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About Time: Charlie Manuel Shakes Up the Batting Order in Boston

May 27, 2013, 5:10 PM EDT

manuel-lineup

Coming off of their tough series loss in our nation’s capital, the Phillies embark on the first part of a home-and-home of sorts against the Red Sox to close out the holiday weekend. In case you were wondering how the team would respond to its latest letdown, Charlie Manuel finally decided to try something different with the lineup card.

The big changes are at the top of the order, starting with Ben Revere in the leadoff for just the second time since April 17. Revere may have failed his original audition for the role, but he’s looked more comfortable at the plate in the month of May, producing a .377 on-base percentage through 21 games.

Michael Young is in the two-hole for only the fourth game this season. Otherwise Young has been a mainstay in the middle of the lineup, which is perplexing given his dismal power numbers – 1 HR, 10 RBI, .351 SLG – and penchant for rally-killing double plays, leading all of Major League Baseball with 12.

And for the second time in 2013, Jimmy Rollins is batting third. Charlie has experimented with J-Roll there in the past, to little success. He has a .610 OPS in 87 career starts, lower than any other spot one through eight.

It was either Rollins three, or drop him down even further. Revere is getting on base, and as long as he can remain consistent is probably still the logical choice to bat leadoff. You could make the case Young should move down to suit his plummeting average – down to .268, as he’s now gone hitless over the last four games – but Charlie is likely counting on him to bust out of the slump.

Besides, who on this club is so much better suited to bat in the three-hole?

Ryan Howard, Delmon Young (DH), and Domonic Brown are in their traditional Nos. 4, 5, and 6. John Mayberry is in right field and hits seventh, followed by Freddy Galvis and Erik Kratz bringing up the rear.

Obviously the movement at the top is temporary to some degree assuming Chase Utley is on track to return when his 15 days on the disabled list are up. Any mix-up is welcome at this point though, particularly for Young who we’ve practically been begging to see lifted from the heart of the order for weeks.

If the offense shows improvement, some of the differences could become permanent upon Utley’s return as well. Revere has the potential to be a fixture at the top of the Phils’ lineup, and Young’s position clearly has been out of whack for awhile.

Either way, a shake-up of sorts was long overdue. You can only hope Manuel doesn’t go right back to the usual order after this one inevitably doesn’t produce tonight.

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Thank you on this Memorial Day and every day to all of the men and women who have served in our armed forces.

  1. Andy Schreiber - May 27, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Gotta do something to shake things up.

    Rollins really needs to start producing.

    Reply
    • Marc W. - May 27, 2013 at 6:12 PM

      Rearrange those deck chairs all you want, this ship is sinking.

      Reply
  2. Jason R. - May 27, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Get those Michael Young GIDPs out of the way early…

    Reply
    • Andrew Kulp - May 27, 2013 at 7:22 PM

      I would hope Revere would either steal or they would at least consider sacrificing depending on the situation, although the latter is probably wishful thinking.

      Reply
  3. Matt M - May 27, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    So people are starting to realize Michael Young isn’t that good at baseball.

    Reply
    • Andrew Kulp - May 27, 2013 at 8:13 PM

      Eh, I think Michael Young is fine for a one-year solution at third base, that doesn’t mean I think he should be batting third.

      Reply
    • myyy - May 27, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      he’s a 7 time all star and is close to if not already a .300 lifetime hitter….

      Reply
  4. Matt S. - May 27, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    Boston has 10 hits in 3 innings. Hard to find the words for this game right now.

    Reply
    • willh888 - May 27, 2013 at 9:20 PM

      Just as many runs as errors through 6. The word is hilarious.

      Reply
  5. willh888 - May 27, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Sometimes you just have to see the writing on the circus tent. Start moving guys from their entitled spots and treat it like a real baseball team. Post everyone’s OBP on a board in the locker room. Simple little inspirational punch lines aren’t going to get these guys going.

    Reply
  6. BenE. - May 28, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Ok, I’ll finally say what I’ve been thinking for a while: we all have special places in our hearts for some of these players, but the rest of MLB has long passed us by. Look at all the teams who are enjoying success now with rosters of former no-names who are just coming into their own: Baltimore, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Arizona, Cleveland…all with winning records and in serious contention for playoff spots. Friggin’ Pittsburgh is 31-20 and is in THIRD in their division. Just insane. Of course, all those teams were bad to worse to mediocre for years. Which brings me to my point that success in baseball is more cyclical than any other sport. The Phillies were an example of that from 2007-2011 after being mired in mediocrity for years. Our time will come again, but it’s finally time to give it up and start anew. Right now, RAJ is delaying the inevitable.

    Reply
  7. Charlie D - May 28, 2013 at 7:33 AM

    3 runs is pretty good for this mediocre team, too bad the pitching shit-the-bed!

    Reply
  8. Lewis Watkin - May 28, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    The ship is sinking but what does it matter if they unload players, our talent evaluators suck anyway!!! If they unload Lee an Utley we’ll get back nothing !!! Case in point wtf did we get for Vic & Pence?? The real problem is Amaro!!!! An Manual is nothing more than a spectator in the dugout!!!! Give Sandburg a chance!!!! However u can’t win without players who actually give a shit!!!

    Reply
    • galasso2586 - May 28, 2013 at 11:07 AM

      Sandburg will get his chance next year if they Phils keep going down this path. We got back prospects in the Pence deal, so you won’t be seeing them for a couple years. There was really nothing to be gotten for Victorino last year in the middle of his worst season in years. The fact that they got anything for him was impressive.

      Reply
  9. Wookie Star - May 28, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    They have no solid lead off guy. They have no one who walks… they don’t move runners into scoring position
    this is an offense that is neither small ball nor big. one can try a full scale shake down, but no matter, most all are not taking good at bats.

    Revere CF (I hate him, yet who else can bat lead off)
    M Young 3B (his average is ok)
    Utley 2B (still a jedi)
    Brown LF (most HRs)
    Howard 1B (reigning Strike out champ)
    Mayberry RF (not enough playing time)
    Rollins SS (demoted)
    Kratz C (baconator)
    P (poor guy)

    Reply
    • BenE. - May 28, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      Michael Young’s double play balls are frustrating, but he is our most consistent hitter this year.

      Reply

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