I think Votto could move into the 2 hole later in his career. For now, ride out his most powerful years in the 3 or 4 spot. I think he'll always be a .360+ OBP guy even in his late 30's.
Great post. I was getting ready to say "Get ready for a lot of GIDPs" with BP batting second.
However, he hits into a lot of double plays no matter where he bats, sans leadoff. You're absolutely right. I'd rather have Phillips hitting in front of great OBP guy like Votto than hitting right after him. Part of the reason is that he's so durable and racks up ABs, but it just seems like BP leads the world in GIDPs every year. Usually getting thrown out by about 10 steps too. Haha. BP is the slowest "fast" player out of the batter's box I've ever seen. Once he gets going, he can run. But his quickness out of the box is no bueno.
Choo gets on first base quite a bit. Last season he had 108 singles and 73 walks and 14 HBP. Without including "reached by error" Choo was standing on first base 195 times last year.
It may not be ideal for Phillips to hit directly after Votto, but is it ideal for him to hit directly after Choo? I think that's the question, and my guess is he gets the second spot essentially by default.
Stats aside, I think Dusty would have to do a real sales job on BP to have him bat 6th and be content with it.
That's above the league average, so the second slot might be not the best place for him in theory, but with this lineup it's better than the other spots he prefers. The key will be for him to try and be more selective, but 28 walks in 623 PA's isn't exactly that.
Code:PLATE APPEARANCES YEAR PA RB BB AVG OBA GIDP 1 Brandon Phillips 2007 702 232 33 .288 -.011 26 2 Brandon Phillips 2010 687 226 46 .275 .000 14 3 Brandon Phillips 2011 674 236 44 .300 .026 15 4 Brandon Phillips 2009 644 211 44 .276 -.010 21 5 Brandon Phillips 2012 623 199 28 .281 -.006 19 6 Brandon Phillips 2008 609 190 39 .261 -.027 13 7 Brandon Phillips 2006 587 189 35 .276 -.019 19
"But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."
My whole thrust is that if BP make the adjustments to his approach at the plate which I beleive he is CAPABLE of making, he will be a fantastic #2 man. That's why I would place him there and encourage him to make the appropriate adjustments to his hitting approach. If he can't or won't make the proper adjustments, then on to plan B.
His reference is one towards the old divide between "the stats say..." crowd and the "my eyes say..." crowd. Basically, he's saying that a statement without any qualification beyond "I played the game, so you wouldn't understand" isn't a very compelling one. This was already stated earlier when someone asked how hitting more ground balls (read- trying to hit singles, trying to hit the other way, etc. with runners on) can lead to less GIDPs.
My view is that more valuable and "better" players tend to lead to more favorable outcomes and bigger hits in higher leverage situations. I view Phillips as being a valuable player, and think that hitting 2nd for him is just about ideal (especially when considering what he "is" to the team as a leader and his role over his tenure as a Red). Worrying about "event rates" like GIDP is a little bit silly and can lead one to miss the big picture. Likewise, I don't want Votto hitting 4th because of his grand slam on Mother's Day last year.
Putting players in a position to succeed isn't as hard as it might seem. A top of the order of Choo-Phillips-Votto (Ludwick-Bruce) is extremely daunting for even the best pitchers. Being concerned about the possibility that Choo could be erased because of a Phillips DP is not a unique event to him; Votto would be more than capable of hitting into a lot of DPs with a guy with a .400 OBP in front of him.