Phillies Eye Cuban Outfielders

Ruben Amaro Jr. said last week the Phillies need to make serious upgrades to their offense.

He could start in the outfield.

Despite the fact Marlon Byrd is fourth in the National League in home runs and sixth in RBIs and Ben Revere has the highest batting average in baseball since June 25, Phillies outfielders entered yesterday’s series finale against the Mariners at Citizens Bank Park with a combined .706 OPS, which ranked 19th in baseball. Domonic Brown‘s .622 OPS ranked 56th out of 60 qualifying outfielders. Brown is on pace to have the lowest OPS of any left fielder since Chuck Knoblauch (.582) in 2002.

Multiple sources said recently the Phillies will take a shot at Cuban free agent Rusney Castillo, but they are not expected to sign him. Castillo established residency in Haiti and was cleared by the U.S. government to sign with a team in July.

The Phillies could be more aggressive with other international free agents in the coming months. Cuban outfielder Yasmani Tomas has big-time power, and is somebody to watch closely. Tomas could hit the market in the next couple of months.

Yozzen Cuesta is a corner infielder, which would require the Phillies to shuffle several pieces if they plan to pursue him.

Tomas and Cuesta have established residency outside the United States and Cuba. They need to be cleared by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), then declared free agents by Major League Baseball before they sign. But action on those players could pick up once Castillo signs with a team.

5 Comments

One impact bat in the outfield could make a huge difference in this lineup.

I, for one, would still like to see Darin Ruf get more playing time too.

it is rapidly becoming apparent that Dom Brown is the weak link in the OF, although center field can be a defensive liability. But Byrd is coming to the end of his career, and hard to guess how long he can continue to put up these numbers. If they can get one good, younger bat in the OF, and developing a backup for Byrd (maybe Ruf?), they might be able to rest easy for the first time in a long while with regards to the OF. The infield could be a real cluster in the future, because it is rapidly looking like the entire roster except for 3B may be gone/ineffective all at once.

Instead of looking at positions, the Phillies should look at placing people in the proper batting order. Although limited defensively with few walks, Ben Revere seems to be an adequate leadoff hitter. If we move Utley to bat second, Byrd to bat fifth, Howard sixth for now; the Phillies need a clean up hitter and a number 5 batter. This is why we are losing in my opinion.

I really meant to say that the Phillies need a #3 and #4 hitter and will need a #5 hitter as well in the near future as well as a #2 hitter and a shortstop.

Yup, fan friendly, that’s all they need: a #3 and #4 hitter… and eventually a #5 hitter… and a young shortstop. Oh, and a pitching staff. Besides that, the Phils are close to turning it around.

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