Saturday, August 18, 2001
Trolling for arms, Reds add Hamilton
By John Erardi and John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer
On Jose Rijo's night at Cinergy Field, the Reds brought back another oldie they hope is a goodie. The club signed 30-year-old right-hander Joey Hamilton to a minor-league contract. Hamilton was released by the Toronto Blue Jays on Aug.3. He was 5-8 with a 5.89 ERA before he was released.
Hamilton spent most of the 2000 season on the disabled list recovering from right shoulder surgery.
I feel good, he said. The arm felt good toward the end of my time in Toronto. I just wasn't getting the results I wanted.
Hamilton will work out a few days in Cincinnati, then report to Triple-A Louisville.
Hopefully, I'll be back here after the Louisville season ends, he said.
We'll see how he does, Reds general manager Jim Bowden. It's like signing (Pete) Harnisch or (Elmer) Dessens. You hope you fix it and have something. When you don't have the dollars, you've got to take chances.
Hamilton went 15-9 in '96 and 12-7 in '97 with the San Diego Padres. He has gone 27-30 in the four years since.
He was in the last year of a three-year, $16.5 million contract when the Blue Jays released him.
Hamilton had other offers. All were for minor league deals. The Reds' lack of established startersdrew him to the team.
I think it's pretty open here, he said. I wanted to get a chance. I think I can still pitch.
There is a connection between Rijo and Hamilton. Hamilton was the last player to get a hit off Rijo in 1995.
I told him, "If I get a hit off you, you are broken down,' Hamilton said. It's great to see him back. It gives hope to all us broken-down guys.
WILLIAMSON UPDATE: Scott Williamson threw Friday for the first time since having Tommy John surgery April 12. He made 35 tosses, 25 from 45 feet, and 10 from 30 feet.
UP NEXT: Elmer Dessens, who will start for the Reds tonight against the Brewers, leads the staff in starts (26, counting tonight), victories (8), innings pitched (15 1/3) and strikeouts (102).
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