Votto 2nd, Phillips 3rd?
In all seven of his games this spring, Reds first baseman Joey Votto has batted second. In six of his 11 games, second baseman Brandon Phillips has batted third. In four of their games together, Votto has batted second with Phillips behind him in the third spot. (It will be five after Sunday’s game)
“I can’t commit to that at this point in time,” Price replied Sunday when asked if these would be the regular season lineup spots for Votto and Phillips. “You know, I’m just moving guys around a bit. Joey has stayed in the second hole. Brandon has been second, third and I think I’ve hit him fourth. Right now it’s moving pieces and coming to some conclusion as to what’s our best order is to start the season.”
In the 923 games he’s started over his career, Votto has batted third in 757 of them and second in only 31. Phillips has batted in multiple spots over his career but has been vocal over the years about his desire to bat third.
I don’t get too concerned about lineup construction in general, but seeing Votto bat second seems to work for me. I’d have batted Devin Mesoraco or Todd Frazier third and projected before Spring Training to have Phillips in the seventh spot. But based on what we’ve seen thus far, it’s doesn’t seem likely.
I will have more from Price on this later today on Reds.com/MLB.com.