Opening Day Lineup: Take 1

Charlie Manuel, Chase UtleyCharlie Manuel talked a bit about his 2013 lineup this afternoon at Citizens Bank Park:

“Who we’ve got on the corners in the outfield, that’s who’s going to dictate where our lineup falls.”

For the moment, the Phillies have Darin Ruf, Domonic Brown, John Mayberry Jr. and Laynce Nix in the corners. Everybody in the organization would like to see them add a reliable, proven, right-handed-power-hitting corner outfielder, but nothing has happened yet. If nothing happens before Spring Training, Manuel will have to work with Ruf, Brown, Mayberry and Nix.

He said “without a doubt” the Phillies could platoon in both left and right field.

“But at the same time that’s something that will have to be worked out,” Manuel said. “If it’s what we’ve got right now, if that’s what we’ve got to go with, I think going into Spring Training I’ll play everybody and just see what happens. … We’ll just wait and see. Since we’ve been here our organization has always tried to improve our team, and if we can that’s what we’re going to do.”

Hey, maybe Ruben Amaro Jr. has something up his sleeve.

“I’m not leaning into that,” Manuel said. “I’m always going to fish. Of course I want him to get somebody good or big or whatever, but at the same time I think we’ve gotten much better. Young is definitely going to help us. So is Ben.”

Knowing it is only Dec. 10 and plenty can change before the Phillies’ April 1 season opener in Atlanta, here’s my best guess at Manuel’s Opening Day lineup:

vs. RHP

  1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
  2. Michael Young, 3B
  3. Chase Utley, 2B
  4. Ryan Howard, 1B
  5. Laynce Nix, LF
  6. Domonic Brown, RF
  7. Erik Kratz, C
  8. Ben Revere, CF

vs. LHP

  1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
  2. Michael Young, 3B
  3. Chase Utley, 2B
  4. Ryan Howard, 1B
  5. John Mayberry Jr., RF
  6. Darin Ruf, LF
  7. Erik Kratz, C
  8. Ben Revere, CF

Now, why is Young not hitting between Utley and Howard and why is Revere hitting so low? I have Young hitting second simply because I think Manuel will stick with the Utley-Howard combo, which has worked for him in the past. And while Revere has spent the majority of his career hitting first or second, I don’t think he’s a fit there early in the season. Rollins is this team’s leadoff hitter until further notice, and Manuel said today he doesn’t like the idea of Revere, Utley and Howard hitting in succession. I agree with that. I personally like the idea of a platoon in both left and right field, but I’m certain Manuel will give somebody a full-time job if he gets on a roll (he’s looking at you, Ruf and Brown).

43 Comments

Josh Hamilton = Chase Utley Insurance

Platoon Ruf & Brown in LF.

They need to get a player that can hit and has a Power Bat. Anything less and they’re kidding them self,but not the fans.

Would love it if Rudd or Brown could get that fulltime job. I like Mayberry too but he’s never been consistent.

Wow this post is depressing.

That’s crazy talk. Revere, Rollins, Utley, Howard, Young, Ruf, Brown, Kratz should play every day. Speed on top, big bats in the middle. Young helping keep pitched honest against Howard (he is a pure hitter, no need for HRs there). Let Ruf and Brown play every day and see what you have. Or platoon in RF.
looking at this lineup is the reason why they need a big bat in LF. You can then platoon Ruf/Brown in LF. If you bat Revere 8th, you waste his talent. I can’t fathom Chuck has that in mind.

Sorry, I meant platoon in LF, and big bat in RF.

The Phils have to move Rollins out of the leadoff spot. They could afford his low OBP when everyone else was bopping, but they need to have Revere set the table. Then Rollins, then Utley, then Howard, then Young (provided he gets his BA up from last year). If they’re all healthy (a big if since all but Revere have been on the DL at least once in the last two years), that’s a powerful lineup for the top half. When Ruiz comes back, if he’s in 2012 form, he hits sixth and then it doesn’t matter which corner outfielder hits where in the 7 and 8 slots.

Ross and Swisher are too streaky, and the Phils seem to be disinterested in Hamilton (no idea why). Tough crop of OF this year. Creativity with another trade?

Swisher is streaky? Have you looked at his stats…like ever? Swisher is the model of consistency the phillies don’t have, but need badly.

Why not hit young third and move Utley to second? Ruf and Brown need to take the outfield jobs and run with them.

I agree with Marlon, Revere leads off Jimmy hits 2 (let him see all those fastballs) If we sign Hamilton I see Brown being moved as part of a trade for a reliever or starter. He’s really the only OF I’d want (on a the contract) otherwise I’d just give these guys a shot. If their not cutting it by mid-season make a trade. I’d rather spend 15 mil a year for 2 years with option for Dempster then have 4 years of Swish or 3 years of Cody. Because who knows how Halladay will bounce back and Lee is always good for an oblique injury DL stint.

sorry meant (on the right contract) after Hamilton meaning like 3 years w/option

Rather see Ruf in there vs Leftees and Rightees. Nix once in a while.

We traded Vance Worley for an 8-hole hitter? Way to go, Genius Amaro Junior!

Guess I don’t understand the locker room dynamics. J-roll hit behind Vic for years, why not Revere? Seems like Jimmy would benefit by seeing more strikes, assuming Revere maintains his high OPS.

Todd, just because Charlie doesn’t want to confront JRoll about hitting somewhere besides leadoff, it doesn’t mean you have to carry his water. Revere’s skill set is completely wasted in the 8 spot.

Rollins
Revere
Utley
Howard
Young
Brown/Mayberry
Ruf/Nix
Kratz

Really Need Josh Hamilton in the Opening day lineup behind or in front of Howard….do not like Mayberry, Nix, OR Dominic Brown at all….they are decent backups at best…..NOT SOLID starters….they are way too inconsistent. Nix might be a little better than Brown or Mayberry. Ruf is a solid promise and has not shown so far that he is not ready, and I am willing to see what he has. I am more comfortable with him in the lineup with the addition of a soilid hitter the likes of Josh Hamilton on the team. RBI machine = runs = WINS=WS…..cannot dispute that formula

Be happy. They supposedly made your boy an offer.
There is talk of Alfonso Soriano in a trade as well.

Reported $80 million over 3 years for Hamilton. If nothing else, if this is true, the Phillies have set the bar. With an option for a fourth year, the Hamilton bar probably is at the $90-$100 million range for 4 years. If Hamilton does allow Texas to match any offer as he has claimed he would, the Hamilton market is now down to the Phillies and Rangers with the edge to the Rangers.

Making the offer $80 million for three is a nice touch, because the expected market was $25 per. But the Rangers will match that. The next move is a fourh year, which would have been a problem for the Rangers if they signed Greinke, but now I think they will match anything. They could have had Upton for one of their SS’s, but the D’backs just got a SS in the three way deal with the Reds and Indians. The Rangers have to sign Hamilton.

Maybe I’m stating the obvious, but if the Phils go into the season with platoon situations in left AND right fields, they’re sunk. Darin Ruf is the only one of the four players mentioned here to get anyone excited. At least he appears to be living up to his potential, unlike Dom Brown. John Mayberry has had every chance to grab a job, but he can’t hit righties. Laynce Nix is a journeyman and shouldn’t be on the Opening Day roster. Josh Hamilton will be very expensive ’cause the Rangers will match anything the Phillies offer. Nick Swisher is the guy to go for, but that won’t be easy either. Bottom line – Ruben Amaro Jr. has a big challenge on his hands.

not to state the obvious, Steve, but because Mayberry can’t hit Righties, he’s being platooned with someone who can’t hit lefties-get the idea? Last time the Phillies had platoons in both corners was 1993, we all know how that turned out

Except, 1993 had less to do with platooning than it had to do with an ossified manager who could not think outside the box. Speaking of which, seen an ossified manager in Philadelphia lately?

Hamilton is the only free agent OF worth getting, put him in RF. I want to see Babe Ruf in left and platoon Mayberry with Revere in CF. Revere can’t get ball out of the infield so he needs to be fast.

If the Phillies want Josh Hamilton STOP playing games ….if he wants 5 years give it to him …do what NEEDS to be done …NOW, before you lose the most important acquisition the Phillies and Amaro will ever make, especially Amaro, He as GM has never been a WORLD SERIES winning GM….Pitchers only play every 5th day and you he has spent 25 M each on 3 pitchers so for around 27M per is going mean a lot……Offer and he WILL come. JUST DO IT

The last time the Phillies had acquired a player of his( Hamilton’s ) magnitude was Pete Rose and the Phillies Won a WS in 1980 and went to another in 83

But they (1980) also had a HEALTHY core in Schmidt, Trillo, Bowa, Boone, The Bull, McBride, Maddox, Carlton, McGraw, and a bench to die for. 1983 was the swan song for the former Big Red Machine and like 1993, they got lucky. Even with Hamilton the 2013 Phillies are a AA team next to the 1980 squad. Three Hall of Famers and a lineup of perenial all-stars in their prime….no comparison IMO.

The last few days I have become more in support of grabbing Hamilton at his price. He hits lefties very well and is a risk worth taking. Only drawback is we get Hamilton we are handcuffed by the luxury tax and that means you are done adding pieces to the roster. (i.e. no setup man, and that cost them a dozen or more games last year)

*Two HOFers. I count Rose as one because he should be!

Hamilton to the Angels. 5 years and $125 million. Let the wailing begin. And be sure to use CAPS!

honestly, unless Hamilton was goming for next to nothing, I don’t want him, and his “pills”. So far RAJ is having a great off season, HRs aren’t the only stat that counts and its time most of the idiots who post here realize it

PHILLIS and you cheap asses this is my LAST COMMENT….YOU let Josh Hamilton get away and I AM THROUGH WITH THE PHILLIES CRAP….nobody else they get will suffice……I hope they lose 100 games next year…BYE FOR GOOD

Wow. That is one terrific meltdown there! If he has been following the Phillies for as long as he says, then someone may want to check that he hasn’t had a coronary.
So to you, epic meltdown guy, taking a certain catcher off the board, can you name me one other “Big Time Bat” that the winner of 2 of the last 3 World Series had on their roster that helped them win? Hey, Angels, how did that signing of Albert Pujols go last year? Oh, hello Tigers, how did you guys like winning the World Series with all your power hitting sluggers?
And if you look at the Cardinals run to the World Series, Pujols really didn’t factor into their winning it. What I’m saying is, a team is the sum of its parts. Situationel hitting, speed, defense, bullpen, closer, good leadoff hitter. It’s not just about hitting HR’s, a bigger part is driving that guy on second or third home with one or two outs. The Phillies are not very good at that and that comes from the manager. Charlie Manuel is a terrific manager when he has young, talented guys that hit for power. 2 bloops and a bang, that’s what you hear outta him. He is not good for this older, power diminished roster with possible young talent waiting to be found. He manages with his heart, not his head. I, for one, am looking forward to see what Ryne Sandberg (hopefully) can do with this team in the years ahead. I say Sandberg because maybe he didn’t win a minor league championship, but just getting the team there after constantly being gutted by the big league club, has to mean something.

Great post gregg!

Thank you.

You lost me at “Charlie Manuel is a terrific manager when…”.

So, he gets no credit for guiding the Phils to finishing first in the NL East for 5 straight years, winning a World Series, or making it to back to back World Series. BUT, ALL the blame for not winning another World Series after 2008. Gotcha. I swear, you are the Fox News of Phillies fans.
Now, with that being said, I understand where you are coming from. Like I said, he manages with his heart instead of his head. Wasn’t he supposed to give Utley a day off at least once a week when he came back this year? No, he didn’t. Cause Utley is a “bulldog”. I believe his leaving Halladay out to pitch so many 110-120 pitch outings back to back to back the last two years helped contribute to the bad shoulder issues this year. And why did he leave him to pitch, cause Halladay’s a “bulldog”. Hey, awesome, they brought Darin Ruf up, let’s not play him for two weeks so we can see what he can do! Wait, what?? So, summary, I believe he was the right guy at the right time at the start of his tenure here, but he is not that guy anymore. Older players with diminishing skills and young guys that you need to play to see what they give you, are not the kind of guys for someone like Manuel to help win games. Same reason, really, why Fregosi was the perfect guy to manage that team in ’93.
Thank you for reading.

Gregg, wouldn’t know anything about Faux News. I am not into fiction. If I want to know what is going on in the real world, I watch the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. So to summarize your take on Charlie, he was a good manager until he wasn’t? Is this about right? Are you sure you really want to go so far out on the limb?

I would agree that Charlie was the right manager for the team through, say, about 2010. They had a solid lineup top to bottom and were leading the league in scoring with their ‘crooked number” approach. It was obvious that the offensive approach was going to have to change at that point, so they needed another voice. I don’t think Charlie can handle the small ball, get the runner in scoring position. station-to-station kind of baseball.

This. Thank you Phan, that’s exactly what I mean. Just hold on, I don’t know if this limb will hold both of us.

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Yes! I am totally on board with platoons in both LF and RF. Dead serious this is how my lineup is set up in MLB 2K12. No jokes. Oh and we’re 10-1 in my world.

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