GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Dilson Herrera will not play in the World Baseball Classic because he’s dealing with right shoulder inflammation.
Not because Reds manager Bryan Price discouraged him from it.
“I received some information about some commentary about comments I made earlier in the spring,” Price said. “They said, 'Price probably nudged him not to play,' and it would not be the case. That's just my general opinion on the WBC. I would not bring someone in here and convince them not to represent their country.
“He has right shoulder inflammation and has been shut down from throwing for at least the next few days.”
Herrera, 22, came to the Reds in the Jay Bruce trade with the New York Mets. He’s OK to hit.
“He's not OK to defend and throw,” Price said. “Until we have that, his shoulder feeling good coming off the end of last year and he had the soreness. It doesn't make any sense to be playing defense in the WBC or for us.”
At this point, the Reds think rest is all Herrara needs.
“He's been examined extensively,” Price said. “I don't think there's any structural damage, there's just inflammation.”
Price is hopeful that Billy Hamilton’s second half in which he hit .293 with .369 on-base percentage with not just a hot steak.
“I'm optimistic because I think Billy's an athlete and he's driven,” Price said. “I think he found something last year, I think he really found something in himself and his swing. It wasn't just harder contact, it was better, improved strike zone command. More efficient as a bunter, taking what was given to him.
"I'm very optimistic that Billy's going to greatly exceed what we had seen his first two and a half years in the league. I think he's capable of exceeding those numbers, especially from an on-base and batting average perspective.”
Hamilton’s defense will keep him in the lineup unless those offensive numbers go way south.
“It’s the difference maker,” Price said. “It’s why he should be in the lineup if there’s stretches of time where he’s struggling to hit like anyone would be. The defense in center field is so premium that he needs to be out there to help us.”
Lordy, lordy, he's 40: Bronson Arroyo turned Friday. If he makes the team, he’ll be the first 40-year-old to appear for the Reds since Arthur Rhodes in 2010.
Arroyo could pass for 39 or younger.
“Just the way he looks, conditions himself,” Price said. ‘The other part is how he assimilates with everybody. There’s no strangers with anybody out there. He fits in so well.”