5/2/2014 7:32 P.M. ET
Barnhart cherishes first big league homer
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Reds rookie catcher Tucker Barnhart had trouble getting to sleep on Thursday night, not because of something that went wrong, but because of something that was very right.
Leading off the fifth inning against the Brewers' Marco Estrada, Barnhart hit a 1-1 pitch for his first Major League home run. It landed in the netting above the right field visitor's bullpen.
"Honestly I sat in my room and my heart was still pounding until about 1 o'clock in the morning," Barnhart said. "I just sat there and watched TV. It really made me think about all the people that have been a part of my career, and all the struggles and grinds I've gone through to get to where I am. It's been a journey."
Barnhart, who hails from two hours away in Brownsburg, Ind., was able to get the ball back. His parents and girlfriend were also in the crowd for the game. He didn't remember much about rounding the bases.
"I don't know how quickly or slowly I was going. I tried to hold off smiles," said Barnhart, who was recalled from Triple-A Louisville last Saturday when catcher Devin Mesoraco went on the disabled list. "I didn't want to show anybody up or anything. When I got back to the dugout, I saw that everybody was excited for me and everything. It was hard not to smile. It was pretty cool."
Hamilton day-to-day following hand injury
CINCINNATI -- The swelling on the middle knuckle of Billy Hamilton's left hand was still clearly visible one day later. After spraining two knuckles on that hand to make a spectacular diving catch, the Reds center fielder was not starting on Friday.
Roger Bernadina started in Hamilton's place while Chris Heisey played left field and took over the leadoff spot.
"It's hard to grip the bat right now," Hamilton said. "It's hard to put my hand in the glove right now too. I use these two fingers to squeeze the bottom of the glove."
On the very first pitch from Homer Bailey during Thursday's 8-3 win over Milwaukee, Carlos Gomez hit a line drive to right-center field. Hamilton made the diving catch for the out, but was slow to get up. Heisey replaced him and pinch-hit to lead off the bottom of the first inning.
"I caught the ball on the palm and it just kept going on through. I already had it jammed when I hit the ground," Hamilton said.
Reds manager Bryan Price expected Hamilton to be available to pinch-run while he's out of the lineup on a day-to-day basis. He will wear a guard over his left hand so his fingers aren't jammed further if he makes a headfirst slide.
"It's sore. It could limit some of the things he can do," Price said. "We're going to find out more when he spends more time with the training staff. I certainly know he is able to run."
Phillips gets first day off in 2014
CINCINNATI -- For the first time this season, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was not in the starting lineup. Ramon Santiago filled in defensively while third baseman Todd Frazier moved up to Phillips' third spot in the order.
Phillips, who played all of the previous 28 games, was batting .179 (10-for-56) over his last 14 games and 2-for-11 in three games on the homestand. He is also 3-for-16 (.188) lifetime vs. Brewers starter Wily Peralta.
"I was kind of on the fence after [Thursday] because he hit the ball right on the screws three times," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He had a great play where [shortstop Jean] Segura robbed him of a hit. He smoked the ball on that 5-4-3 double play. I was part-way reluctant to give him the day off. He wasn't asking for time off. I'd approached him earlier about getting him a day. I just felt like I'd better take the lead on it.
"These guys aren't going to come in and ask for days off. It's a rare exception if they do. I just made that decision. I think he's swinging the bat better now than he was a couple of days ago."
Chapman's second rehab game this weekend
CINCINNATI -- After a successful first rehab assignment game with Class A Dayton on Thursday, Reds closer Aroldis Chapman will have his next outing with the Dragons on Saturday when they play at Lake County near Cleveland.
"From there, we'll most likely bump him to [Triple-A] Louisville," Reds manager Bryan Price said.
Chapman started on Thursday and worked one perfect inning with two strikeouts while throwing 18 pitches (11 strikes) in his first action since being struck in the face by a Salvador Perez line drive on March 19. The injury required surgery to repair fractures above the left eye and nose. He is expected to have three or four rehab appearances.
Price was pleased with the video and reports he saw on Chapman out of Dayton.
"Not just because the velocity was good and he threw strikes, but he was also working on his offspeed pitches -- his slider and his changeup," Price said. "He's smart enough to know not to just go out there to get his arm in shape, but get a good feel for his offspeed pitches, which will be important when he's activated."