Manuel standing by Revere; considering Galvis in CF

Manuel standing by Revere; considering Galvis in CF

May 14, 2013, 6:00 pm
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The Phillies’ centerfield situation hasn’t gone as planned so far. Sure, Ben Revere has exhibited elite range, but his weak throwing arm has permitted several tag-ups from first to second base, and more importantly he hasn’t hit.

Revere enters the homestand with a .286 on-base percentage that ranks 143rd out of 171 qualifying major-leaguers, and 22nd among 24 centerfielders. (Only A.J. Pollock and B.J. Upton have been worse). Revere’s out of Tuesday’s lineup, replaced by John Mayberry (see story).

But Charlie Manuel isn’t giving up on him, even if he hasn’t hit in three straight games since the first series of the season.

“If we can get him going -- he hit .294 last year with 43 infield hits -- a hit's a hit,” Manuel said prior to Tuesday’s game. “Get him on base and let him do his thing where we can use his speed in counts. [Saturday] night when he stole second and we used Cliff Lee to bunt him to third, I like that better than just bunting him down to second. He got to use his speed. It dictates in the game how you use him.”

But infield hits have been difficult to come by for Revere this season. He has just seven. So his major-league leading groundball rate has been useless more often than not because he hasn’t placed them well enough to beat them out, and in situations with runners in scoring position he’s struggled to put the ball in the air. He’s 0 for 5 with no RBIs with runners on second and third this season. A small sample, yes, but the fact that he hasn't driven in a single run of those 10 runners is worrisome.

“I think Ben’s been taught all his life -- I know the Twins, what they teach -- to hit the ball on the ground and run,” Manuel said. “That doesn't mean a guy's not a good player, because if he masters that he can be really important to your team.

“Last year he stole 40 bags. If he steals anywhere from 40 to 60 bags he could help our team. He's been hitting the ball better. He's starting to hit the ball sharp.”

Though Manuel isn’t giving up on Revere, one potential alternative here and there could be Freddy Galvis. The super utilityman is hitting .280 with a .460 slugging percentage this season, but hasn’t been able to find regular work because the Phillies have a high-priced veteran at each infield spot and another guy who needs everyday work in left field.

“I've thought about it, playing him some out there, seeing how he could do,” Manuel said of plugging Galvis in at CF.

“Freddy’s definitely at the point right now, I think he’s got like 50 at-bats, I think he has to get some at-bats and play some this year. I said that from the start. I think he's very capable of doing that and I think he's at the point in his career where he's showing you how good he can play.”