Hamilton dropped to eighth
Reds manager Bryan Price made a pretty big change to the lineup on Sunday, moving Billy Hamilton out of the leadoff spot to eighth. Zack Cozart batted leadoff.
Before Sunday, Hamilton made 171 of 172 career starts batting in the leadoff spot with the lone exception when he batted ninth at Houston in his first-ever start in 2013. In 33 games this season entering the day, Hamilton is batting only .212 with a .264 on-base percentage that ranks near the bottom of the league among leadoff hitter who qualify.
I will have more later on MLB.com/Reds.com, but here are some quotes from manager Bryan Price and Hamilton:
“We’re going to see where it goes. We’re trying to get — it’s like the bullpen and sorting out the bullpen. We didn’t get off to the start we expected to with the bullpen and we’re trying to find our way offensively and it’s been a little more challenging than I anticipated to be consistently really efficient offensively. I just thought it made sense to take a look at getting some of our higher on-base guys at the top of the order. Cozart, Pena’s hitting second today. Just try to get some guys on base for the middle of the order guys and take a little bit of the load off. There’s this whole thing we’re always saying with Billy, ‘You go, we go.’ It really shouldn’t be that way — when we’re going, it’s because we’re all going. Because we’re all doing what we need to be doing collectively well. I think it’d be really nice to have Billy doing some things down at the bottom, maybe helping set the table for the top of the order. The way Zack’s been swinging the bat, Pena, leading to Joey, Frazier, Byrd, Brandon, et cetera. It could be a good thing. I’m certainly optimistic it will be.”
“You’ve got to roll with it. When you’re playing like I’m playing, you can’t do anything about it. It’s not going to put me in a bad situation – my confidence is still there. It’s a spot in the lineup. I’m still happy to just be in the lineup. It’s been tough this year so far and everything, but it’s his decision. If I was playing better, it would be way different. I can’t say anything about it the way I’m playing, I’ve just got to deal with it.”