After missing more than five weeks of action due to a torn tendon in his thumb, Phillips rejoined the Reds Monday against the St. Louis Cardinals, starting at second base and batting sixth in an eventual 6-5, 10-inning loss.
Though he registered just one walk in his five plate appearances, Phillips appeared to make it through the game without incident, setting him up to reach the 1,500-hit milestone before the end of this week.
With 1,409 of his 1,498 career hits coming in a Cincinnati uniform, Phillips ranks 12th on the all-time franchise list for a team that can lay claim to some excellent hitters.
The top two spots on said list are unsurprisingly held by MLB hit king Pete Rose (3,358) and Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin (2,340).
Signed with Cincinnati through 2017, the 33-year-old Phillips will likely climb into the top-10 spots on the franchise hits list, as he's just 30 behind 11th-place Frank McCormick (1,439) and 90 behind 10th-place Ted Kluszewski (1,499).
Ninth-place Frank Robinson has a comfortable lead over Phillips, with the Hall of Famer's 1,673 hits for the Reds besting the second baseman's 1,409 by a margin of 264.
While he has a shot to become the sixth player in franchise history with 2,000 hits in a Reds uniform, Phillips has shown undeniable signs of decline the last few seasons. Following perhaps the best year of his career in 2011, the veteran second baseman dropped back to his career norms in 2012 and then sunk even lower in 2013.
While his batting average has bounced back a bit from last season's .261, Phillips owns perhaps his worst slash line since joining the Reds, sitting at .269/.307/.388 through 87 games.
His .695 OPS would mark a personal worst during his Cincinnati tenure, falling just short of the .706 mark he posted last year. Prior to 2013, Phillips' worst season-long OPS as a Red was .750 from 2012.
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