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Tag:Brandon Phillips
Posted on: July 17, 2010 11:56 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2010 1:31 pm

Volquez impressive in return

Less than a year after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Edinson Volquez was on the mound once again Saturday night, throwing 95 with a viscous changeup. In front of a sell-out crowd at Great American Ball Park, Volquez allowed just three hits to the Colorado Rockies and struck out nine in six innings, as the Reds kept pace with the Cardinals thanks to an 8-1 victory.

"Getting Volky back, especially a productive Volquez, is like making a major trade," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "You get a guy back, it'd be hard to find anyone out there better than he was. That was an outstanding performance, and he picked our whole team up. The guys are elated to have him back, you could tell the way they responded."

Edinson Volquez Volquez, an All-Star in 2008, joins a Reds rotation that started slow but has come on strong of late, in part bolstered by rookie Travis Wood. Wood, who was edged out for the fifth starter's spot in spring training by Mike Leake, will make his fourth start on Sunday. Despite not picking up a win in his first three starts, Wood impressed taking a perfect game into the ninth inning against the Phillies last week. In addition to Wood (0-0, 2.18), the Reds rotation consists of the reliable Bronson Arroyo (10-4, 3.95 ERA), a Johnny Cueto who seems to be putting it together (8-2, 3.42) and Leake (6-1, 3.53).

"I think we've got the best pitching staff in baseball," said second baseman Brandon Phillips, who hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning.

That 's likely overstating it more than a little -- but one-through-five, they may have the best starting pitching in the division, and that'll be important down the stretch. The Cardinals may be better with their first three, but St. Louis would welcome the guy Cincinnati sent down on Saturday (Matt Maloney) for one of the other two spots.

And with Volquez back, the team added a potential ace.

"For him to go out and pitch like he did today, there's a lot of teams in trouble," Phillips said.

Volquez's quick return should raise some eyebrows, considering his 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs earlier this season. Volquez has stuck to his story that he used a fertility drug to help him start a family with his wife. However, the drug was similar to the one Manny Ramirez was suspended for using a year ago.

Volquez looked similar to the pitcher that made the 2008 All-Star team, with his fastball sitting around 95 mph and a nasty changeup. The one difference was a newfound confidence in his curveball -- that and more hair. A lot more hair, but the curveball was just as natty as the dreads that added a couple of hat sizes to Volquez's melon.

"The last couple of years I didn't throw my curve, [tonight] I threw it a lot," Volquez said. "I felt more comfortable with it than my changeup. Last night I told [Francisco] Cordero my curve was better than my changeup. I told him I'd show him. Today he said, 'yeah, you're right.'"

Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan said he didn't know how they'd use the curveball, but both he and Volquez noticed early on he had a good feel for it and they used it more and more.

"We didn't throw it that much in rehab starts in Triple-A, but he had such a feel for it and threw it so much, he got some quality strikes and strikeouts on that pitch tonight that was great," Hanigan said. "I wasn't expecting it."

Volquez admitted he was a little too excited in the first inning when Dexter Fowler doubled and Carlos Gonzalez singled him in. He needed 22 pitches that inning and used 55 pitches to get through three innings. However the second and third time through the Rockies' lineup, no batter registered a hit.

"By the third, fourth inning, his stuff was ridiculous," Hanigan said. "He threw all his pitches whenever he wanted to with the action I've seen from him in the past. It's impressive to see a guy like that command all his pitches so well in his first start. When he does that, he's tough."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 12, 2010 11:46 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2010 12:21 am

Phillips in custody battle

Brandon Phillips Brandon Phillips is currently locked in a custody battle with one of his children's mothers, reports the Philadelphia Daily News .

Phillips was in court Thursday morning against Danielle Dalusio, with whom he fathered a child in 2006. Dalusio is asking for more child support -- receiving $5,000 a month -- and stricter visitation rights. This is because, as Dalusio alleges, Phillips has seen his four-year-old daughter a total of five days.

A judge set a child-support hearing for August and custody hearing for November to determine daughter Micole's future with Phillips.

Phillips has one more year left on his four-year, $27 million contract with the Reds and is hitting .294/.351/.469 with 12 home runs in 405 plate appearances. The 29-year-old was named to his first All-Star Game, which takes place Tuesday.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 1, 2010 3:28 am

Phillips finds his spot at top of Reds' lineup

Brandon Phillips CINCINNATI -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is already thinking about spending time with his family when the All-Stars gather in Anaheim later this month.

It's not that he thinks he doesn't deserve to be an All-Star, he's thought he's deserved it the last couple of years and hasn't gotten the call, so he's not expecting it on Sunday, when the teams are announced.

"I feel like I should have been an All-Star years ago, so I'm not looking forward to it. I don't really care," Phillips said. "I'd like to have my four days off and be in Georgia and go do some things with my sister. That's it."

With Chase Utley on the disabled list, Phillips, 29, certainly deserves a spot on the squad, alongside Atlanta's Martin Prado. Still, with Dan Uggla also fighting for a spot, it wouldn't be a shock if Phillips were left off.

With a 30/30 season under his belt, Phillips is actually enjoying his best season in the big leagues. Phillips is hitting .313/.371/.481 with nine home runs, 25 RBI and 10 stolen bases.

He's also finally found his spot in the lineup. He'd been used as a cleanup hitter the last couple of years, a role he was miscast in, but still managed to rack up at least 75 RBI in each of the four seasons and 94 or more in two of the last three.

That's where he started this season, as well, but Dusty Baker moved him up in the order in May and let Scott Rolen bat cleanup.

"He's fit in in every spot we've put him in," Baker said. "He fit in at second, he did well in the cleanup spot, even though he was much-maligned, he still had 97 RBI. Now he's taken to this leadoff spot, he's taking pitches, he's a smart player. He's not hitting .313 because he can't play."

Still, Phillips said he's changed his approach dramatically since he's been moved up in the lineup, cutting down his swing and laying off pitches outside the strike zone.

"I'm not the same hitter I was when i hit fourth, the way I hit right now, I can't hit fourth doing it," Phillips said. "Hitting fourth, it's all about RBI, I proved to everybody I can hit fourth. I didn't hit for a high average, but I had the power numbers and I had the RBIs. I had 90-plus RBIs every year, but that's not me. I'm the type of guy who has gotten the team going. I'm trying to show everyone that I can do many things."

Too often, perhaps, he was trying to show others who he was instead of listening to himself.

"He hits the ball to the opposite field very well, I don't want to put words into his mouth, but I think with a man on first base he feels like he can hit that hole instead of swinging for a double or a home run," Rolen said. "For me, I'm not going to hit that hole, I'm not going to shoot a ball into the hole or bunt. I'm going to try to hit the ball in the middle of the field and hit the gaps. If I hit second, that's what I try to do. He's got a nice compact, right-field swing, but he can also hit the ball out of the ballpark. He sprays singles around and that's healthy."

Rolen has been something of a mentor to Phillips. It's not overt or like Rolen has put his arm around Phillips' shoulders and telling him the secrets of the game. That's not Rolen's style, but Phillips has been sure to keep an eye on the veteran and listen to everything he says.

"Scott Rolen told me, 'Brandon you don't know what type of player you are until you start winning.' I'm starting to see what he meant by that," Phillips said. "Scotty said he's seen so much potential in me and I have yet to see it. I'm starting to see it now. Coming from Scott Rolen, someone who has been at it a long time, to get a comment like that… I'm just going to run with it and do what I'm do."

What he's been able to do so far is spark the Reds offense at the top of the lineup. He has a career-high .371 on-base percentage. Last season he got on base at a .329 clip and has just a .318 career OBP.

"I like hitting leadoff, I jut have to change my role. Ever since they've moved me to first or second, my job is to get on base," Phillips said. "I'm not trying to hit for power or do what I was doing when I was hitting fourth. Right now, my main objective is to get on base for Joey Votto, Rolen and (Jonny) Gomes."

It's a sound strategy -- Phillips leads the National League with 60 runs, in part because he's on base for Votto, Rolen and Gomes, all three in the top 11 in RBI in the National League.

Phillips has just seven games in the leadoff spot, but the numbers aren't that much different than what he's been doing over the last month. As a leadoff guy, he's hitting .417/.447/.556 and in the last 30 games, .395/.424/.543, including a 2-for-5 performance against Roy Halladay in Wednesday's Reds victory.

The Reds have been searching for a leadoff man for the last couple of years, using the likes of Jerry Hairston Jr., Ryan Freel, Drew Stubbs, Cabrera, Willy Taveras and Corey Patterson. In the end, maybe the player they were searching for was right there under their nose, even if he wasn't ready for it. But, now, Phillips says, it's his time.

"I've got to be the Jose Reyes, Jimmy Rollins for this team. I'm just trying to get things started," Phillips said. "It's fun. Winning is really just turned me into a different player, it's made me stay on top of my game and made me stay focused."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 29, 2010 4:39 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2010 5:04 pm

Reds' Phillips pleads guilty to moving violation

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips pleaded guilty to a reckless driving charge on Tuesday,'s Mark Sheldon reports .

The Kenton County (Ky.) prosecutor and Phillips' attorney agreed to a deal to avoid a conviction. Phillips will take a three-hour remedial driving course and pay court costs. At the completion of the course, the infraction will be taken off his driving record and he won't pay a fine.

"It's standard operating procedure for a case like this," Phillips attorney, Alex Triantafilou told Sheldon. "Brandon took responsibility for this. He had a new car and was going too fast."

Phillips was arrested Friday night in Park Hills, Ky., across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, for driving 72 mph in a 35 mph zone. There was no alcohol involved, and Phillips' mother was even in his new Audi when he was pulled over.

In a city where the professional football players can't seem to stay out of trouble (even today, a Bengal was arrested ), the Reds have had few arrests in recent years, the last was Ryan Freel's DUI in 2005.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 28, 2010 9:28 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2010 9:30 pm

No. 300 for resurgent Rolen

Scott Rolen When they traded for him last July, the Reds were hoping 35-year-old Scott Rolen would add some veteran punch to their lineup. Well, Rolen is landing plenty of punches in 2010.

The third baseman hit his 300th career home run Monday night, connecting against Kyle Hendrick of the Phillies (his first major-league team) at Great American Ball Park. It was another highlight in a season that has been full of them for Rolen this year.

The home run was Rolen's 17th of the season, more than he's had in any full season since 2006. He's on pace for 39, a career high. Rolen has 52 RBI in 70 games, on pace for 120.

The hitter-friendly dimensions of GABP explain some of Rolen's offensive uptick, but he's still a great story. Second baseman Brandon Phillips told the New York Times this month that Rolen is a major reason for way the Reds are putting the pieces together this season.
"Now, we have guys who keep on pushing us, saying the game’s not over till it’s over," Phillips said. "It’s a beautiful thing just to have Scott Rolen. Scott Rolen is the key thing [general manager] Walt Jocketty did, getting him over here. We’ve been competing all these years, and nothing happened. But now that we have guys on our team who know how to win and get the job done."
Rolen is the 128th member of the 300-homer club. He became the third player this season to hit his 300th, joining the Cubs' Derrek Lee and Alfonso Soriano.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 26, 2010 3:40 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:25 am

Reds' Phillips can't drive 35

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was arrested and charged with reckless driving in a Cincinnati suburb Friday night, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported .

Phillips, who went 2 for 5 in the Reds' 10-3 victory over the visiting Indians Friday night, was clocked at 72 mph in a 35-mph zone just after 11 p.m. He posted a $25 bond after being booked in the Kenton County Jail. The police said no alcohol was involved.

Phillips, who had his mother as a passenger, is scheduled to appear in Kenton County Municipal Court Tuesday morning.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 13, 2010 12:58 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2010 4:23 pm

Reds' Phillips scratched

Reds second basemann Brandon Phillips was a late scratch because of leg soreness, the Cincinnati Enquirer's Tom Groeschen reports .

Phillips, in the midst of a 15-game hitting streak, has started every game this season and missed just five innings the entire season, including the last two innings of the Reds' 11-5 victory over the Royals on Saturday. Phillips suffered a cramp in his right hamstring against Pittsburgh on May 27 which caused him to miss the last three innings of that game.

Reds manager Dusty Baker said Phillips -- and third baseman Scott Rolen, who is getting a day off -- will be available to pinch-hit against Zack Greinke and the Royals on Sunday.

Like the rest of the Reds, Phillips has rebounded from a slow start, hitting .358 in his last 42 games and is now hitting .311/.371/.488 on the season with eight home runs and 23 RBI.

UPDATE: Phillips will undergo an MRI on Monday, he told Groeschen .

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or