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Hamilton's speed on shelf against Mets

BILLY HAMILTON, CF, REDS In many ways, Hamilton

In many ways, Hamilton is the opposite of Shin-Soo Choo, the man he’s replacing in center field. Choo has an elite eye at the plate, Hamilton’s patience is in question. Choo is subpar in the field, Hamilton's a top defender. But Hamilton’s speed is like none other. He stole 155 bases in the minors in 2012 and 88 split between the minors and majors in 2013. Credit: AP

The Mets caught a bit of a break on Saturday morning, when the Reds scratched speedster Billy Hamilton, who jammed the middle finger on his left hand Friday night on his attempted steal of second base.

Hamilton has stumbled out of the gate, starting the season 0-for-12. But he had been slated to play centerfield and lead off for the Reds, who hoped to put his speed to good use. Instead, he was scratched and listed as day to day. He was replaced buy Roger Bernadina.

Hamilton went 9-for-9 on the bases during spring training and thought he might have his first steal of the regular season on Friday night against the Mets. As a pinch-runner in the eighth inning, Hamilton tried for second base, only to be caught by Mets backup catcher Anthony Recker. 

-- Jonathon Niese will be allowed to hit the 90-95 pitch mark on Sunday, when he's expected to come off the disabled list to make his season debut against the Reds.

Niese was placed on the DL retroactively for left elbow inflammation. But Niese's rehab has been smooth. Mets manager Terry Collins said that Niese should be helped by a favorable weather forecast ahead of Sunday's series finale.

-- One day after a comebacker struck him on the right ankle, Jenrry Mejia did his typical jogging. "That's a good indication that nothing’s wrong," Collins said. Mejia was struck in the third inning of Friday night's 4-3 victory of the Reds but remained in the game.

-- With the Mets facing a short turnaround -- day game after a night game -- backup catcher Anthony Recker will make his first start of the season. He takes over for Travis d'Arnaud, who is 0-for-12 with six strikeouts to begin the season.


Roger Bernadina, CF

Brandon Phillips. 2B

Joey Votto, 1B

Jay Bruce, RF

Ryan Ludwick, LF

Todd Frazier, 3B

Zacl Cozart SS

Tucker Barnhart, C

Johnny Cueto



Eric Young Jr., LF

Daniel Murphy, 2B

David Wright, 3B

Curtis Granderson, RF

Lucas Duda, 1B

Juan Lagares, CF

Anthony Recker, C

Ruben Tejada, SS

Dillon Gee, RHP

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