CINCINNATI -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips never wants to take himself out of action, but he admitted on Monday that missing two games last week while on paternity leave might have been a blessing in disguise.
After sitting out four games in early June with a left forearm contusion, Phillips came back and wasn't quite himself, batting .169 (12-for-71) in his next 17 games. However, Phillips entered Monday with at least one hit in each of his three games since returning from paternity leave, going 4-for-12 with a walk and an RBI. And he singled in his first at-bat in Monday's series opener vs. the Giants.
"I'm not the type of person to make excuses, but I was really hurting," Phillips said. "Hopefully I can get back to the same person I was before. I'm starting to feel better, and it feels good."
Phillips said he's getting closer to 100 percent, which is good news for the Reds and manager Dusty Baker. Although Baker said Phillips is not the type of person to complain about being hurt, he wasn't surprised his All-Star second baseman was playing through some pain.
"Once you get hurt in baseball, you can count on it being awhile because you play every day," Baker said. "It's hard to heal when you're playing, but the good ones find a way to play. The great ones find a way to play, and their production doesn't go down."
Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.