Reds have Hamilton DH to rest shoulder

Reds have Hamilton DH to rest shoulder

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The spring debut for the Reds' Billy Hamilton was originally slated to be in his usual spot in center field. That changed on Wednesday morning, when Hamilton was moved to designated hitter, but he still led off vs. the Indians. He played five innings and went 0-for-2 with a first-inning strikeout and fourth-inning groundout to first base.

Hamilton arrived in camp last month at less than 100 percent as he is trying to return from September arthroscopic surgery on his right throwing shoulder. He was given Tuesday's Cactus League opener off.

"He's having the same fatigue issues. They're consistent with the surgery," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I'll flip him back around between DH and the outfield based on how he's feeling. He has days where he's feeling really, really good. He's thrown from the infield, he's thrown several times from the outfield without any limitations. But when he has a day when he's feeling that achiness, I just flip him into the DH spot."

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Unlike elbow surgeries, shoulder procedures can often be a more difficult rehabilitation.

"Shoulders are a son-of-a-gun," Price said. "Just when you think you're over the hump, it'll come back and tell you it's got a little ways to go until it's 100 percent. It's not a concern right now for Opening Day readiness, but we'll be a little conservative on the front end."

Hamilton isn't used to dialing it back when it comes to playing, but realized being conservative in the early days of exhibition games was the right course of action.

"The main thing is not to use up all my throws here in Spring Training," Hamilton said. "Spring Training is to get you ready, but the main thing is to be ready for the season. I'm going to take it slow, and not rush things that could cause a worse injury. If you get hurt in Spring Training, you don't get to the season. I want to be 100 percent before I risk myself. We thought that was a good idea."

Reed debuts

• Lefty starting pitching prospect Cody Reed made his Reds debut from the bullpen on Wednesday vs. the Indians. Reed, who gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits over two innings, with two strikeouts, admitted to feeling butterflies when he took the mound in the top of the third inning.

Top Prospects: Reed, CIN

"I felt great. There were nerves, for sure, when I first got out there warming up and seeing those guys behind home plate," Reed said.

Reed, the Reds' No. 3 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, has never pitched in a big league spring game. After last season in Double-A, he learned something from facing veteran hitter Mike Napoli, who hit a one-out single to left field in the fourth inning.

"I was throwing pretty good sliders to him, and he's just not even flinching," Reed said. "Usually, I have guys coming out of their shoes. It was a full count and a high-average count. The guy has been around a long time and made solid contact."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.