Reds notebook: Phillips enjoys life in 2nd slot

BY foxsports • April 12, 2011


Brandon Phillips has taken pretty well to hitting second in the Reds' lineup. He's batting .410 with a .455 on-base percentage.
  
He says it was all in the preparation.
  
"Spring was different for me from the year before," he said. "I had a different role. I came into spring knowing I was going to hit leadoff or I was going to be second. I knew I had to have a different approach. I had to become a different player for the team instead of for myself.
  
"In the past, when I was hitting fourth, it was all about RBI and trying to be the big dude for the team. I came to spring training this year to try to be the trendsetter and get things started for Joey Votto, Jonny Gomes and Scott Rolen."
  
Reds manager Dusty Baker decided against putting Phillips in the leadoff role Monday night -- even with Drew Stubbs out of the lineup.
  
"Instead of having two or three guys move around, you just have one," Baker said. "Brandon is doing pretty good hitting in front of Joey. Plus, (Chris) Heisey's led off a lot before in the minor leagues."
  
Heisey hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning, providing the winning margin in Cincinnati's 3-2 victory at San Diego.
  
Phillips' best year came in 2007, when he hit .288 with 30 home runs, 94 RBI and 33 steals. He hit mostly second that year.
  
"I like hitting there," he said. "It's fun, especially when you're winning."

NOTES, QUOTES
  
--CF Drew Stubbs, who was out of the starting lineup Monday, is riding an 0-for-10 skid. "It's spring time," manager Dusty Baker said. "To me, spring means you're a little confused whether it's winter or summer. This is what happens in the spring. If everyone stayed hot in the spring, it would be summertime. He's getting today off. He's missing pitches. He's staying the air too much." Stubbs entered the game in the eighth inning as a defensive replacement, and he didn't get a plate appearance.
  
--RHP Edinson Volquez's ERA is 27.00 in the first inning and 1.29 after the first. "It's killing me, the first inning," he said. "There's nothing you can do about it but keep pitching." The trend continued Monday, when went Volquez allowed San Diego to score twice in the opening inning. He didn't yield another run in his six-inning outing.
  
--RHP Johnny Cueto threw two innings and 30 pitches in a simulated game at the Reds' complex in Goodyear, Ariz. He allowed two runs on three hits, walking none and striking out two. Cueto is on the disabled list due to right shoulder inflammation.
  
--RHP Jose Arredondo threw a perfect inning and Class AA Carolina on Monday, striking out two. Arredondo started the year on the disabled list as he continues to rehab after having Tommy John surgery on Feb. 2, 2010.
  
--1B Joey Votto, who went 1-for-3 Monday, has hit safely in 10 of the Reds' 11 games. In the only game when he was hitless, he went 0-for-1 with three walks.
  
BY THE NUMBERS: .410, .444 -- That's what the Reds No. 2 hitter, 2B Brandon Phillips, and No. 3 hitter, 1B Joey Votto, are hitting through the season's first 10 games.
  
QUOTE TO NOTE: "That's pretty good company. It's pretty good company that's been fired by a team or two. Somebody wants to employ you. I thank God I've been around this long and had to opportunity." -- Dusty Baker, on becoming the 11th manager in major league history to win 250 games with three different teams Monday.

ROSTER REPORT
   
MEDICAL WATCH:

  
--RHP Homer Bailey (sore right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 24. He threw a bullpen session April 8, and he is scheduled to pitch in extended spring training April 12.

--RHP Johnny Cueto (right shoulder impingement) had to leave his March 11 start after two innings, then had to leave after one inning March 19. He went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22. He threw two innings in extended spring training April 11.
   
--RHP Jared Burton (right shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 29. He suffered a setback in early April and was shut down from throwing.
   
--OF Fred Lewis (strained right side) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27. He was rehabbing in extended spring training as of April 8.
   
--RHP Jose Arredondo (Tommy John surgery in February 2010) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 25. He began a rehab assignment with Class AA Carolina on April 11.
   
ROTATION:

• RHP Edinson Volquez
• LHP Travis Wood
• RHP Bronson Arroyo
• RHP Mike Leake
• RHP Sam LeCure

BULLPEN:

• RHP Francisco Cordero (closer)
• RHP Nick Masset
• LHP Aroldis Chapman
• RHP Logan Ondrusek
• LHP Bill Bray
• RHP Jordan Smith
• LHP Matt Maloney

CATCHERS:

• Ramon Hernandez
• Ryan Hanigan

INFIELDERS:

• 1B Joey Votto
• 2B Brandon Phillips
• SS Paul Janish
• 3B Scott Rolen
• INF Edgar Renteria
• INF Miguel Cairo
• INF Juan Francisco

OUTFIELDERS:

• LF Jonny Gomes
• CF Drew Stubbs
• RF Jay Bruce
• OF Chris Heisey


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