How in the world, you may ask yourself, did Brandon Phillips get over 600 PA in the number 3 and 4 spots in the Reds lineup and still fall 2 RBI short of the 100 mark? For crying out loud, over 500 of those PA were in the number 4 spot batting, most often, behind Joey Votto, who put up an incredible .414 OBP. Well, basically, it’s because Dusty Baker is simply bad at building a batting order.

The number 1 and 2 spots in the Reds lineup each ranked 15th in the NL in OBP.

Group                OBP
Reds Overall        .318
NL Overall          .330
Reds #1             .302
NL #1               .340
Reds #2             .302
NL #2               .337

Who were the big contributors that were selected by Dusty to put up the atrocious OBP numbers above in the #1 and #2 spots in the order?

Batting 1st   PA   OBP
Taveras      368  .275
Stubbs       186  .330
Dickerson    126  .365
Hairston      46  .217

Batting 2nd   PA   OBP
Hairston     243  .316
Janish       162  .310
Dickerson     92  .330
Gonzalez      71  .279
Taveras       62  .300

Chris Dickerson and Drew Stubbs are predictably the only two players to put up at least league-average OBP for the Reds this season in the top two spots in the batting order. These two aside, Dusty Baker made some obviously horrendous choices to populate the top two spots of the Reds batting order.

So how did these bad choices affect the RBI opportunities for the #3 and #4 hitters in the Reds lineups? The numbers below show how many baserunners the Reds top two spots in the order produced in 1489 PA, and how many they would have produced at both a league average OBP and at the league average OBP for the top two spots in the order.

Group          OBP   BR
Reds #1+#2    .302  450
NL AVG OBP    .330  492
NL AVG #1+#2  .339  504

So the Reds top two spots in the order produced 42 fewer baserunners than they would have with a league average OBP and 54 fewer baserunners than they would have with the league average OBP for number 1 and 2 hitters. Anybody think that with another 40+ baserunners on base ahead of him that Brandon Phillips would have picked up 2 extra RBI this season to get him to the 100 RBI mark?

Now why was Phillips batting #4 in the first place? Well, basically it’s because Dusty Baker is simply bad at building a batting order. Lather, rinse, repeat…….