Revere, Herrera Make Most Sense Hitting Second

Ryne SandbergRyne Sandberg said nobody should read anything into today’s lineup at Bright House Field.

He said Monday following an 18-4 loss to the Pirates that he hoped to play his Opening Day lineup at least once before next Monday’s season opener against the Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park. So today’s lineup appeared to offer some clues with the exception of backup catcher Cameron Rupp playing over Carlos Ruiz.

Left fielder Ben Revere and center fielder Odubel Herrera hit first and second, respectively, which made sense.

“It’s a possible combination,” Sandberg said.

Revere and Herrera both offer speed and the possibility of respectable on-base percentages atop the lineup. Revere hit .306 with a .325 on-base percentage and 49 stolen bases last season. Herrera, who is a Rule 5 Draft pick, won batting titles in the Double-A Texas League and Venezuelan Winter Ball. He entered Thursday hitting .328 with a .355 on-base percentage in the Grapefruit League.

“(Freddy) Galvis is another guy in the No. 2 spot,” Sandberg said. “He’s another option depending on that day’s lineup.”

Galvis has hit .218 with a .259 on-base percentage in 550 career plate appearances with the Phillies. He has hit .246 with a .291 on-base percentage in 2,631 plate appearances in the Minor Leagues.

Asked if Galvis has enough hitting ability to warrant the No. 2 spot, Sandberg said, “Playing the game the right way. Setting up base runners, moving the runners and doing some things for the three, four, five hitters. That’s what Freddy has done so well this spring. He fits that mold very well, too.”

But the occasional opportunity to potentially advance a base runner might not benefit the lineup as a whole. The No. 2 hitter in baseball last season averaged 731.8 plate appearances per team. The No. 8 hitter averaged 628 plate appearances.

That is a difference of 103.8 plate appearances in a season.

It is going to be very difficult for the Phillies to score runs this season. Every out counts. So it goes without saying they should have their best hitters at the top, whether or not they play small ball as effectively as Galvis.

Here is a look at the average plate appearances per spot in the lineup in MLB last season:

  1. 750.4 plate appearances
  2. 731.8 (-18.6 fewer plate appearances than spot above)
  3. 716.3 (-15.5)
  4. 700 (-16.3)
  5. 684.3 (-15.7)
  6. 665.1 (-19.2)
  7. 647.1 (-18)
  8. 628 (-19.1)
  9. 608 (-20)

Galvis has hit a bit better this spring. He entered today hitting .288 with a .309 on-base percentage. If he can keep up that pace perhaps some time hitting second works. But if he hits like he has in the past that spot is better reserved for Revere, Herrera or somebody else.

6 Comments

They are the worst team in baseball, probably because those in charge have no idea how to put together a good baseball team. Sandberg is clueless as manager.

Wow. I wonder how Sandberg would have felt during his playing days if the two guys in front of him had .325 & .291 on-base percentages! He’d have been lucky to drive in 50 runs all season!

Remember when many people said Charlie was clueless? We have a new leader in the clubhouse.

I think we are making our second mistake with Sandbery: first we thought he couldn’t play and he could, and now we think he can manage and he can’t

Who else would the geniuses here on the comment wire put to bat 1st and 2nd? Surely not Howard or Utley? The options Sandberg has is somewhat limited. Let’s put the blame where it really belongs and that is all Ruben ‘Horrible Dealmaker’ Amaro Jr.

How about, Revere, Utley, Howard, Ruf, Asche,Ruiz/Rupp,…and the rest.

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