Here’s a couple comments about Brandon Phillips I’ve read today that got me thinking about our slumping second baseman:
Last night was a microcosm of Brandon Phillips. He works a walk and then proceeded to get picked off first base because he is lazily walking away from the bag. But he can go out and play top notch defense.
My patience is wearing thin with BP. He used to be a great base runner. His first season with the Reds he was caught stealing 2 times all year long. This season he has 1-4 and picked off at least twice. He is being thrown out by a mile when he steals. He is hacktastic at the plate and swings for the fences too much. It has been pretty clearly stated that he is best when he hits the ball to the RC gap. Problem is he pulls off the ball too much trying to hit it 500 feet.
If I am Dusty Phillips is sitting for tonight’s game and maybe Thursday’s. Mental lapses at the rate Phillips is having them is unacceptable. If I am Walt I am looking for a trading partner right away. I have a bad feeling that Phillips is going to become an expensive headache over the next few years.
And the second comment:
IIRC, Brandon’s contract calls for $11 million in 2011 and a $12 million option for 2012 (club).
He’s a fixture. You do nothing. You live with him and try to work out the kinks. If someone calls about him, you listen. And in 2012 say hello to Mr. Frazier.
My general feeling on Phillips is while I’m not real keen on seeing his pinyata swings day in and day out in the two hole; we’ve seen him go through some similar struggles before. Phillips disappears for a few weeks, only to re-emerge and start carrying the lineup for a few weeks. At the end of the year you’ve got a guy who basically ends up where he always ends up.
He’s not going to reach the superstar numbers of a few years back, and he’s not really the threat on the basepaths he once was.
His golden years are possibly gone. The fact that we won’t get in return the value that Phillips brings to the table means we’re just in a holding pattern with Brandon Phillips for the forseeable future and need to hope that the move to the 2-hole in the lineup kick-starts his bat at the plate.
He is a great defender. It comes easy to him. But if he could start contributing it would really change the shape of this entire offense. He’s frustrating Reds fans because they saw a glimpse of a superstar and now it’s faded. But if he can do .270, 20, and 80 once again; you can’t really complain about that from a gold-glove second baseman. That won’t get you beat.
I like Brandon Phillips. I always have. He is a fixture and a main component on a lesser-known ballclub. I feel in general, he’s one of the last carry overs from the Griffey/Dunn regime and they’re doing what they like to do. They’re eating their young. They’re pointing the finger at the last man standing. Is he the perfect ballplayer? No, and he never will be. But is he good enough to be part of the solution until Todd Frazier is truly ready should that day ever come? I think he is.
Plus any day now he’s going to hit two out and steal two bags and Reds fans won’t want to admit they want him dealt out of town. Not if they have any sense anyways.