Found February 21, 2013 on
Fox Sports Ohio:
GOODYEAR, Ariz. Brandon Phillips isnt parading around the Cincinnati Reds clubhouse holding aloft a placard that reads, Im No. 2.But he is OK with the fact that hell bat second in manager Dusty Bakers order and that if all goes well hell be No. 2 all year, giving him a sense of offensive stability.It hasnt always been that way and thats his own fault because the 31-year-old second baseman has offensive versatility.He has batted fourth. He has batted third. He has batted second. He has batted first.For example, Phillips batted fourth 73 times last year and the team was 43-30. He batted third 43 times when Joey Votto was injured and the team was 29-14. He batted first 28 times when Baker was searching for a leadoff guy and the team was 16-12.He didnt bat second. But thats where hell be this year because left fielder Ryan Ludwick is ensconced in the fourth spot and the Reds acquired leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo from the Cleveland Indians.Not many guys have the talent to bounce around a batting order the way Brandon does and it may not always be the best for him but it has worked out best for the team, said Baker.That should change and for Phillips thats all he wants, a permanent residence rather than a nomadic roaming around the batting order.As always, it is whatever the team wants, thats basically it, he said. Ive moved all over since I got here. The last time I hit in one spot was 07 and that was when I had my best year.He batted third that year and hit .288 with 30 home runs, 94 RBI and 33 stolen bases. But another guy arrived to take over the No. 3 spot, a guy named Joey Votto. And his memory is a bit spotty. In 2007 Phillips batted third only 17 times and hit .239 while he batted fourth 81 times and hit .306.If I could hit anywhere, I would love to hit third because I feel like I could do everything, he said. You feel more freedom, like a total ballplayer, and you feel like youre the man when you hit third.The Man now is Joey Votto, but Phillips isnt far behind and with a spot he can call his own he might emerge again offensively.Ill bat second if thats what they want, he said. At that spot you get to be more of a team player by getting the guys over (from second to third), do the hit and run and you dont get to steal that often. You are like the set-up man in the lineup.Whatever makes the team better, whatever they want me to do, Ill do it, he said. I just want to win.Personal goals are nice and sometimes selfish, but Phillips puts it in perspective by saying, Ill start my goals by saying we need to take another step up in the playoffs. Our goal every year is to win the ring, but I feel you have to take steps. So this year we need to at least get to the second round.Phillips finds it difficult to set personal goals for two reasons his tour through different spots in the batting order and his team concept.For myself, it is hard to set goals because every time I set a goal I end up changing spots in the batting order, he said. One year I wanted 100 RBI when I was batting fourth and they changed me to leadoff. Then I wanted to score 100 runs at leadoff and they put me back to fourth. There are so many things that make it hard for me to set goals for myself.And Phillips believes it makes it difficult for fans to appreciate him, although Phillips is close to being the face of the team with his radiant smile and swirling personality.It is hard for the Reds fans to see what I can really do on the field because of me moving all over the lineup, he said. I try the best I can because I am versatile enough to do whatever the Reds ask me to do. I think Im doing pretty good or I wouldnt still be here.The Reds gave Phillips a five-year, 72 million contract last year and he aims to give them every pennys worth of their money in effort.It is good that Dusty and my teammates appreciate me and love that about me, that Im a team player who will do what the team needs to do.And about that effort, or extra effort? Some, mostly opponents, say his extra effort, which is flair and extraneous showmanship, puts the label of hot dog on him. And to that, he says, If they think Im a hot dog, then pass the mustard.Phillips owns three Gold Gloves, but didnt win one last year and indicated he thought some managers and coaches didnt vote for him because they thought his nickname should be Oscar Mayer.It shouldnt have anything to do with personal likes or dislikes when it comes to playing ability, said Baker. It should come down to who is the best at that position. But it is a natural thing that people vote for who they like.Ive talked to him about it (toning it down) and Joe Morgan has talked to him about it, but after a while you quit talking about it and realize thats him and hope he just tones it down some.Phillips will play second base for the USA in the World Baseball Classic and cant wait for play to begin.Im looking forward to it because it is a dream come true, he said. To represent my country is something Ive always wanted to do since it started in 1996. Just to have an opportunity to do that is an honor and a blessing, especially getting to play for (manager) Joe Torre.And wherever Torre wants him in the batting order, Phillips says, Ill do it. Dont I always?
BEST OF MAXIM
A few weeks ago I was able to talk with Cincinnati Reds third base prospect Travis ‘Moose’ Mattair. He had a real breakout season in 2012 and hopes to build upon that for 2013. You can follow him on twitter @mooser3226
RML: Since being drafted in 2007 you have seen two organizations and gone on to play college basketball. Has that journey helped your career?
Travis Mattair: It...
Reds ace Johnny Cueto won't be participating in the World Baseball Classic this year. However, it certainly won't be due to a lack of desire.
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It took a while, but Joey Votto has finally decided to be on the roster for Canada’s World Baseball Classic team.
That does not mean he will definitely play.
“As far as playing, I’m going to have to wait until the day before to decide,” Votto said.
Good. He better stay healthy and uninjured, otherwise there will be serious repercussions for America’s hat.
As for the other...
Last week, Scott Rolen announced that he would not be returning to the Cincinnati Reds for the start of the 2013 season.
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The statement is the definition...
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GOODYEAR, Ariz. Sam LeCure walks into the clubhouse with a watch cap pulled around his ears, wearing a plaid shirt and a full beard and one wonders, Where did you leave your ax, Mr. Lumberjack?If he walked into Starbucks nobody would guess that he is an integral part of the Cincinnati Reds, a spare part that manager Dusty Baker can plug into any situation.It is an anonymous job...
It's just spring training, but it's still nice to see a lineup and this one is the first one of the year. It looks pretty much like what the Opening Day lineup will be, obviously minus the DH and with Cueto by the "P" instead of Cingrani...
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The Cincinnati Reds play their first exhibition game of the 2013 Spring Training season today at 3:05pm when they face the Cleveland Indians. The starter? Tony Cingrani.
Cingrani, the 23-year-old left-hander, was the Reds’ best pitcher in the minors last year. He went 10-4 with a 1.73 ERA at Single-A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola.
Because of the World Baseball Classic, Spring...
At this time last year I was telling everyone who would listen to stay away from Mat Latos. In two full season with the Padres, Latos had posted fantastic FIPs of 3.00 and 3.16, but FIP doesn’t account for the ballpark in which he pitched half of his games so his better-than-average 8.0% and 7.3% HR/FB rates weren’t adjusted to the higher league average marks.For that kind of...
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The sculpture's resemblance to Charlie Hustle is absolutely striking. From the shaggy brown hair escaping underneath his cap, to the spandex pants, to the marvelous stirrups, no detail has gone overlooked.
Reds fans remember this swing all too well.
Posey's grand slam in Game 5 of the NLDS
essentially ended Cincy's season.
by: Chase Fitzgerald
1. Buster Posey
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2012 NL Central Standings
The ballots have been cast and the votes have been counted! Thanks to everyone who took the time to share their opinions. This was definitely a fun post to put together. But without further adieu, here is the unveiling of the Redlegs Review 2013 Preseason All-NL Central team, as voted by you the readers and fans. I hope you enjoy.