04/19/12 7:05 PM ET
Mesoraco not shying away from plate collisions
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
Playing with pain, Phillips gets first homer, RBIs
ST. LOUIS -- Admittedly playing at 60 percent on a sore left hamstring, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is clearly favoring the injury when he runs.It was more than evident when Phillips hit into two double plays during Wednesday's 11-1 Reds loss to the Cardinals. He could not run hard up the line. Reds manager Dusty Baker was asked Thursday if there was concern about Phillips becoming seriously hurt by playing. "There's always concern," Baker replied. "I don't know anybody that hasn't played with a hammy or a quad or something. You could put him on the DL and you still won't know when [it will be all better]. That's the thing about baseball, once you hurt something, it usually stays hurt a long time. You don't have a week [between games] to recuperate. "That's why I told him to play smart with your stride -- have no sudden stops or starts. If you're out on a double play, just be out so you can play again. I told him if they boo you for not hustling, don't pay attention to them because you want to play another day." Phillips initially injured his hamstring on April 9 and missed five starts. He lobbied to get back in the lineup, which finally happened on Sunday.
"I've never been on the DL, so I gave him instruction on how to play hurt," Baker said. "When he was out, everybody was asking when he would come back and how come he's not back yet? Now everybody is asking if there is any fear of hurting him. You can't have it both ways."
In Thursday's 6-3 victory over St. Louis, Phillips was 2-for-5 with his first two RBIs. He hit his first home run of the season with a solo shot in the fourth inning and had an RBI single in the fifth. It raised his average from .207 to .235."It felt good to get my first RBI. My leg is feeling so much better," Phillips said. "I've been treating it every day. I feel like it's getting stronger. I stayed back on my leg more. The more innings I played, the more I started feeling it. At the beginning of the game, I felt real good. I think the heat on my leg was wearing off. ... I got a lot of Icy Hot on my leg. I have to put the whole jar on me next time."
Votto heads list of eight Reds on All-Star ballot
ST. LOUIS -- During a news conference in Kansas City on Thursday, the ballots for the 83rd All-Star Game were unveiled before voting begins on Friday. The game will be played at Kauffman Stadium on July 10.The eight Reds position players on the ballot are first baseman Joey Votto, second baseman Brandon Phillips, shortstop Zack Cozart, third baseman Scott Rolen, catcher Ryan Hanigan and outfielders Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs and Ryan Ludwick. Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via a mobile device -- using the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, June 28, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The last time a Reds position player was elected to the All-Star Game via popular voting was Ken Griffey Jr. in 2007. Last season, four Reds represented the team at the All-Star Game in Phoenix -- Votto, Phillips, Rolen and Bruce. In-stadium ballots at Great American Ball Park will be available from April 27-June 12.
Todd Frazier made his first start of the season when he played third base on Thursday for Scott Rolen, who was given a rest. Manager Dusty Baker had Joey Votto and Jay Bruce in his office for several minutes for a private meeting on Thursday morning. The manager would not discuss what the meeting was about.