The Cincinnati Reds have used star second baseman Brandon Phillips in various spots in the Reds order throughout his time with the team, as he has been seen batting lead-off or in the middle-of-the-order in Cincy. Now that the Reds have acquired Shin-Soo Choo and seem set on using him as the leadoff hitter, Reds manager Dusty Baker told MLB.com’s Cincinnati Reds beat writer Mark Sheldon that he expects Phillips to bat second in the order.
Here is what Baker had to say about the possible move to the No. 2 hole for the 2013 season, “If we started right now. That’s way down the line. I’ve thought about different lineups. I’m sure I will get a lot of help.”
Phillips is such a talented player that it doesn’t really matter where he hits, and the No. 2 hole is more important than some people think. I’m one of those guys who loves the advanced numbers in baseball, and the No. 2 slot is viewed as being more valuable than the No. 3 spot in the order since, well, the No. 2 guy has more chances. Now the clean-up spot is more important than the No. 2 place in the order, but Phillips is, of course, not an ideal clean-up hitter (though Joey Votto is).
Reds 30-year-old lefty Manny Parra inked a one-year deal with the club this offseason, but he is dealing with a minor neck injury (Sheldon wrote that it is a “sore neck”). The Reds don’t want to take any chances with their new pitcher, so he is being shut down for the moment. Parra, who spent the past five seasons with the rival Milwaukee Brewers, had a 5.06 ERA in 58.2 innings last year.