CINCINNATI -- Which factor has most led to Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips' recent hitting tear -- just feeling good at the plate or the move to the leadoff spot?"It could be a combination of both," Reds manager Dusty Baker said on Tuesday. Entering Tuesday, Phillips had a 12-game hitting streak in which he was batting .434 (23-for-53) with 10 RBIs and 10 runs. The streak coincides perfectly with his move to the leadoff spot on Aug. 17. The Reds are 8-4 since the lineup shift. "That's why you like guys in the starting lineup where they are comfortable," Baker said. "Brandon is one of the few guys around that's comfortable anywhere. He knows when to take. He knows when to go the other way. He's learning, really, and getting better." Phillips came into Tuesday's game batting .299 with 12 home runs and 73 RBIs this season. Baker pointed to the growth Phillips has demonstrated at the plate since his arrival to the Reds in 2006. For example, he has learned how to avoid wrecking rallies by grounding into double plays. In '07, he had 26 of them. He has hit into 14 double plays so far this season. "Once you've been around a while and you've had some success and your thought process is correct, that leads to more success," Baker said. "His baseball aptitude and baseball IQ is off the charts. He's a smart player and a hard working player, which makes it even easier to be smart."
Heisey takes BP at Great American Ball Park
CINCINNATI -- Given a day off from his injury rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville, Reds outfielder Chris Heisey was at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday to take batting practice.Heisey, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since Aug. 7 with a strained left oblique, hit a home run on Monday for Louisville against Columbus. It was his only hit in three games while going 1-for-8. "I've been feeling better each time out," Heisey said. "Other than the home run, the results haven't been what I hoped for. But when you haven't played for four weeks, it's tough to start hitting the minute you come back to playing again." Heisey expected to play one more game for Louisville on Wednesday before being activated from the DL on Thursday, when rosters are allowed to expand. "Everything feels great. I feel like I am ready to go, 100 percent," Heisey said.
Alonso shifts to bench with Arroyo starting
CINCINNATI -- One night after his first professional start at third base for the Reds, Yonder Alonso did not start against the Phillies on Tuesday. When deciding whether or not he will start Alonso, manager Dusty Baker takes into account not only who is pitching for the other team, but who is starting for the Reds."I've got spray charts with guys where they'll most likely hit the ball, which pitchers that they pull the ball," Baker said. In Monday's 3-2 loss, Alonso did not get a single ball hit to him with Homer Bailey pitching. Baker counted on a strikeout pitcher like Bailey not inducing a lot of ground balls. Bronson Arroyo started on Tuesday, and he is prone to putting the ball in play. "There are guys like Dontrelle [Willis] that likes to throw sinkers and Bronson throwing slow stuff -- you want your defense out there," Baker said. "When Bronson is pitching, you want your best defensive outfield, if possible, because he will throw up some fly balls."
Seven members of the Reds were selected on Tuesday to participate in the Arizona Fall League. Pitchers Bradley Boxberger, Nick Christiani, Donnie Joseph and Travis Webb, catcher and 2010 first-round Draft pick Yasmani Grandal, and infielders Cody Puckett and Brodie Greene will play for the Phoenix Desert Dogs. The AFL season begins on Oct. 4. Defenseman James Wisniewski of the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets donned a Reds uniform and shagged fly balls during batting practice on Tuesday.