Phillies Notes: Brown's success rubbing off

Phillies Notes: Brown's success rubbing off

June 4, 2013, 6:00 pm
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It’s been easy to miss because of how hot Domonic Brown has been for five weeks, but he’s not the only Phillie hitting these days.

Ben Revere hit .200 in April but has hit .300 in the 29 games since with a respectable .344 on-base percentage. He’s 8 for 9 in steals during that span.

Jimmy Rollins has been ever more productive. Over his last 24 games he’s hit .307 with an .875 OPS. He has three homers, seven doubles, 10 RBIs, nine runs and 12 walks during that stretch.

“When a guy like Brown [is hitting], you see it's good because a lot of times teams rally around him,” Charlie Manuel said before Tuesday’s game against the Marlins. “They want to hit with him. The energy he brings, it helps everybody.”

It’s certainly been true the past two games. The Phillies had a pair of seven-run outbursts on Sunday and Monday keyed by Brown’s 6-for-7, two-homer, six-RBI performances.

Brown might not have had so many RBI opportunities, or even first-inning at-bats in general, if not for Rollins getting on base consistently ahead of him. Since moving into the three-hole, Rollins has reached base 16 of 30 times, with seven hits and nine walks in eight games. He’s scored just four times, but he’s prolonged innings and that has been the key.

Finding time for Hernandez
With Michael Young back in Tuesday’s lineup (see story), Freddy Galvis shifts to second base and Cesar Hernandez is out of the lineup. It could be hard for Hernandez to find regular work now, even with Chase Utley still sidelined by an oblique injury.

Manuel feels comfortable with Hernandez only at second base. “At this level it’s pretty hard to start trying different positions,” he said Tuesday. He doesn’t see Hernandez as an ideal pinch-hitting option because of his lack of experience in that role.

“I’ll see if we can get him some playing time whenever I can,” Manuel said. “He's young, and he was playing every day at Triple A. Sitting on the bench is not good for him. We'll try to get him in there every now and then if we can.

“Sometimes it gets hard because we want to win, but at the same time you’ve got to use people. [Kevin] Frandsen, [Laynce] Nix, it's no different. We’ve got to get him on the field sometimes."

Ruiz close to returning?
Manuel said that catcher Carlos Ruiz would be evaluated after batting practice Tuesday and an update would be coming soon on his strained hamstring. He hinted that Ruiz, who took swings indoors for the first time since his injury, could be nearing a return.

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