When you think of mediocre players who disproportionately kill the Cubs, there simply cannot be a player who comes to your mind first other than Billy Hamilton.
The speedy outfielder has always been so fantastically good at playing defense and running the bases, and has almost always been spectacularly bad at the plate. He’s a career .246/.299/.331 hitter, which makes him about 30% worse than the average big league hitter over the span of his career.
Against the Cubs, however, Hamilton has been dramatically better: .286/.357/.409 – that’s about 43% *better* than his overall production. That line, coupled with his speed and defense, has made him absolutely abuse the Cubs. And it hasn’t been a small sample: the guy has faced the Cubs in 70 games, with 284 plate appearances.
I am so tired of seeing Billy Hamilton beat up on the Cubs.
Maybe soon we won’t have to see it anymore:
#Reds’ Billy Hamilton claimed on revocable waivers by unknown team, sources tell The Athletic.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) August 23, 2018
The Cubs and Reds kick off a series this evening in Chicago, and if there’s a real chance the Reds are going to work out a deal for Hamilton to the claiming team, perhaps he will sit out? Or maybe he’ll even be dealt by the time the game begins? A guy can hope.
(Also, I tend to think it wouldn’t be the Cubs claiming Hamilton, given their roster and their trade for late-season speed man Terrance Gore, but after already grabbing Cub-killer Daniel Murphy, let’s not rule anything out, right?)
Hamilton, who turns 28 next month, is making $4.6 million this year, a healthy sum for a guy who is essentially – overall – simply a great bench player. He’s under control for one more season, but if you’re the Reds, is a guy like Hamilton going to be worth $6+ million to you in 2019?
I think there’s a decent chance that Hamilton goes somewhere this time. If he was claimed yesterday, that would give the Reds and that team until some time tomorrow to work out a deal. If not, Hamilton will stay with the Reds, and torment the Cubs this weekend.
Meanwhile, the Reds also had Matt Harvey claimed on waivers by a Mystery Team, which we learned last night was not the Cubs. So we’ll see if it is instead a fellow NL Central contender, and if they can get a deal together.
Trade for Billy Hamilton off his waiver claim is said to be “unlikely.” Makes sense since he is not a free agent after the year. As @ByRobertMurray said, BH was claimed by unknown team.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 23, 2018