Hamilton paying painful price for superb catch

Hamilton paying painful price for superb catch

CINCINNATI -- Remember that beautiful leaping catch at the wall center fielder Billy Hamilton made last Friday at St. Louis to rob Matt Carpenter of a home run? Nearly a week later, it appears that the play came with a price.

Hamilton was out of the lineup in the Reds' 16-0 loss to the Cubs on Thursday with a bruised left thumb, an injury he said happened on that play. Wanting to defer to the medical staff's assessment, he declined to say any more, other than, "It hurts." His left hand was in a soft cast to immobilize the thumb.

"We knew he had a little bit of a contusion, but it didn't seem to be an issue," manager Bryan Price said on Thursday afternoon. "By the time he went and dove for that ball yesterday in center, it became more of an issue. So he has some thumb soreness. I think he'll be able to do everything right now but hit comfortably. We probably won't see him in the starting lineup for at least a couple of days, and then we'll reassess. He's wearing a splint to keep the thumb from getting jarred."

Scott Schebler started in Hamilton's place in center field.

Simon update: Right-hander Alfredo Simon, who was scratched from his start on Tuesday because of tendinitis in his right biceps, showed improvement and played catch on Thursday.

"From where he was [on Monday], when he actually let the team know he was having some shoulder discomfort, he's come a long way," Price said.

Simon remains listed to start on Sunday vs. the Cubs.

"That would give him plenty of time to do a test drive with his arm and make sure his shoulder is feeling OK before we commit to having him start that game," Price said.

If Simon is unable to go, the Reds would likely recall Robert Stephenson from Triple-A Louisville to replace him. Stephenson was already recalled for one day to fill in for Simon and promptly was sent back down. He could return without waiting the requisite 10 days if Simon were to go on the disabled list.

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.