Cincinnati Reds: Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips struggling at the plate this spring

Team's top hitter has five hits, 11 Ks

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — When are Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips going to start hitting?

If the answer is March 31, Opening Day, nobody will care that they aren't hitting in spring training, or that the Reds  took their 10th loss in their last 11 spring games Wednesday, or that their Cactus League record is 4-12.

But it has to be a little unnerving to fans to see Votto take another 0-for-3 with two Ks in a 3-2 loss to the Rockies.

Votto (.200) is striking out at a .440 clip. He has 11 Ks and five hits in 25 at-bats.

Phillips (.167) went 0-for-4.

Combined, Votto and Phillips are hitting .184 (9-for-49).

And it seems to be contagious.

Todd Frazier (.227) was 0-for-3.

Devin Mesoraco (.227) was 0-for-1.

At least Ryan Ludwick (.217) went 2-for-3 with a double.

The Reds rank 27th in team batting average (.235) this spring.

The three starters with the best spring batting averages, Jay Bruce (.333), Billy Hamilton (.318)  and Zach Cozart (.261), didn't play Wednesday.

Chris Heisey (.370), subbing in right field, provided two of the few Reds' highlights. Heisey doubled to start the second and scored. He also robbed Michael Cuddyer of extra bases with a diving catch that turned into a double play to end the first.

Rockies starter Brett Anderson gave up one run in five innings.

Reds starter Mike Leake gave up one run, three hits and a walk in three innings.


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