It’ll be a few days before Brandon Phillips gets to start justifying the Reds’ $72.5 million commitment to him.
Manager Dusty Baker said Tuesday that Phillips would miss three or four days because of a sore left hamstring, the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay reports.
Phillips, for his part, said he was ready to play.
“His mind is telling him he can play,” Baker said. “But his body is telling him no. That’s the attitude you want but we’ve got to look at the big picture. This is the one thing you’re always fearful of early in the year when the weather turns — somebody pulling or tweaking something.”
In a minor surprise, Willie Harris is replacing Phillips at second base and in the leadoff spot today. Harris came up primarily as a second baseman, but he started just 16 games there from 2009-11. Miguel Cairo seemed the more likely choice to start.
As is offseason tradition, the first of player-shape reports are trickling in. These usually use some variation of the phrase “best shape of [my/his] life.” This one, though, avoids that at least.
According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds so far this offseason. Schwarber said that he’s “already big and strong,” so “might as well try to get more explosive, faster.”
Though Schwarber knocked out 30 home runs this past season, his numbers were otherwise pedestrian. He hit .211/.315/.467 with 59 RBI and 67 runs scored in 486 plate appearances.
There has been some speculation that the Cubs will try to trade Schwarber to an American League team where he can be a DH. He’s a subpar defender, so making him a full-time DH makes a lot of sense. So far, though, the only team that has been linked to Schwarber this offseason has been the Red Sox.