It looks like Brandon Phillips has a baby on the way.
Yesterday, the Reds announced that they placed Phillips on the paternity list, without comment. It was confirmed tonight, when the Reds posted their lineup of Robinson-Choo-Votto-Frazier-Bruce-Heisey-Cozart-Hanigan-Izturis, Phillips would not be playing. The team refused to comment further on the matter.
The MLB’s paternity list policy is that players must miss at least one game after the birth of their child, and no more than three games. To take his place on the roster, the Reds have called up infielder Henry Rodriguez. Rodriguez had been struggling a bit offensively in AAA, hitting just .264/.302/.342 with 3 homers and is a noted defensive liability. However, he has hit nearly .300 in his minor league career and is one of the organization’s most intriguing prospects offensively, so he got the call.
The man he’s replacing, Phillips, has had a solid, if unspectacular season as the Cincinnati Reds’ cleanup hitter and second baseman. Phillips has hit .265/.318/.425 on the year with 11 homers and 60 RBIs. At one time, Phillips was leading the NL in RBIs, but has struggled of late. Ever since returning from the DL after getting hit in the hand by Pirates’ RP Mike Zagurski, Phillips has struggled mightily, hitting under .150 during that time. In fact, in all of June, he’s hit just .189/.250/.270 with 2 homers and 16 RBIs.
If this was a distraction for Phillips, which might explain his offensive struggles, they need him to get focused on baseball again. As the team’s leading run producer, he’s a vital part of the lineup.