At least one person in the media (hopefully not the Reds themselves) have started beating the drum for Brandon Phillips to be the Reds leadoff hitter.

John Fay writes:

There’s a fairly sure-fire solution to the Reds’ seemingly endless quest for a leadoff hitter. It would cost only $12 million for 2012, and the guy is a pretty good defender to boot.

All the club has to do is exercise its option on Brandon Phillips and write his name at the top of the lineup card in permanent ink.

Yep, he’s been incredibly hot since moving into the leadoff spot…but he’s not a leadoff hitter. In ’08-’11, Brandon’s OBP in the #1 spot (315 AB) is .302. Drew Stubbs, who is everyone’s whipping boy in the leadoff spot, has a .327 OBP there (298 ABs).

Are you kidding me?

I hope this is just John Fay finding something to write about on an off day, not something the Reds would seriously consider as a solution to their leadoff problem.

What do you think?

35 Responses

  1. brm7675

    Unless they go out and get someone in the offseason, whom would be a better choice from those presently on the Reds 40 man roster?

  2. Jason1972

    It isn’t going to hurt anything to see what happens through the end of the season.

  3. eric nyc

    Some might make the argument BP is just having a career year this year – I believe he’s hitting his peak and should be in his prime for another 2 years at least. Part of the problem judging BP’s offensive output, especially for the past few years, is Dusty’s insistence on moving him all over the lineup. He should have never ever ever ever been a cleanup hitter, which he has been forced to do countless times under the Dusty regime. He’s probably had his best success this year in the #2 spot with Votto behind him. Maybe he’s just running hot right now in the leadoff spot, but I dont’ think it’s CRAZY to think he could be a viable option there longterm. Would I rather have a guy with Stubbs’ speed there? Sure. But I’ll take BP’s current cumulative OBP over anyone else on the roster. If he can thrive at #2 and can at least produce at #1 (which he is more than doing now) then I don’t care what his career numbers in the leadoff spot say. He’s never had a chance to get comfortable in an offensive role without being shuffled around and I don’t think he’s been playing at his prime until right now.

  4. Steve Mancuso

    I have such mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, as you point out, Brandon Phillips has a track record that would indicate he is no lead-off hitter. His hot streak the past few days have been great, but are meaningless as an indication of whether he should be counted on to lead off next year.

    On the other hand, even more I hate to think of the organization making their top priority “finding a leadoff hitter” — because they’ve proven they will screw that up.

    We’ll invariably end up with another Willy Taveras – a light-hitting batter with one or two decent OBP years based not on their ability to walk but on an unsustainable AVG. Dusty Baker sees “being fast” a more important quality for a leadoff hitter than being able to get on base.

    I absolutely do not trust Baker/Jocketty to find a real upgrade.

    Believe it or not, even before Phillips’ recent hot streak, the Reds had been above NL average in the leadoff spot. Where we have fallen short this year has been in cleanup spot (Rolen, Phillips).

    Assuming that Baker has overcome his mostly-irrational resistance to batting Jay Bruce fourth, the clean up spot should be fine next year.

    But the Reds should be out there looking for a masher – someone with real power – to bat in the middle of the lineup, not the next Willy Taveras or Corey Patterson.

  5. Jason1972

    I agree, if the Reds can only make one splash on offense it needs to be on a guy they can hit after Votto.

  6. Steve Mancuso

    Hope you guys out East are taking Irene seriously. The winds and prolonged power failures are your big threats, and not just on the coast, but well inland.

  7. David

    I don’t think anyone suspects Phillips will be the leadoff hitter next season. I’d like to see Denard Span in that role.

  8. rightsaidred

    08 was not a good year for BP all around but it’s part of the record.

    Last year he was at his worst (statistically) in the #1 spot. He has never had much continuity in the order so he’ll have a month or so to enjoy it and prove us wrong.

  9. Dave Lowenthal

    @Steve Mancuso: Someone should ask the Giants how Cabrera (1 walk and 3 doubles, I think, in 74 plate appearances) is working out for them.

  10. Dave Lowenthal

    @eric nyc: Can you define “career year”? Granted there is no actual definition of that term, but Phillips’ OPS+ as of right now is pretty much in line with almost every other year. When I think of career year I think of Brady Anderson’s 50 homer year.

    You are really, I think, just fitting what you have thought about Phillips all year—that he should be signed to a long term, large contract, because he’s a great player (which he isn’t)—to data that isn’t there. He’s the same player he’s been almost every year, which is fine. He’s good.

    • RiverCity Redleg

      @Dave Lowenthal:

      You are really, I think, just fitting what you have thought about Phillips all year—that he should be signed to a long term, large contract, because he’s a great player (which he isn’t)—to data that isn’t there.

      I’m not sure who you watch when BP plays, but there isn’t another 2B I’d rather have right now.

  11. Dave Lowenthal

    @Dave Lowenthal: To follow on, my Giants fan friend texted me that Sabean worked hard to find a SS that’s worse than Brandon Crawford and Miguel Tejada–a real feat, he says.

  12. Dave Lowenthal

    @David: Why? Just curious. What happened to the guy last year and this year? Where would he play? LF? The Reds need to kind of shed players there, I think.

    I don’t even really worry about the leadoff position specifically. More about getting good hitters on the team. Obviously the 2009 Span would qualify there.

  13. eric nyc

    The fun never really starts until Dave shows up…

  14. Sultan of Swaff

    The whole premise of Fay’s assertion is lacking. He’s zeroing in on one spot in the batting order when it’s been the lineup construction in its entirety that has been the problem. Against all fact based evidence to the contrary, he has been batting guys in the wrong spots for his entire tenure with the Reds. It’s not ‘old school’, it’s willful ignorance, and it’s the #1 reason he should be fired.

  15. OhioJim

    Since this seems to be the most current open thread…..

    It is being reported that Ramon Hernandez was claimed on waivers but that the Reds “pulled him back”.

    Fair to say I think that the claimer was who the Reds were hoping for in terms of striking a deal or else they just couldn’t get on the same page.

    Obviously, now the Reds play out the string with Ramon and offer him arbitration in hopes of picking up the type A sandwich pick. The question is do they have a plan for what to do if he accepts the arbitration? Hopefully it would be to trade him for what he would bring at that point.

    • Steve Mancuso

      The question is do they have a plan for what to do if he accepts the arbitration? Hopefully it would be to trade him for what he would bring at that point.

      Or they could trade him after arbitration.

      The Reds could make it clear to Hernandez that they are calling up Mesoraco and plan to play Hanigan as the other catcher. That, plus the fact that Ramon should get legitimate interest from several other teams in the free agent market, makes it pretty unlikely he’ll accept arbitration.

  16. OhioJim

    @OhioJim: Obviously this sentence above should have read:

    Fair to say I think that the claimer was NOT who the Reds were hoping for in terms of striking a deal or else they just couldn’t get on the same page.

  17. OhioJim

    @Steve Mancuso: Steve, you are presuming that the organization can formulate AND follow a coherent logical plan in the face of a year’s worth of data to the contrary 😆

  18. RiverCity Redleg

    I do agree, however, that he should not be our leadoff, and especially not our clean-up hitter.

  19. Steve Mancuso

    Another start for Fred Lewis:

    1. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
    2. Fred Lewis (L) LF
    3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
    4. Jay Bruce (L) RF
    5. Ramon Hernandez (R) C
    6. Drew Stubbs (R) CF
    7. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
    8. Paul Janish (R) SS
    9. Dontrelle Willis (L) P

    Free Yonder!

    • matthew

      Another start for Fred Lewis:

      1. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
      2. Fred Lewis (L) LF
      3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
      4. Jay Bruce (L) RF
      5. Ramon Hernandez (R) C
      6. Drew Stubbs (R) CF
      7. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
      8. Paul Janish (R) SS
      9. Dontrelle Willis (L) P

      Free Yonder!

      Free Mesoraco! That’s who I want to see playing the rest of the year.

    • rightsaidred

      Another start for Fred Lewis:1. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B2. Fred Lewis (L) LF3. Joey Votto (L) 1B4. Jay Bruce (L) RF5. Ramon Hernandez (R) C6. Drew Stubbs (R) CF7. Todd Frazier (R) 3B8. Paul Janish (R) SS9. Dontrelle Willis (L) PFree Yonder!

      This is absurd. Lewis has been starting once a series – at worst – since Heisey has been out. It’s like the three AAA OF are fighting for the 65% of starts that Dusty has predetermined they are allowed.

  20. doctor

    Regarding BP leadoff numbers, dont forget they are skewed by his 8 for 72 last year after getting drilled on the hand by Brian Wilson in that late Giants series, and Dusty runs him back out there after a couple of days despite BP’s hand still sore and swollen.

    I think BP would be an OK lead-off guy if left there or the guy the Reds have used the most, Stubbs, at leadoff was doing enough to be among the leaders in runs scored. Or maybe one of Sappelt/Cozart solves that spot.

    Not that the Reds will ever know if Sappelt can given Fred Lewis in LF again. Its very silly by Dusty (and Walt for allowing it to happen)

    At least Frazier is in there. He really crushed that HR in Florida.

  21. George Culver

    The view of Fred Lewis’s name in the lineup makes my head ache form anger. I truly think that Baker must think he has to win games NOW to keep his job. IMO it is this type of thing that should ultimately cost him his job. Yonder should be playing and for Baker to refuse to play him is just plain Baker’s showing how stubborn and pigheaded he can be.

    Does he really believe that these games now mean ANYTHING?

    Is this just me or is there something I am not seeing that’s going on?

  22. rightsaidred

    @The Singing Bush: Sure, I’d also like Granderson, Kemp, Bautista, Braun, and Reyes please.

    BP is heads and shoulders above every other NL 2nd baseman. He has the best defense in the league.

    I have heard a lot fans who watched the Big Red Machine 1st hand, say BP is probably better defensively than Morgan was.

    We can get that for 12 mill next year, no questions asked? Yes please!

  23. brm7675

    Not playing Yonder is simple…HE IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH to play LF. That fact isn’t going to change as long as Dusty is manager so I am kinda baffled why people wonder why he isn’t playing. Like it or not defense matter and teams play to win the game no matter what (that is unless you are the Indy Colts and have the season wrapped up)

  24. Jason1972

    I can’t wait to see RLN threads when Meso gets called up on September 1st and Dusty gives him 8 ABs for the whole month.

  25. Dave Lowenthal

    @RiverCity Redleg: That’s absurd. Out of qualified 2nd basemen in MLB, he ranks 7th in OPS. Playing in a hitter’s park. His defense is very good. Overall, that would make a good player, as I’ve said. Not one that should get an expensive long term contract, and certainly not one entering his peak at age 30 as Eric says. I’d pick up his option, for sure.

  26. L.A.Red

    I’m late to this party but we do have a lead off hitter his name is Denis Phipps and all we need to do is call him up?

    • Y-City Jim

      I’m late to this party but we do have a lead off hitter his name is Denis Phipps and all we need to do is call him up?

      At age 26, it is a big question mark as to whether Phipps success is transferrable to the MLB level.

    • Bill Lack

      I’m late to this party but we do have a lead off hitter his name is Denis Phipps and all we need to do is call him up?

      U want to count on a guy that’s having his first successful minor league season? Seriously?