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The Red Sox recently signed the veteran middle infielder. What should fans expect to see out of the former All Star?
Just last week, the Red Sox signed veteran Brandon Phillips to a one year deal and assigned him to Pawtucket.
The initial goal with Phillips will be to send him to Florida to get in full baseball shape and proceed to AAA Pawtucket for routine seasoning. Most recently, the veteran was with the Angels & Braves in ’17. During that season he compiled a .285 average, 13 homeruns, and 60 RBI’s – this signals that he certainly has plenty of baseball left in him.
Of course, there will be speculation as to why he was released from Atlanta & Los Angeles, but the answer is relatively simple. Phillips was a veteran to lock down a position until younger, more promising players were deemed ready to take over. In Atlanta, the door opened for a future All Star in Ozzie Albies, while the Angels moved Phillips in favor of the (barely) younger Ian Kinsler.
It must be clarified that the Red Sox didn’t sign Phillips with the intention of regaining his All Star form that was present in Cincinnati. It’s clear that his best days are behind him, but the Sox may still get a viable piece to the puzzle – especially with the defensive struggles of Eduardo Nunez and Rafael Devers.
“Dat Dude BP,” as he’s was affectionately known as in a Reds’ uniform, has prided himself on his defense throughout his career, accumulating four Gold Gloves. Red Sox fans are accustomed to seeing the fantastic defensive prowess of Dustin Pedroia, but Phillips will provide a significant upgrade over the typical lackluster defense of Nunez.
Source: Brandon Phillips will play 3B for #RedSox at Triple A. Second source says “no connection” between his signing and Pedroia situation. Phillips, however, certainly offers team protection for Pedroia/Nunez.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 27, 2018
As Ken Rosenthal reported, Phillips will also begin to play third in order to provide defensive protection for Devers. The situation will likely result in the occasional platoon, or a late-inning defensive replacement in favor of the error-prone Devers.
Red Sox fans should expect to see Phillips as an alternative to Nunez, who may ultimately make his roster spot expendable.
Though it is a minor transaction, this is the type of moves that Dave Dombrowski will make as the Trade Deadline rapidly approaches. The Red Sox are strapped financially, while dealing with a depleted farm system. Smart, under-the-radar signings / trades are likely, as reflected by the trade for Steve Pearce.
The veteran will likely need to meet a minimum requirement of AB’s in Pawtucket before a promotion is considered, but a potential trip to Boston after the All Star break is likely.
Expect to see Phillips flashing the leather in Boston, while producing solid numbers at the plate. In addition, here’s a veteran that has never won a World Series and will do everything in his power to win his first in a Red Sox uniform.