Red Sox vs. Reds pre-game notes: Mujica avoids disabled list, Farrell takes note of Billy Hamilton

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Before Tuesday's series opener against the Reds, manager John Farrell talked about Edward Mujica's injury status, Billy Hamilton's base stealing ability and Mariano Rivera's comments on Dustin Pedroia.

BOSTON -- It appears, at least for now, that Edward Mujica is in the clear with his oblique injury.

Mujica threw a bullpen session on Tuesday afternoon, experiencing none of the discomfort in his right oblique that arose as he was warming up in the bullpen during Friday's game. Mujica also threw from 90 feet without any soreness or discomfort on Sunday.

Farrell notes Hamilton's speed

Manager John Farrell made no hesitation when comparing Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton to one of the greatest to ever play the game.

"This is a type of player that comes along every so often," Farrell said. "You probably have to go back to a guy like Rickey Henderson that had the ability to steal the number of bases that he has. I know that's a quick reference to a Hall of Fame player, but when you see a guy steal 140 bases in the minor leagues, it's eye-popping and the ability to impact the game with his legs is clear. Even though he is not in the lineup tonight, we know that he's gonna factor in if there is a pinch running situation."

Farrell talked about the strategy the team takes with potent base stealers like Hamilton.

"You begin to categorize and when you put a guy in the category with this capability, your attention is to put him on the side of the plate where he is less likely to get on base," Farrell said. "Two, you take your best shot and disrupting timing and it's not about additional picks, it's disrupting his timing as a base stealer and he has been thrown out, it's not like it's a guarantee, but he's a hell of a base stealer."

Sizemore playing better without reservation

After a prolonged slump during April, outfielder Grady Sizemore has been enjoying a slight resurgence of late. Farrell said that the difference in Sizemore's performance was not a result of any physical limitations during April.

"I can't say there has been a drastic difference physically," Farrell said. "There has been no change in his physical status. He's felt fine there. I think he's gotten some pitches in the strike zone that he's handled more readily, line drive up the middle and then he pulls a double inside the bag. Guys are going to go through stretches of more consistent contact than others and hopefully he's in one of those right now."

Farrell noted that there is no precedent in how to handle a player in Sizemore's situation.

"There really is no template to follow," Farrell said. "This is a unique set of circumstances. You go by what your eyes are telling you. You go from the first game in Spring Training to where we are today in combination with who else is available on our roster. This was a take it as it comes approach with him, centering most around how he responded physically."

Farrell not surprised by Rivera's thoughts on Pedroia

When asked about former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera's thoughts on Dustin Pedroia vs. Robinson Cano, Farrell was not surprised that the legend preferred the Red Sox second baseman.

"Not surprising," Farrell said. "An incredible compliment of your opponent across the field and maybe allows us to take a step back and really appreciate--I don't want to say take for granted--but what we see day in and day out."

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