Cincinnati Reds‘ All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips was taken out of Thursday afternoon’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers with an injury to his right index finger. Yasiel Puig slapped a bouncer to Reds’ third baseman Todd Frazier. Looking for a double play, Frazier tossed to Phillips. It’s unclear whether or not the ball hit his finger attempting a quick transfer throw to first, or whether it was injured when he and Justin Turner collided after a slide into second.
In a postgame interview, Reds’ manager Bryan Price spoke with Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, “I believe the ball hit his index finger on the way into the glove.”
That comment reeks of rotten tuna. Why would Price say, “I believe?” Shouldn’t he know?
Reds fans would be wise to hope the finger was simply nicked before the throw to first.
However, looking at the replay, the Turner slide nailed Phillips before he released the ball. After he threw to first, Phillips’ body flipped over Turner in an ungraceful fashion. His right hand was first to touch ground. Smart money says this—opposed to the ball hitting his finger—is how the injury occurred.
The play happened in the sixth inning. In typical Phillips’ fashion he finished the inning and took the field in the seventh. He even batted in the Reds’ half of the sixth, grounding out to the shortstop.
His spot came up again in the bottom of the eighth. The Reds were leading 3-1 with an opportunity to blow the game wide open—runners on the corners, two outs. Price elected to pinch-hit for Phillips.
Anybody who knows anything about Phillips knows he is not the kind of guy who leaves the lineup willingly.
When the Reds took the field in the top of the ninth Ramon Santiago took Phillips’ spot at second base. For Reds fans, just the thought of seeing Santiago playing second for more than a couple of games is enough warrant a week long, missing-work type of illness.
The Spidey Sense is strong on this one. Do not be surprised if Phillips needs a 15-day DL stint. It’s probably time to start gathering those doctor excuses.