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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Articles tagged: Brandon Phillips

Nats, Reds reportedly talking Brandon Phillips trade

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After trading third baseman Todd Frazier to the White Sox, as it turns out, the Cincinnati Reds’ offseason firesale might not be complete just yet.

According to a report by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports on Tuesday, the Reds are discussing a possible trade of long-time second baseman Brandon Phillips with the Washington Nationals.

Phillips, 34, has been with the team since 2006 and would have to waive his no-trade clause in order to make such a deal happen.

The three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award winner hit 12 home runs and 70 RBIs on a .294/.328/.395 slash line in 2015. While he still remains a productive contact hitter and a threat on the basepaths (having stolen 23 bags last season), Phillips’ power numbers and once-exceptional defensive metrics have dipped slightly in recent years, perhaps due to age. He is in the final two years of his contract with the Reds and will be owed $27 million over that span.

The Nationals would pose an interesting destination for Phillips as he played under new Washington manager Dusty Baker for six years in Cincinnati from 2008-2013 and since the development of current Nationals starting second baseman Danny Espinosa has been progressing fairly slowly.

This news supports earlier reports that the Reds are willing to deal anyone and everyone on their roster, as evidenced by their trade of Frazier on Wednesday and their attempted trade of closer Aroldis Chapman last week.

With the Reds, who finished a nauseating 64-98 last season, all but certain to be in the midst of a full-scale rebuild this winter, Phillips may not be the only one joining Frazier on the way out of Cincy in the near future.

Brandon Phillips, Eugenio Suarez combine for amazing play (Video)

The Cincinnati Reds defeated the Chicago Cubs in a close game on Monday night, and they can thank their middle infield for that.

With runners on first and second and two out in the top of the seventh, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips and shortstop Eugenio Suarez combined for one of the best plays you will see all year. Phillips got it started with an amazing backhanded stab and behind-the-back-flip to second.

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While Phillips has been receiving most of the credit, Suarez showed incredible concentration to barehand the ball and step on the bag for the out.

The Reds held on and won 5-4.

We have seen some remarkable plays from Phillips in the past, but that was easily among the veteran’s best.

Brandon Phillips: Stats, analytics are messing up baseball

Brandon-Phillips-RedsCount Brandon Phillips as part of the anti-analytics group of athletes.

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale wrote a terrific article juxtaposing Cincinnati Reds teammates Phillips and Joey Votto, both of whom have had a terrific careers despite polar opposite approaches at the plate.

Phillips is a swinger who has never walked more than 46 times in a season and has a career .319 on-base percentage. Despite the low OBP, Phillips has slugged 174 career home runs and posted a .743 OPS, which makes him a well above average offensive second baseman. Contrarily, Votto has made his career by being a selective swinger at the plate who is content to talk a walk if he does not see a pitch he wants to hit. This approach has helped him lead the league in on-base percentage four times, walks three times, OPS once, and helped him win an MVP. He also has a stellar .950 career OPS. On the other hand, he has only driven in more than 84 runs twice in his career.

Votto believes that he is the most productive version of himself by maintaining his approach, even if that means taking a walk with a runner on third. Phillips cannot imagine having this approach and says his goal is to drive in runs by hitting the ball. He is so firmly dedicated to this goal that he has open disdain for the analytics-driven approach to the game, saying he thinks it’s “messing up baseball.”

“That’s the new thing now. I feel like all of these stats and all of these geeks upstairs, they’re messing up baseball, they’re just changing the game,” Phillips told Nightengale. “It’s all about on-base percentage. If you don’t get on base, then you suck. That’s basically what they’re saying. People don’t care about RBI or scoring runs, it’s all about getting on base.

“Why we changing the game after all of this time? If we all just took our walks, nobody would be scoring runs. Nobody would be driving anybody in or getting anybody over. How you going to play the game like that? People don’t look at doing the things the right way and doing things to help your team win.

“I remember back in the day you hit .230, you suck. Nowadays, you hit .230 with a .400 on-base percentage, you’re one of the best players in the game. That’s amazing. I’ve never seen (stuff) like that. Times have changed. It’s totally different now.”

Phillips isn’t entirely correct, probably because he was taking his example to an extreme. I don’t think any team wants a .230 hitter on the roster. However, some teams will tolerate such a low average if it is balanced out by a lot of walks and extra-base hits. But his issue is that the stats he values more, such as RBIs, are devalued by today’s analytics.

There is no singular approach to analytics and different people can argue the merits of different stats. Maybe Phillips takes swinging to an extreme and Votto is too patient as a hitter. Those are valid points to ponder. But one thing we all need to consider is that all hitters are different. Sure, you can try to swing at more pitches out of the zone. You can try to be more aggressive. You can try to be more patient. Every time a hitter tries to do one thing or the other, another part of their game or statistics will suffer. They just have to do what they feel is most comfortable for themselves.

Brandon Phillips responds to heckling fan with autographed ball, selfie

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Brandon Phillips may have successfully turned a drunk Pittsburgh Pirates fan into a Cincinnati Reds fan earlier this week. A recent story that was posted on Reddit describes a scene in which a Pirates fan started giving Phillips the business after a rain delay in the seventh inning. The Reddit user, who was the brother of the guy doing the heckling, said Phillips found it pretty funny.

“(My brother was) yelling, ‘Hey everybody, look how slow Phillips is!,'” he wrote. “My brother said the stadium was almost empty at this point, so his heckles rang loud and clear. According to him, Phillips even looked over and chuckled at one point.”

After that, Phillips walked over to the fan, put on a big smile and posed for a selfie. He even gave the guy an autographed ball with a hilarious message on it.

(more…)

Brandon Phillips: Bryan Price got ‘all in our butt and it felt good’

Bryan-PriceCincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price had seen enough during his team’s game against the Washington Nationals on Thursday. With the Reds hitless through three innings and having committed four errors in a loss the previous night, Price decided the time was right for a motivational speech. His players appreciated it.

After the 2-1 victory, Brandon Phillips described the pep talk the best way he could.

“He was like, ‘Come on, guys. Y’all know we can do this. We can do this. Let’s stand up for Cincinnati,'” Phillips said sarcastically. “He didn’t say that. He was cussing. He was gettin’ all in our butt and it felt good, you know, in a good way. You know what I’m saying?”

Even if we did know what you were saying, we could never admit to that. Shortstop Zack Cozart agreed that the Reds needed a “little kick in the butt” and Price gave them just that. Price would not go into detail about what he said.

“I don’t really care to talk about it,” he said, via ESPN.com. “We just got together collectively and decided to make a rally. … There’s nothing really important or significant, to be honest with you.”

From what Phillips said, it was much more about what Price did than what he said. I think his nickname should be “The Proctologist” going forward.

Video via The Big Lead

Brandon Phillips, Billy Hamilton make game-saving catches in extra innings (Videos)

The Cincinnati Reds defeated the Washington Nationals in 15 innings on Monday night thanks to some tremendous defense late in the game. The first — and perhaps the better — of two outstanding plays came in the bottom of the 12th inning when Brandon Phillips robbed Wilson Ramos of a base hit up the middle.

Phillips made a diving catch with two outs and runners on the corners. Had the ball gotten through, a run would have scored and the game would have been over.

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A similar situation arose in the bottom of the 14th with a runner on third. Reds speedster Billy Hamilton got a great jump on a sinking line drive from Anthony Rendon and was able to make the play. That sent the game into the 15th, where the Reds took the lead and held on for a 4-3 victory.

We all love walk-off home runs and the drama they bring. But the way the Reds won on Monday is almost more impressive.

Brandon Phillips gets USA goalie Molly Schaus with great photobomb

Brandon Phillips photobomb

Brandon Phillips pulled off one heck of a photobomb before Friday’s game at Wrigley Field.

The Cincinnati Reds second baseman got way up in the air and did a jumping jack type of motion to get in the background of a picture taken by Team USA hockey goalie Molly Schaus, who was at the Cubs-Reds game with a few friends. Schaus, who is in the middle of the photo, joked that Phillips must do box jumps to get that kind of air.

Phillips actually left the game with back spasms after tweaking his back on a swing against Jeff Samardzija in the first inning. With the pregame warmup routine he displayed, we’re surprised he wasn’t already completely loose.

Via @Reds

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