Phillies Notes: Ben Revere mired in hitting slump

Phillies Notes: Ben Revere mired in hitting slump

May 1, 2013, 6:15 pm
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CLEVELAND – He’s hitting .150 over the last two weeks, and his OPS ranks 188th out of 190 regulars in baseball. He hasn’t walked in his last 45 plate appearances, he’s got one extra-base hit all year, he’s dropped from first to ninth in the Phillies’ lineup.

Slump?

Yeah, Ben Revere is in a slump.

“He’s had a hard time getting going,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “We just have to keep staying with him and see if we can’t get him playing better.”

Revere is hitting just .200 this year, and his slugging percentage of .222 is second-worst in the majors, ahead of only Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks.

He’s on pace to have the lowest slugging percentage of any Phillies regular outfielder since Bob Dernier’s .214 mark in 1989 and the lowest on-base percentage since Dernier’s .225 the same year.

Manuel said Revere probably needs to change his swing to be effective, although he conceded that won’t be easy to do.

“I talk with [hitting coaches Steve] Henderson and Wally [Joyner] about Ben’s hitting all the time,” Manuel said Wednesday afternoon, before the Phillies faced the Indians at Progressive Field.

“Ben’s got a lot going on. He’s got a long stride, and he swings real hard. …

“Last year, he scored 70 runs and knocked in 30 (actually 32). That’s kind of a Juan Pierre-type player. Him and Juan Pierre are similar type players, and I guess for him to be the offensive player that we think [he is], he has to have a high on-base percentage, and he’ll have to get some infield hits and stuff.”

Revere, dropped in the lineup after hitting .190 as a leadoff hitter, is hitting .294 with runners in scoring position (5-for-17) but .178 with nobody in scoring position (13-for-73). He’s hitting the ball on the ground 77 percent of the time but has only five infield hits.

“Basically, what we want to do, we’d like to slow his stride down,” Manuel said. “Might get his stride a little shorter and get him to be quicker with his hands instead of a lot of movement and real hard swings.

“There’s ways you can work with him (but) his approach is going to be hard to change.”

Manuel was asked to compare Revere with Michael Bourn, who began his career under Manuel with the Phillies, became a two-time All-Star and is now with the Indians (on the DL).

“I think that Bourn has always been a little bit stronger, hits the ball a little bit harder, things like that,” he said. “Bourn can hit a homer, Bourn can get doubles and triples.

“Ben has to learn how to do that if he can. But I don’t know if that’s in his game or not.

“He hit .294 last year, and if he hits .294 again this year, once he gets going, he might be fine. That’s what we’re counting on.”

Delmon Young back at DH
Manuel said Tuesday he planned to play Delmon Young in right field on Wednesday, but Young was back at DH for a second straight night after getting hit by a pitch on his right (throwing) arm Tuesday.

“Sore today,” Manuel said. “I was planning on putting him out there then I had to change it.

“It’s nothing crazy,” Young said. “I’ve got a big fat knot right there. Today was one of those days where if I had to play out there I could have played.”

Young said he expects to be in right field either Thursday or Friday when the Phillies face the Marlins.

“Probably gonna take a couple days for the soreness to get out his arm,” Manuel said.