Reds turn to Peraza after Hamilton's injury

Hot hitter to get 'lion's share' of playing time while speedster recovers

Reds turn to Peraza after Hamilton's injury

CINCINNATI -- The Reds still didn't know after Monday's follow-up exam how long center fielder Billy Hamilton would be out of the lineup because of a left oblique injury. But while they brace themselves for the potential of a lengthy absence, Jose Peraza will get an opportunity for more regular at-bats.

Peraza filled in well for an injured Zack Cozart at shortstop for a few games when he was recalled from Triple-A Louisville on Aug. 20. He's also been one of baseball's hottest hitters.

"Peraza will get the lion's share of the playing time if this is a long-standing hiatus for Billy," Reds manager Bryan Price said before Monday's 5-0 loss to the Mets at Great American Ball Park.

Hamilton's injury

Price said Tyler Holt and right fielder Scott Schebler would also get chances in center field.

Hamilton underwent an ultrasound test Monday afternoon to determine the severity of his injury.

"It looks like it may not be a season-ender, but it may be several days before we can take a look at it again and see if we can progress into baseball activity," Price said after the game. "It probably won't even be a subject of conversation for another five to seven days, and then we revisit it and see if it's realistic to get him back into baseball activity."

However, based on the oblique injury track record for pitchers Anthony DeSclafani and Tim Adleman, who were both out for extended periods, that would mean Hamilton may have already played his last Reds game in 2016.

In the third inning of Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Cardinals, Hamilton was batting when he flinched to check his swing against pitcher Carlos Martinez. He appeared to be in discomfort and exited the game.

"Billy does a lot for our ballclub from an energy perspective, defensively and he's starting to come into his own as an offensive player, so I would hate to lose him for the duration," Price said.

Price on Hamilton's injury

Worth noting

Price mentioned that more September callups could come following the conclusion of Louisville's season on Monday. He said infielder/outfielder Tony Renda and outfielder Steve Selsky were likely to return to the Majors.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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.