Billy Hamilton has been a thorn in the side of the Cubs for about as long as he’s been in the major leagues. Well, he’s finally playing for the Good Guys, albeit as an aged and not-quite-as-potent version of himself at his most effective level.
Either way, it’s an interesting add by the Cubs and gives Manager David some speed coming off the bench. The flip side is that the Cubs’ most recent trade acquisition, José Martínez, has been optioned to South Bend. Martinez has been exceptionally ineffective in his time with the Cubs, accumulating no hits in 14 at-bats.
Here’s the official release from the Cubs:
CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today added outfielder Billy Hamilton to the 28-man active roster and optioned infielder/outfielder José Martínez to the club’s South Bend Alternate Site.
Hamilton, who will wear uniform number six, will be available for the Cubs tonight when they begin their three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field. He was claimed off waivers yesterday from the New York Mets.
Hamilton, who turns 30 tomorrow, is a career .241 hitter (681-for-2,829) with 410 runs scored, 101 doubles, 36 triples and 302 stolen bases in 826 major league games covering all or part of eight seasons with the Cincinnati Reds (2013-18), Kansas City Royals (2019), Atlanta Braves (2019) and Mets (2020). He surpassed 55 stolen bases in four-straight years from 2014-17 and he ranks third among all active players in career stolen bases. Hamilton batted .045 (1-for-22) with three stolen bases in 17 games with the Mets and was designated for assignment on September 4.
Martínez, 32, is hitless in 14 at-bats for the Cubs since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on August 30. Overall, he is batting .198 (16-for-81) with four doubles, two homers and 10 RBI in 30 games between the two stops this year.
Chicago’s 60-man Player Pool roster stands at 59 players, with 28 active players on the major league roster (plus three 10-day injured list players) and 28 players in South Bend.