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Brandon Phillips is generally a consistent producer over the course of any given season.
This season, though, Phillips has far exceeded his career averages for the months of March and April.
In 190 career games during those two months, Phillips owns a .274/.331/.458 slash line with 162 game averages of 23.9 home runs, 91 RBI, 94 runs scored, 18 stolen bases and 95 strikeouts.
This year, given Phillips' stats through the first 13 games, the 31-year-old second baseman is setting a torrid pace with a .327/.356/.636 slash line.
Additionally, Phillips has contributed four home runs, five doubles, 16 RBI and 11 runs scored.
Phillips' current pace is setting him up for a career season at the plate, and that's a huge positive for the Reds in multiple ways.
A productive season from Phillips will help shift the burden of offensive production away from Joey Votto. While Votto is a steady offensive threat, it's unreasonable for him to carry the load all season long.
What Phillips' offensive production will also affect is the quality of pitches Votto sees in a given at-bat.
Phillips has done a good job protecting Votto in the Reds' lineup and that's best evidenced by his numbers with runners in scoring position.
In 18 at-bats with runners in scoring position, Phillips is slashing .444/.450/.722 with one HR, two doubles, 12 RBI and just three strikeouts. Phillips also has a sacrifice fly and a sacrifice hit to his credit in those 18 at-bats (per Baseball-Reference.com).
With Phillips' hitting well behind him and Choo excelling in the leadoff hole, pitchers will find themselves in situations where they cannot afford to pitch around Votto. That situation alone can help carry the Reds to an NL Central title.