Sep 2, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cincinnati Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton (6) steals second base safely as Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop (6) does not get the throw in time in the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
It’s November, the snow is getting ready to fly and the NFL is entering its stretch run. It’s always baseball season on the Riverfront, though, and there is plenty of Cincinnati Reds news to keep our hot stoves perking as we head to the holidays. Here are some tidbits from the last couple of days.
Billy Hamilton Loses Rookie of the Year Award to Jacob DeGrom
As I noted yesterday, Billy Hamilton‘s second-half side that coincided with the Reds’ team-wide stumble left him looking up at New York Mets pitcher Jacob DeGrom in the race for NL Rookie of the Year. That’s just how it played out, too, though Hamilton did pick up four first-place votes as DeGrom picked up the other 26 and rolled to the award. So what’s next for Hamilton?
Well, he will be 24 next season, just entering his physical prime, and he showed in the first half that he can adapt to MLB pitching, improving his batting metrics through the All-Star break. If the Reds hadn’t fallen apart around him, he might have been able to keep up his mid-season pace, and the bet here is that he is better as a sophomore than he was as a rookie.
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Jim Riggleman to Coach Third Base
The Reds completed their only coaching change of the off-season on Tuesday when they named former big league manger Jim Riggleman as their third base coach. It’s probably an insignificant move overall, but there WAS a lot of grumbling about Steve Smith, Riggleman’s predecessor who helped a Major League-worst 28 Reds runners get thrown out at the plate in 2014.
Jeff Schugel Hired as Special Assistant to General Manager Walt Jocketty
On Monday, the Reds announced that they had hired long-time scout Jeff Schugel as a special assistant to general manager Walt Jocketty. Shugel most recently worked for the Atlanta Braves.
This move comes a few weeks after speculation by ESPN’s Buster Olney that former Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers would join the Reds’ front office. No word on whether the Schugel move affects Towers’ status.