Results tagged ‘ Ben Revere ’
I’m not even talking about a lot of offense. I’m talking about a little bit of offense. You know, like a four or five-run game every once in a while. But the Phillies hit their high-water mark on their just completed six-game road trip through Miami and Cincinnati on Friday, when they scored three runs against the Marlins. And they needed 10 innings to do that.
Let’s take a look at some of the wretched numbers:
- The Phillies did not score a single run before the sixth inning in any game during the road trip.
- They hit just .205 and scored a mere 10 runs overall.
- They failed to walk once in the entire series against the Reds. It is the first time since Aug. 13-15, 1995, they had no walks over a three-game span. It is just the second time it has happened to them in the past 50 years. It is the first time it has happened in baseball since Aug. 2011, when the White Sox failed to walk in four consecutive games. Walks matter. On-base percentage matters. You can’t score if you don’t get anybody on base. Ever.
- The Phillies are averaging 3.47 runs per game this season, which ranks 12th in the National League. They are 12th with a .667 OPS. They have walked just 34 times, which is tied for the second-lowest mark in the league. They have struck out 120 times, which is third. Remember how people said, “The Braves are going to hit home runs, but they are going to strike out too much?” Well, the Braves have struck out a whopping 121 times, just one more than the Phillies. But they also have walked 10 more times, and have scored 16 more runs. Of course, the biggest difference is the Braves lead the National League with a 1.77 ERA, while the Phillies are 15th with a 4.90 ERA. But pitching wasn’t the problem during this trip, other than John Lannan‘s performance last night. It was the toothless offense.
I got a ton of tweets last night during the game basically saying everybody must go. Ruben Amaro Jr. to Charlie Manuel to the lineup. Basically the entire team. Let me say right now: if you really believe this on April 18 don’t hold your breath. If you can find another team in baseball that made wholesale changes 15 games into a 162-game season, please let me know. The Phillies are going to see what happens when Carlos Ruiz and Delmon Young join the team. They are going to give themselves time. It might be fruitless. It might be a gigantic waste of time, but this is what they are going to do. So if you are breathing fire today you should relax. It will get you nowhere.
I’ve also gotten more than a few tweets and e-mails about the Phillies changing their lineup. The folks that absolutely demanded Manuel hit Ben Revere leadoff suddenly have changed their tune as he is hitless in his last 14 at-bats to drop his batting average and slugging percentage to .194. But the alternative is Jimmy Rollins, who went 1-for-18 on the trip.
The only real option to improve the lineup? Keep playing and hope things get better. Yes, that’s it. It’s not much of a plan, but it’s the only plan they’ve got. Ryne Sandberg can’t make these guys hit. Screaming at them won’t make them hit. Punishing them won’t make them hit. (Some fans seem to think treating professional baseball players like they’re freshmen on a JV team is the way to go. Not sure the Mike Rice method would be effective in the Phillies’ clubhouse.) Either they’re going to hit or they’re not. But massive changes 15 games into the season? Not going to happen. But Amaro won’t wait forever, either. He showed last July 31 he will make changes if needed. But it’s April 18. We’re a long way from there.
Your best option? If you’re of legal age, crack open a beer or have a scotch. It’ll help calm the nerves.
The Phillies lost to the Reds, 4-2, in what truly was a great game. Great pitching. Great defense. Some clutching hitting (although far too little for the Phillies). But a well-played game from both sides. The Phillies’ bats have been quiet since scoring seven runs Wednesday against the Mets. They have scored just eight runs in four games since. They could get away with that against an awful team like the Marlins, but the Reds are quite a bit better offensively.
Two runs won’t cut it in Cincinnati.
People have asked about the eighth inning and why the Phillies started Jeremy Horst in a tie game, rather than somebody else. The answer is pretty simple: Horst had warmed up and was about to go into the game trailing 2-0 when Chase Utley unexpectedly hit a two-out, two-run home run to right field to tie the game. If you’re asking, “Why weren’t they warming up Mike Adams or Antonio Bastardo just in case they tied the game?” the answer is even easier: you can’t warm up everybody all the time during a six-month, 162-game season in the event somebody might hit a two-out, two-run, pinch-hit home run to tie the game. You’ll blow out the arms of pitchers like Adams and Bastardo, and then you’re really screwed.
But Manuel also acknowledged they are concerned about using Adams too much. Remember he had thoracic outlet syndrome surgery after last season and had pitched in four of the previous five games. Bastardo had pitched in three of the previous four. Of course, if you’re now asking, “Well, they had Adams finish the eighth anyway, so what’s the difference?” They used Adams at that point because they were trying to extend the game and liked his chances of getting a groundball out. He got one. It just wasn’t hit at anybody. If the Phillies were tied or leading before Utley’s at-bat, then I bet Bastardo or Adams pitch. But they weren’t.
On a side note: Horst suffered some crappy luck in the eighth. He allowed a swinging bunt single and a bloop double to right-center field. It’s not like the Reds smoked the ball against them. But the bigger picture is the Phillies’ offense needs to get on track. They’re not doing much of anything right now. I know the pitcher has a big part in it, but the pitcher can’t have a big part in it every night.
I talked to Ben Revere the other day about some of his top highlight reel plays. Here are five of the best, with his comments below each one.
Somersault triple July 15, 2011, at Target Field. “As soon as the ball got by (Jeff Francoeur) … I didn’t know if the ball came right back to him. Target Field is a crazy stadium. You’ve got so many bumps and bounces. I kind of looked back and kind of saw he was about to pick up the ball. So then I look to see where second base was and it was right underneath me, so I kind of toe tapped it and that’s how I lost my footing. I knew I was about to fall down, so I forced myself to do a front flip so I wouldn’t miss a beat. I kept going and the third base coach was like, ‘What was that?’ I was like, ‘I don’t know.’ It just took all my energy. I couldn’t believe that happened. My family was there for it. They were joking with me, but I didn’t listen to it. Really, it was my dad and my brother. My grandpa just sat there laughing. They were talking about running and this and that. I was like, ‘All right, whatever, guys.’”
Climbing up the wall Aug. 22, 2011, at Target Field. “First, off the bat, I thought it was going to be a home run. When I was running back I saw it was kind of dying. I looked at the fence, looked back at the ball, I’m like, ‘I may have a chance at this.’ I just leapt for the ball and it fell in my glove. I came off the fence, looked in my glove and the ball was there. After the game I had like 50 phone calls, a bunch of text messages from people: ‘Dude, I just saw your catch. It was unbelievable.’ It was a pretty good experience. You have to be cognizant of where the wall is. You have to see the ball, of course. That’s why you take two steps, look back, two steps, look back. We worked on that when I was real young, when I first started playing the outfield and stuff. Just doing that really helped me in that situation.”
Should Charlie Manuel split up Chase Utley and Ryan Howard? Should Michael Young hit second, third or fifth? Should Ben Revere hit high or low? Should Jimmy Rollins hit lower to take advantage of his power?
The Rollins-Revere discussion is an interesting one, but very few people in Philadelphia have seen Revere play on a consistent basis to know exactly what he brings to a lineup. In fact, Manuel has said the same thing: he needs to see Revere play more before he makes any decisions about his spot in the order. But Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has seen Revere play. He managed him before the Twins traded him to the Phillies in December for Vance Worley and Trevor May.
I asked him before today’s game in Fort Myers if Revere has potential as a leadoff man.
“Well, it depends,” Gardenhire said. “He’s a .300 hitter. He didn’t walk a lot. He didn’t take a lot of pitches. But the kid can put the barrel on it. He finds different ways to get on, whether it’s dropping a drag bunt, he outruns balls. The walks … I think as he gets more experience he’ll probably learn to take a few more pitches here and there. And if they ask him to do that, Ben can do that. But Ben likes to swing.”
That’s a big if, obviously. Chase Utley hasn’t played in a single Grapefruit League game since 2010 and Delmon Young could miss the first couple weeks of the season because of an injured ankle. But if everybody is healthy, what will it be?
Here’s my best guess:
- Jimmy Rollins, SS
- Michael Young, 3B
- Utley, 2B
- Ryan Howard, 1B
- Young, RF
- Domonic Brown/Darin Ruf/John Mayberry Jr., LF
- Erik Kratz, C
- Ben Revere, CF
Here is what Manuel said about Delmon Young hitting fifth, providing that right-handed power like Pat Burrell and Jayson Werth in the past:
“Yeah, he can hit fifth,” he said. “He definitely can hit fifth. I think once we get to Spring Training and put him in and let him play, I think hitting is definitely his strong point. I think he’s a good hitter.”
Where is Revere hitting?
“He can hit in the top of the lineup to somewhere down toward the bottom. It kind of depends on how he looks. I have seen the guy hit three times. I don’t go on somebody telling me where he can hit. I go on what I see, once I see him.”
If Delmong Young hits five, can Michael Young hit second?
“Yeah. First of all, we can do a lot of things. But also, too, as I explained, if we are going to give people time off and things like that, then we will have different lineups. We are going to have completely different lineups sometimes.”
Note: Scream so hard your face turns red, but I don’t see Rollins moving out of the leadoff spot. That could change once the season starts or if Manuel falls in love with Revere, but Manuel likes Rollins at the top of the lineup.
Sources confirmed the Phillies have agreed to terms with right-hander Mike Adams to be their setup man and left-hander John Lannan to be their fifth starter. CSNPhilly.com first reported the Lannan deal. CBS Sports reported Lannan has agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract.
The deals are pending physicals.
Ruben Amaro Jr. said recently they were looking for a low-risk, high-reward starter to replace Vance Worley, who the Phillies shipped to Minnesota in the Ben Revere trade. Lannan seems to fit the bill.
Lannan, 28, is 42-52 with a 4.01 ERA in 134 starts in his career, which he has spent entirely with the Nationals. But Lannan, who has started twice for the Nationals on Opening Day, became expendable in a stacked Washington rotation.
He is a groundball pitcher, which could help him at Citizens Bank Park, although he has a 6.49 ERA in eight career starts in Philadelphia.
But the Phillies wanted a veteran presence to fill out the back of the rotation, which includes Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick.
“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:
The Phillies will not leave the Winter Meetings empty handed.
Multiple sources confirmed to MLB.com this morning the Phillies have acquired outfielder Ben Revere in a trade with the Minnesota Twins. Right-hander Vance Worley and right-handed prospect Trevor May are headed to Minnesota in the deal.
Revere hit .294 with 13 doubles, six triples, 32 RBIs, 40 stolen bases and 70 runs scored in 511 at-bats last season. He also carried a .333 on-base percentage and a .342 slugging percentage.
“If they get him, based on what’s available, they did all right,” one high-ranking American League executive said this morning. “He’s a solid average player. That’s how I look at him. He’s above average defensively. He can run. My biggest question, considering his size (5-foot-9, 170 pounds), is if he can play 145, 150 games. But he puts the ball in play better than I thought he would.”
CBS reported in the early morning hours the Phillies had targeted Revere as an option in CF. Things clearly picked up with Ruben Amaro Jr. and Pat Gillick holding separate conversations this morning with Twins general manager Terry Ryan.
The Phillies lose Worley, who projected to be their fourth or fifth starter. They also lost May, who had been their top prospect entering last season.
Because Revere is not yet eligible for salary arbitration, he comes relatively cheap, which would seem to allow the Phillies to continue to pursue a desperately needed corner outfielder with power. They are deep in negotiations with Rangers for infielder Michael Young, who would play third base if he accepted a trade.