Phillips in the 7th spot

After all the questions about Bryan Price’s batting order, and his being coy about it since the offseason, the Reds manager came awfully close to what I projected before Spring Training. That included Joey Votto in the second spot, Todd Frazier in the third spot and Brandon Phillips batting seventh.

Phillips has started in the seventh spot only 70 times in his career, and 66 of those came in 2006 — his first year in Cincinnati. Price was asked about his lineup choices before Monday’s opener vs. the Pirates.

“I mentioned in the offseason, once we signed Marlon [Byrd], that we would have an impact bat hitting seventh,” Price said. “Joey is another high on-base, extra base hit type of guy setting the table in the middle for guys like Todd, Devin, Marlon and Jay, that will be power sources for us. That certainly leads itself to Brandon in the seventh hole. I wanted to create enough separation between Joey and Jay, where we don’t make it easy to matchup for a left-handed relief pitcher. There will be times we could see Jay move up towards that four or five spot periodically based on who’s pitching. I think there will be some flexibility in that middle of the order as far as having some movement based on who’s pitching. But I’m very, very satisfied, 1-8, with where we are. As I’ve said to our players, this will be fluid. If there’s a better way to line these guys up through the course of the year, then I will do that. I think this is the best way to get started and the best way to be the most productive.”

Price was asked if he had to speak with Phillips about batting lower in the order.

Well, we’ve talked about it, collectively, as a group,” Price said. “We talked about what our expectations are of each other and we pride ourselves on playing selfless baseball. Brandon is a guy that loves responsibility and not just offensively, but also defensively. He prides himself on being an outstanding player. I think he also realizes there’s going to be a lot of opportunities to drive in runs in that seven hole and he also understands and appreciates the need to be impactful offensively throughout the entirety of the lineup besides saying we’re really good one-through-four but then there’s a real drop-off. I think any way you dice it, we’re not going to be as vulnerable as a healthy ballclub when you have somebody of Brandon’s caliber hitting seventh and I certainly feel the way Zack’s swung the bat in spring training, and his approach, we’ll be strong one-through-eight.”

22 Comments

this will work out fine if he sticks with it. no changing it everyday like it’s been done for years with the reds. first crusty then last year with price, it hasn’t worked so hopefully he gives consistency a chance this year.

One thing I agree with Price on. I think it will be a breakout year at the plate for Cozart. He’s a better hitter than his numbers have shown in my opinion. Is he ever going to be a stud at the plate? No! But he is a better hitter than he has shown so far IMO.

I sincerely hope you’re right. I’ll be rooting for it, but I have my doubts.

What did I say about Gregg! That’s the guy we cut Lecure for. What a joke. Biggest joke, you bring him in in the 8th inning, after Cueto tears it up, just for him to do that…..I’ve said it since he made the team. He’ll be gone by within a month. Why not Diaz there, why not anybody else besides Gregg….what a joke! Price may have a set lineup this year finally, but KEVIN GREGG as our setup guy? Seriously man? I know it’s game one, but you can’t get any more idiotic than that. You went into game one with the game plan of Cueto going 7, then handing off to Gregg to get it AC huh? That’s just awesome to know…..can’t wait to watch that for the next month. Yuck!

Hmmmmm yeah, why not Jumbo in the first place? Wow!

Def. left him in too long – but the offense saved the day. Cueto deserved win tho.

Price is still up to his old tricks. I haven’t seen a guy hit as hard as Gregg was since the ‘Thrila from Manila’. After that laser that Byrd spectacularly caught running to the wall in LF (out #2), he should have been pulled. Somehow, we need to exercise the spirit of “Captain Hook” and infuse it into the body of Price. Sparky had no compassion for relievers that were hit hard and showed it; Price still is trying to be big brother and too concerned with the player psyche.

What Price needs to convert in his mind is that the most important aspect of his job is to win each and every ball game; period. Hurting multi-millionaire dollar baseball player’s delicate feelings does not, and should not enter into any decision he makes during a baseball game. If and when he admits to this shortcoming and corrects it moving forward, he may well become an above average manager. A managers job is to make pitching moves before the damage is done, not after it is done. I would say that I feel sorry for Cueto, but after last year, he’s probably tired of waking up in the 8th to this version of ‘groundhog day’.

A big AMEN, especially to your opening sentence.

Agree with all of the above . Jumbo should be the setup man . Also, what happened to Price’s statement that Chapman could be asked to get more than 3 outs ? He said the same thing last year . Again , lip service . He should’ve been in to face McCuthen.

Today’s opening day game set a new attendance record for GABP…previous record was two years ago; 43,168. Today’s attendance was 43,633.

I commented yesterday that Price and his decision making was a real concern I had for this year. He almost blew game one today and cost Cueto a victory that he had earned. Diaz is the setup guy for Chapman at least that was my understanding. Using Gregg in that situation made no sense to me.
Thanks Todd for the 3 run shot.
Defense was fantastic. Cueto was great. Bruce out of the gate already. Votto 2 hits and great stretching plays at 1st. All in all a great game.

Price probably wanted to show confidence in Gregg after he got shelled in Montreal . A feel good decision .

I don’t care what kind of decision it was. It was an absolutely AWFUL one. When the TV came back and I saw Kevin Gregg, I seriously lost it! Maybe he’s a hard worker…maybe idk. But so was Sam Lecure, and this is the pile of mush our management kept in order to cut a guy who gave his heart and soul to the city of Cincinnati in Lecure. What a complete slap in the face to a fan favorite type guy in Lecure. I said it a few days ago on here even before yesterday’s blow up. Gregg won’t be on this roster within a month, and I cannot wait for that day to happen. Nothing against him personally, but his days are done. Does the man even have a curve or slider in the arsenal? Because he didn’t throw one in that debacle of an inning yesterday…..

I dont like pulling our guys that have been here and put their heart in the team like Lecure only to have Kevin Gregg and some of these other minor league contract guys make the team. Kevin best year was a 3.5 ERA. I mean this is our set up guy. I didnt like Marquis making the team either. We have young pitching lets use it and see what these kids can do… Great win Reds.

Price’s selection of a BP pitcher to enter a game far supersedes anything I would know of his pitching staff for that particular day; I don’t necessarily fault Price for his selection. What we fans don’t know is the nit-grit information on how the pitchers ball movement, velocity, etc. looked over the last few days/weeks of ST and while warming up. However, I do fault Price for leaving him in when his fast ball is coming in flat and with little to no movement, and he has given up 3 scalding balls and one of the best hitters in all of baseball coming to the plate. This managerial trait, above any other single potential problem the team may have moving forward, is the most worrisome trait that Price has and has confirmed it time and time again over the last year and one game of managing. A team cannot give away a game after playing spectacular baseball for 7 full innings, especially when the team has a number of qualified BP pitchers. The reality is that Price’s decision failed miserably; it deflated Gregg in addition to all on field and off field players alike. Thanks to a rambunctious group of players, capped off by Frazier trying to “hit a fly ball and plate the R”, this one would be laid directly at the feet of Price. He’s a dead horse so I’ll put the whip away.

We’ll know more as the season progresses, but the 1st thought that went through my mind when Price kept Gregg in was ‘ He hasn’t learned from last year’.

Speaking for myself only – I was really glad to see real baseball again. Great fielding, great and not so great pitching, great and not so great hitting. Sometimes it’s hard to remember to enjoy the game and let the outcomes take care of themselves. I understand some people’s righteous anger: it protects you from the real pain of losing. But it also keeps you from feeling the joy of winning, and destroys the pleasures of the game itself. 162 games, guys. Pace yourselves. For me, give me the never-seen-that before plays (Pena’s dolphin-flip throw last year, the same fan catching two homeruns in one inning the year before, etc.). I’m just glad baseball is back. Go Reds!

Agree. It was long winter. Realize the joy of winning and the heartbreak of defeat. It’s part of the game. However, I’ll never accept giving a game away by poor decision making, Still feel bad for Cueto.

No wonder we couldn’t come to terms on a long term deal before the season started huh? Sorry, but I wouldn’t stay in Cincy if were him either. What Price did yesterday justified that decision for him even more.

I have not heard one word about how Mez caught Cueto, then to go figure Cueto threw a shutout. I didnt know that was possible. I thought we had to give Cueto a personal catcher, not that he wanted one.

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