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Can Phillips play with both hands injured?

CINCINNATI — Brandon Phillips just can’t resist sticking his fingers and hands where they are susceptible to getting crunched, crumpled and creased.

For the past three years the Cincinnati Reds vacuum sweeper of a second baseman has endured an endless string of finger, hand and wrist injuries.

But it has never happened to both hands at once. Now it has and he was not in Monday’s lineup against the Minnesota Twins. There are some scouts who say Phillips probably can play second base with no hands.

He has been playing for several games with a left thumb injury and he aggravated it taking a swing Sunday in New York. But he stayed in the game, long enough to injure his right hand diving into a base. That one knocked him out of the game and Monday’s game.

DURING HIS ABSENCES, his glove always is missed and now his bat is missed, too. He has a six-game hitting streak and since April 12 he is hitting .300 (71-237).

There is nothing to indicate the injuries might require disablement and Phillips took infield to test his appendages before Mondlay’s game.

“The right hand is the one that got him out of the game,” said Price. “He has had to deal with these hand and wrist injuries for three years and he has still found a way to give us real competitive at-bats.”

DEVIN MESORACO’S surgery Monday to alleviate a hip impingement was, in the words of manager Bryan Price, “A big thumbs up. I’ve been texting back and forth with him all day. We were given a very emphatic thumbs up on Devin’s prognosis moving forward. There were no surprises and they did what they needed to do to get him back to full health.”

RAISEL IGLESIAS IS expected to begin a rehab assignment Tuesday night for the Louisville Bats, a couple of innings or 40 pitches.

“The first one is always to just check to see that everything is OK and I think he is fine,” said Price. “It is not an arm issue, it is an oblique. He hasn’t had any issues since he began throwing and he has been throwing for a while.

“It is just a matter of building up resiliency so he can start and that might take two or three outings to get to where he can throw 90-plus pitches.”

PITCHER TONY CINGRANI threw a bullpen before Monday’s game and if all went as expected he will begin the rehab process Saturday for Louisville.

“With Tony, moreso than with Raisel, it is a day-to-day thing,” said Price. “He has been throwing a lot but he is getting re-introduced to the mound and all those bullpens have to go well before we can sign off on an outing.”

Cingrani’s shoulder problem is different from the one he suffered last year, “A different area, a different muscle grouping,” said Price. “I think he is strong and very close to being able to pitch again.”

PRICE ON TODD Frazier’s All-Star status: “We want him to start because he deserves it, not just because he is from Cincinnati.”

Price is perplexed over the voting process and said, “You are supposed to earn your way onto to team. Where we got to the point where one person can have 35 votes, well, I don’t understand the rationale behind that. The best players should be representing the teams with home field advantage in the World Series being on the line. I don’t like the format. Todd Frazier is the best third baseman in the National League.”



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