Ruben Amaro Jr. Sending Mixed Signals Regarding Outfield

By David A. Cattai
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to offseason signings and transactions, Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. rarely lets others in on what he would like to do. Friday was one of those rare days.

Amaro spoke with Angelo Cataldi of Philadelphia Sports Radio 94WIP on Friday morning about his plans for the 2013 outfield. Amaro told Cataldi that the team does have a little bit of money but that he “doesn’t want to put money in for money’s sake.”

Some people around the league believe that Amaro is looking in all possible areas to fill his outfield with stable, consistent players. Names such as Alfonso Soriano, Justin Upton, Giancarlo Stanton, Scott Hairston, and Vernon Wells have all been thrown around this off-season as possible fits for this 2013 Phillies ball club.

It is a bit confusing to read Amaro at times because he puts up a front to many people and gives different stories. On Monday, Amaro told Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, “We are likely going with what we have.” He has also stressed on numerous occasions that some of the young outfielders are not proven major league players, but he has never ruled them out.

As it seems at the very moment, the Phillies will go into Spring Training, which starts February 12th, with a double-platoon outfield. The combinations would be left-right. In each situation, the left-right combination would likely have Darin Ruf splitting time with Laynce Nix and Domonic Brown with John Mayberry Jr. at either corner outfield position. These combinations are not set in stone, however, which means that any left-right combination could happen depending on how manager Charlie Manuel wants to construct his everyday lineup.

The last time a platoon system worked for the Phillies was in 2008 when Jayson Werth split time with free agent acquisition Geoff Jenkins. Werth went on to hit .273 with 24 home runs and knocked in 67 runners; Jenkins came up with a big hit in the second half of Game 5 in the World Series that year.

Every individual player means something to a baseball team. No matter what Amaro does for the rest of the offseason, the Phillies have four outfielders that are fighting for jobs, which could in turn result in good production. If they do not compete, then Amaro always has the option to acquire a player in season, which he has done very well in his tenure as the Phillies general manager.

David A. Cattai is a featured journalist with Rant Sports & Buzz On Broad.

Follow me on Twitter (@DCattaiSports), Facebook, and Google+ for sports updates.

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