CINCINNATI — Billy Hamilton and Jose Peraza, batting back-to-back at the summit of the Cincinnati Reds batting order, provide the club with twin thieves — back-to-back guys who can outrun a speeding locamotive over 90 feet.
That, though, doesn’t mean they both have carte blanche to dash for the next bag on their own whim. They do have what baseball calls, “A green light,” a license to run when they want. But Reds manager Bryan Price also has a hold button, or a “red light,” a signal that tells them to hold their spot, don’t run.
“I HAVE THE ABILITY TO put the hold on, so they are not running,” said Price. “It is along the lines of what we did with Hamilton in 2014.
“In 2014, very rarely did he have a hold on,” Price added. “What we found, and what he found, is that he was always running very early in the count and he was running up against pitchers putting up really good times in their delivery to home plate. That made it challenging for Billy, under the best of circumstances, regardless of who was catching, on a consistent basis.”
PRICE CALLS WHAT HAMILTON endured that year a learning curve and Peraza is riding that same curve.
“You can’s simply run into blind outs,” said Price. “In the same respect, I want Peraza to have some of the same freedoms that Billy has so he can continue to learn his craft.”
In 2014, Hamiton swiped 58 bases, but was caughtr 23 times. Last year, in a season shortened by injury, Hamilton again stole 58 but was caught only eight times.
And it looks the same for Peraza. He was called up for the second half of last season and stole 21 bases in 72 games, but was caught 10 times.
“Most of the time they both are open to run, but at the same time there will be times when I have to shut them down, especially if I’m getting good times from the opposing pitcher and we start running into outs we shouldn’t be running into,” said Price. “Jose will go through the same thing that Billy did — really learn that it is not just your sheer athleticism that steals bases. A lot of it has to do with knowledge and how to utilize the weaknesses of your opponents and exploit those.
“And sometimes you just have to be let it be known that, ‘Hey, listen, I’m a good base stealer,’ and that alone, even if they don’t steal a base, puts enough pressure on the defense that they’ll make some mistakes,” said Price.
DEVIN MESORACO WILL CATCH Thursday, but it won’t be with the Reds. The recovering catcher is on rehab assignment at Class AA Pensacola and is scheduled to catch six innings Thursday night.
There is no timetable on Mesoraco’s return, but rehab stints are limited to 20 days.
“We have a loose schedule for him based on how he reacts day-to-day,” said Price. “We want to get him to where he catches seven innings in back-to-back games. And then we want to get him to catching nine innings in back-to-back games before we consider activating him. Until we get to that place it is hard to say how long it will be.”
THE REDS PICKED UP infielder/outfielder Tyler Goeddel off waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies and assigned him to Class AAA Louisville.
Goeddel’s brother, Erik, pitches for the New York Mets, but their father, David, is the most famous person in the family. He is a biotech engineer and developed synthetic insulin.
Goedddel was a Rule V guy with the Phillies last year, meaning they kept him all season. But he played only 92 games (213 at bats) and hit .191 with four homers and 16 RBI.
THERE WAS A GAME LAST mid-May, though, when Goeddel played a big role against the Reds. His on-the-fly throw from left field to home plate on a fly ball wiped out Eugenio Suarez in a collision play at the plate to end the game, preventing the tying run.
“All I know about him is what we saw of him last year and that wasn’t much in the six games we played,” said Price. “I know he is a multi-position guy and we saw him most in left field. He looks like an athletic kid and did everything fairly well.”