Re: Brandon Phillips at SS. Why?
I'm not lobbying hard for Phillips-to-SS or anything, but depending on personnel, I think you at least keep it under consideration so long as you have reason to believe Phillips can play the position (and potentially, play it better than anyone on our current roster).
Simple matter of flexibility: if you have a guy who could be EITHER a 2B or a SS, then when you go shopping to plug holes in the off-season, you don't have to limit yourself.... you can at least consider that grade-A 2B that's threatening to fall into your lap, rather than insta-passing on him because you "need" a SS (and end up with a grade-C one).
Same exact thing applies in our outfield, if you ask me... I forget if it was Welsh or Brantley, but one of them was saying that it'd be a crime to already be limiting Jay Bruce to RF next year. He's clearly not the player he's going to be, yet (I hope), and that goes as much for what he can do in the field as what he's been able to show so far at the plate. Bruce *can* play CF, so why not -- in the back of your mind -- leave that mental option open? You're doing the franchise a disservice if you pigeonhole Bruce at a time when he's still malleable, only to go out Roster Shopping and settle for lesser players because your inside-the-box thinking has created a perceived "need" at a spot that could have been addressed from within.
I mean, it's obviously not a long-term solution, but it's just something to keep in mind if the vagaries of our top-developing minor leaguers mean we have to temporarily move somebody (EE? Votto?) to a corner OF spot. Or if changes in the free agent market make available serviceable corner OFers for only 2-3 year contracts (maybe an aging-but-solid guy like Abreu?). There are at least some ways I can envision it where the Reds' optimal alignment has Bruce in CF for another year or two. Anything to avoid another Patterson Debacle or people honestly proposing that we trade for Juan Pierre.
Same thing holds with Phillips: you're insane to PUSH him to SS, but if him playing there makes the Reds better, you're even crazier for not considering the move. At this point, so long as Gonzalez comes back strong from the get-go next year, it's probably not even really an issue... but if there are even hints of doubt about him, and you're seriously looking at Keppinger as an everyday option, that's when the Reds'll need to keep an open mind.