By Stephanie Katz
All around the league, each MLB player has their own unique pre-game routine. Brandon Phillips is no exception, and his routine recently captured the attention of former Colorado Rockies shortstop and current Manager, Walt Weiss. According to the “Slick Red Machine” article recently published on Sports on Earth, author Jack Etkin mentions that Weiss made a point of watching Phillips go through his pre-game routine when the Reds traveled to Colorado recently. The Reds second baseman uses a smaller training glove during fielding practice, just like Weiss used to.
Weiss told Etkin, “It was impressive to me. Here we are in September, a guy who’s an All-Star player is still working on his defense and paying attention to his defense like he probably did in spring training.” Phillips, a three-time Gold Glove recipient, mentioned to Etkin that he uses the glove so that he doesn’t get lazy. “You got to be able to move your feet and use your hands. A lot of people like to catch the ball with one hand, and they get lazy,” Phillips stated.
Not only is Brandon Phillips excelling with his defense, but his offense has also garnered attention this year. As the article states, Phillips approached the season ready to hit in the second spot in the lineup, but was quickly promoted to clean-up hitter when Ryan Ludwick sustained a shoulder injury that would sideline him until August. Phillips told Etkin, “My goals had to change from what I had set during the offseason. Now my goal was to get a hundred ribbies. My eyes was on the prize.”
Ryan Ludwick has since retuned to the Reds lineup. Consequently, Phillips was moved back to the two spot in the lineup and has continued to be a driving force in the Reds offensive production. As it stands right now (September 16th), the Reds currently sit three and a half games behind the Pirates and the Cardinals in the NL Central. Cincinnati is currently four and a half games up on the Nationals for the third Wild Card position in the NL.