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Hamilton day to day with sprained finger

Reds center fielder scratched from lineup prior to game Tuesday; Gosselin vying for spot on bench
MLB.com @m_sheldon

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- About 90 minutes before they played the Indians on Tuesday, the Reds scratched center fielder Billy Hamilton from the starting lineup. Hamilton was diagnosed with a sprained left index finger after X-rays were negative.

It was not known exactly how Hamilton sustained the injury, but it appeared to happen when he made a catch during batting practice on Tuesday and was not related to the diving catch he made to rob Shohei Ohtani on a hit vs. the Angels on Monday.

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- About 90 minutes before they played the Indians on Tuesday, the Reds scratched center fielder Billy Hamilton from the starting lineup. Hamilton was diagnosed with a sprained left index finger after X-rays were negative.

It was not known exactly how Hamilton sustained the injury, but it appeared to happen when he made a catch during batting practice on Tuesday and was not related to the diving catch he made to rob Shohei Ohtani on a hit vs. the Angels on Monday.

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"My understanding was he caught a line drive with his glove and didn't really think much of it, but as we got close to the end of batting practice, it swelled up pretty bad and we had them take a look at it," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It looks like it's a sprain of some sort, but hopefully not terribly significant."

Hamilton is listed as day to day.

• Reds Spring Training: Info | Tickets | Gear

Ben Revere replaced Hamilton in the lineup and batted at the top of the order in the Reds' 7-6 win over Cleveland.

Other than the nice catch, it hasn't been a robust Spring Training for Hamilton as he is 0-for-14 at the plate in his seven Cactus League games.

Camp battle: Gosselin seeks bench spot

Every clubhouse has that one utility player who has a locker filled with as many gloves as there are days in the week. As he tries to make the team as a versatile bench guy, Phil Gosselin in such a player this spring for the Reds.

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"First base, outfield, third base and I use the same one for second and shortstop. I've got a lot of them, plus a couple you're breaking in at all times," Gosselin said Tuesday morning. "It feels like I've got six or seven on me at all times."

Gosselin, 29, was signed to a Minor League deal with an invite to camp on Dec. 21. At the time, the Reds viewed him as a potential backup shortstop option behind Jose Peraza but that may have changed in the early days of camp when Cliff Pennington was added on a Minor League deal also. Pennington can play multiple spots, but shortstop is his natural position.

That didn't concern Gosselin much as he also tries for one of the few open bench spots. He's logged only 11 games with five starts at shortstop in the big leagues. He played the final four innings there during Tuesday's game against Cleveland.

Video: CHC@PIT: Gosselin rips an RBI double to left field

"You always know they're trying to get as many good players in here as they can," Gosselin said. "I know Cliff and played with him in Arizona. He's had a really good career and is a good player. I would have done the same thing if I was them to sign him. He provides a lot of value here."

Gosselin has played parts of the last five seasons in the Majors with the Braves, D-backs, Pirates and Rangers -- with stops in Triple-A mixed in. His best season -- and only full season in the big leagues -- was 2016 with Arizona when he batted .277/.324/.368 while leading the Majors with 20 pinch-hits and 83 pinch-hit plate appearances. He batted .260 as a pinch-hitter.

Last season, Gosselin batted .146 in 50 games with Pittsburgh and Texas. Besides Pennington, he is also competing against players like Patrick Kivlehan, Revere and Dilson Herrera for a reserve role.

Where Gosselin stands out is that he's played six positions in the field -- with the exceptions being pitcher, catcher and center field. He's logged his most games professionally at second base.

"I just thought it was the most opportunity to make the team out of camp and get at-bats," he said of signing with Cincinnati. "Playing against these guys in the past, I know Bryan [Price] has done a good job of mixing in the guys on the bench, keeping them ready and getting them enough starts so they are ready when they come off of the bench feeling good in that role."

Gosselin was 0-for-2 in Tuesday's game, with a line out to left field and fly out to right field, and is batting .316 (6-for-19).

"Gosselin had two really nice at-bats, he made two outs, [and] hit the ball right on the barrel," Price said.

Up next

Homer Bailey will make his third start at 3:05 p.m. ET Wednesday when the Reds play the White Sox at Camelback Ranch. Amir Garrett, who has five scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts this spring, is also scheduled to pitch. Fans can listen live on Gameday Audio.

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.

Cincinnati Reds, Billy Hamilton