Here’s some random trivia. Over his 16-year playing career, Ryne Sandberg logged 1,217 games as a two-hole hitter, more than any other spot in the order combined.
Entering Monday night’s game against the Rockies, Carlos Ruiz has started exactly two Major League games in that two slot. One came in 2008, the other this year. Those also happen to be the only two times the eight-year veteran was ever penciled in anywhere one through three.
Chooch is back at the top of the lineup tonight though. Coming off of yesterday’s 4-for-4 performance, Sandberg decided to do something Charlie Manuel seldom tried, giving his catcher a crack at more at bats – at least for one night. Clearly if there’s one thing the Phillies’ interim manager and Hall-of-Fame second baseman knows, it’s batting second. Should be an interesting experiment.
Ruiz is hitting .265 with a .310 on-base percentage and .325 slugging – obviously he won’t be bringing much pop to position. He is 2-for-8 in his previous starts in the two hole.
The rest of the lineup is your standard fare.
— Phillies (@Phillies) August 19, 2013
Ethan Martin takes the hill for the fourth time. He has yet to last longer than five innings, and there is some talk he may make a better bullpen piece. For now he remains a starter, but he has to go deeper and not get knocked around so much on the second trip through the order.
Martin faces right-hander Jeff Manship, who has been trying to catch on in the show since he came up with the Twins in 2009. He’s 0-2 with a 7.50 ERA in two starts for Colorado this season. So naturally he’ll probably shut down the Phillies.