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

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

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.

Source: Phillies agree to 1-year deal with reliever Joaquin Benoit

Source: Phillies agree to 1-year deal with reliever Joaquin Benoit

The Phillies have agreed to a one-year, $7.5 million contract with right-handed reliever Joaquin Benoit, a source tells CSN's Jim Salisbury.

Benoit, 39, was the 11th-oldest pitcher in baseball last season, but he's remained effective as he's aged. Since 2010, Benoit has a 2.40 ERA and 0.97 WHIP, he's struck out 10.0 batters per nine innings while walking 2.8, and allowed a .189 batting average.

Benoit has also maintained his velocity through the years. His fastball averaged 94.2 mph last season, which is actually faster than it was in 2010.

Benoit has been in the majors for 15 years, spending eight with Texas, three with Detroit, two with San Diego, one with Tampa Bay and a half-season apiece with Seattle and Toronto.

Benoit has experience closing but has spent the majority of his career as a setup man. Benoit, along with Hector Neris, figures to have a place in the eighth or ninth inning for the Phillies in 2017, perhaps pushing last year's closer, Jeanmar Gomez, back to the seventh inning.

The Phillies have not yet officially announced the signing of Benoit and will need to clear a spot on the 40-man roster to make room for him.

Not So Fast Joel Embiid: Nik Stauskas's dad claims his son is the original 'The Process'

Not So Fast Joel Embiid: Nik Stauskas's dad claims his son is the original 'The Process'

Philadelphia 76ers sharp shooter Nik Stauskas is back on his "Sauce and Co." podcast with a couple of very special guests: his Momma Ruta and Pappa Paul.

After being overly Canadian in their take on Friday night's brutal loss -- "less than stellar" --  to the Orlando Magic, Mr. Stauskas brings the heat with a fantastic "fun fact."

"Speaking of Joel, I have a fun fact for your audience here," Paul Stauskas says. "I have to give him a new moniker."

He doesn't exactly have a new one yet but...

"'The Process' has already been taken. In 2013 there was a documentary made about Nik called 'Nik Stauskas: The Process.' So if Embiid wants to continue using that, I'm affraid he's going to have to pay a royalty."

                         [Related: Joel Embiid feels 'The Process' is about him]

And if you hit up YouTube, there is is, a 21-minute documentary about a younger Nik Stauskas.

"If this does blow up, there may be some royalty fees he owes me," Nik adds. "I'll have to bring that up to Joel."

"He's got the cheddar," Paul says. "So he can pay up."

You can listen to the Stauskas family podcast in full below.