masset and Ryan Madson all begin the season healthy and in the bullpen, Chapman, at some point, could have been moved into the starting rotation.

Always strange to look at things in a different manner…

ToddFather’s week

Our beloved Todd Frazier seemed a little quiet this week, didn’t he? He wasn’t. Here’s how the ToddFather did in this past week’s six games…

.318/.400/.500, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 5 runs

For the season…

.294/.354/.554, 18 HR, 62 RBI, 49 runs

And just because Bryce Harper has hit three home runs in the past two games does NOT make him the better candidate for NL Rookie of the Year, Mr. and Ms. National Media Types. A little clarity, please.

As of now the only real competition for Frazier in his bid to win NL ROY is Arizona’s Wade Miley. There is no other.

Hot button topic…

Some people simply can’t let things go. I’m like that on certain issues, whether it’s life itself or something that is Reds related.

Now it seems no one will let the issues of Dusty’s lineups and/or ToddFather’s playing time escape their radars. These “offerings” are now becoming a dime a dozen. They are also saying pretty much the same thing. And they are now on the side of extreme blandness. Seriously, who hasn’t had something on either of the subjects? They have been cussed and discussed so many times…

Want to know something else? Dusty could give two craps about what we think.

No, I haven’t chatted with him as of late. He’s a little busy…

Look, not a soul could say this Reds team is perfect. It is not possible. If so, the Good Guys would have zero losses. Of course, I realize there is someone out there saying that Baker has cost the Reds 52 wins. If you’re that person, three words: get…a…grip.

Here’s a thought that will send some shivering. What if the Reds announce that they have given Baker a three-year deal?

And I do not believe for one minute that, say, Terry Francona, could ride into this town on horseback and “save us all”.

Although I think Francona might be able to land a spot in a BW3’s commercial…