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Hamilton not considered to start Wild Card Game

Hamilton not considered to start Wild Card Game

Hamilton not considered to start Wild Card Game

PITTSBURGH -- Blazin' Billy Hamilton is as big a superstar as a pinch-runner can reasonably be.

But while Hamilton's impact on the Reds has been immediate enough to earn him a spot on the postseason roster, manager Dusty Baker wasn't quite ready to upgrade him from his current bench role in the National League Wild Card Game against the Pirates.

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"People are making a starter out of him ahead of schedule because he's so exciting," Baker said. "But let's not forget he just started switch-hitting a year ago. He just started playing center field a year ago. He has some things to learn offensively, because, remember, he was hitting .251 [in Triple-A Louisville]."

Besides, Baker had no intention of resting center fielder Shin-Soo Choo, or corner outfielders Jay Bruce and Ryan Ludwick, for that matter.

But the Reds certainly saw enough value in Hamilton's legs -- he stole 13 bases in 14 attempts after his September promotion -- to keep him around.

"I try to put guys in a situation where they'll most likely succeed," Baker said.

Hamilton did not see action in the Reds' 6-2 season-ending loss.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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