When Phillips bunted on Opening Day I was ok with it. Then I thought it over and I was against it. I decided you can't take the bat out of both Phillips' and Votto's hands.
Then I read the following quote from Dusty after the game (on Fay's blog):
“That’s baseball,” Baker said. “If Brandon hits into a double play . . . we couldn’t take a chance on a double play. If Brandon has one fault, it’s hitting into double plays. He hits the ball hard on the ground.”
This quote caused me heartburn.
The Reds have decided that with Choo leading off and Votto hitting third, the man to hit second is Phillips. He will therefore bat with a man on first and Votto on deck - very often.
Does that mean Brandon will be constantly bunting for fear of the DP? Isn't Phillips one of the team's best hitters? Why put him in a batting slot that clearly gives rise to the DP possibility?
This all may be moot with the Ludwick injury. Phillips may hit fourth now. But frankly, it may be a better spot for Brandon. Heisey and Cozart aren't as good as Phillips, but they don't create the DP risk with Choo on first base.
Who needs a second place hitter who gives the manager double play jitters?
We saw yesterday the strategy against the Reds this year. Pitch to Choo, pitch around Votto, go after everyone else. The Reds have to put "everyone else" in the place that will lead to the most success.