I'm sure we all did this when Andy Phillips was signed, but I've been looking into him lately. Another thread got me thinking about the future of 1b. Andy Phillips has incredible offensive numbers in AAA, and though he's struggled in the MLB w/ the NYY, he's actually had decent production as of late:
He's older than Votto and has more experience that could account for his dominance in AAA, but his numbers in AAA are similar to Votto's, w/ 1 exception - Phillips hits LH and RH about equally ... meaning he's not a great candidate for a platoon. Votto, on the other hand, is very, very weak against LH pitching.
WK, might be seeing (1) A.Phillips as the next B.Phillips (but older)... great minor-league numbers and starting to turn the corner in the MLB... or (2) maybe he's filler or (3) maybe he's a AAA replacement for Votto coming up the majors...
However, if WK's mindset is (1) above, I think the Reds have an interesting question about 1st base:
-Votto/Keppinger platoon w/ Hatteberg as a solid bench guy (which Hatteberg has been vocal about not wanting to be) or
-A.Phillips given a chance to become the 1st baseman of the future (a la the route he took w/ David Ross)
In WK's mind.. he may view Votto & Phillips as equals. It's known that he views Votto as a AAAA player, and in his mind the differences may be that Votto is younger and cheaper while Phillips can hit off LH/RH nearly equally.
I think there's a good chance that we see Votto shopped hard before the season starts. Thoughts?