Ryno Wants Pitching, Needs Bats Too

Ryne SandbergRyne Sandberg said late last season the Phillies needed to upgrade their rotation heading into 2014.

He again made it a priority today at Petco Park.

“Solidify the starting rotation,” he said, referring to a rotation that ranked 11th in the National League with a 3.90 ERA and 13th with a 1.32 WHIP.

But this team needs much more than starting pitching. They need some big bats in the middle of the lineup. Internally, Phillies officials acknowledge Chase Utley (.660 OPS since May 28) and Ryan Howard (.685 OPS this season) would be better suited hitting somewhere other than third and fourth in the lineup.

Of course, No. 3 and 4 hitters are terribly difficult to find.

“Everyone needs the same thing,” Sandberg said.

Cuban outfielder Yasmani Tomas could be an option. He is working out Sunday for big-league teams, and the Phillies are interested. But Tomas could command a huge price, based on the fact fellow Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo recently signed a seven-year, $72.5 million contract with the Red Sox.

Sandberg said the team could use “more consistent production” from the middle of the lineup. He said he would like to see fewer strikeouts, too.

“I’d like to see that come down,” he said.

Howard entered Wednesday second in baseball with 177 strikeouts. Marlon Byrd ranked third with 173. But the Phillies could handle the strikeouts if they came with more power. Howard has just 21 home runs. Byrd leads the team with 25.

The Phillies are fourth in the league with 1,223 strikeouts, but are 13th with a .364 slugging percentage.

“Just an approach of overall contact, making things happen, putting the ball in play,” Sandberg said.

11 Comments

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This is just so frustrating! Is it his professional opinion we just need better pitching and hitting? I’m more concerned with hitting since our current pitching shouldn’t be losing games 1-0!

I agree offense is horrible and has been for the last couple of years

Not to worry, Phillies phans–Ruben will get the job done. He always does!

“Just an approach of overall contact, making things happen, putting the ball in play,” Sandberg said. Uh, excuse me but isn’t that the coaches and managers job to make that happen? And if the players ignore it, shouldn’t the manager have the stones to sit the player until he gets what he wants? Sandberg is a huge failure in my opinion, he has shown me nothing in leadership or control of his team. After watching him for a season and change, I now understand why the Cubs passed on him.

I agree big disappointment. I thought you are supposed to put the best nine on the field. D.Ruf can have three multi hit games and they bench him to continually play the utter failure in Brown. Sandberg has to have the balls to step up

They need to give done of their younger guys a better look. The Dom Brown experiment is an utter failure. Darrin Ruf has shown signs but they aren’t giving him a good look. The sad part is they have nothing of value to trade in the off season

It would be easier, and cheaper, for the Phils to add a couple more reliable relievers to their pen and hope for 5 or 6 innings from their starters. Adding more offense is a must. Spend the money there. At the minimum they would be more exciting to watch. As they are now they may be the most boring team in baseball.

CANNOT WATCH THEM! I am a Chase Utley fan but, since the All Star game he has been on a steady decline with absolutely no POWER! Any reason for this? He should be on the bench. If there is a physical problem — is one thing. If not, retirement needs to be considered. That is difficult to say.

there Pen is one of (the only?) bright spot on the team. They need 3-4 SP for next year, and so much more

I am thinking Papelbon will be gone. Defratus and Bastardo I am not sure of. A veteran for the 7th or 8th inning is needed. At this point I would not spend the money on a #3 or above starter. Improve the offense and at least you are much more interesting and in a much better position to spend money on a good starter later.

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