Will Philadelphia Phillies Employ Platoons in 2013?
The 1993 season for the Philadelphia Phillies included the story of a bunch of overachieving players who managed to win 97 games, get to the World Series and capture the hearts and minds of the entire city. It was also the story of a team that employed three different platoons from left field to right field to second base. Twenty years later, is it possible that the current Phillies are heading for a similar situation?
In 1993, Milt Thompson shared time with Pete Incaviglia in left field while Jim Eisenreich and Wes Chamberlain split duties in right field. Mickey Morandini and Mariano Duncan each saw time at second base.
While the Phillies don’t expect to have a platoon at second base, the outfield is a different story. There are a lot of moving parts in the Phillies’ outfield and a platoon is entirely possibly in both corner outfield spots.
Darin Ruf has struggled this spring and it’s possible he doesn’t even make the roster. If he does, he would likely share time with Laynce Nix in left. Nix can also play right field and John Mayberry, Jr. can play both left and right field as well.
Domonic Brown has had a very strong spring training in what was somewhat of a do-or-die spring for the 25-year-old former top prospect. Brown has played both left and right in his career and has played both spots this spring. Delmon Young, who the Phillies signed in January, is rehabbing but would play in right field upon his return.
Got all of that? It’s not exactly a simple solution. Young and Brown could mix and match in right, Mayberry and Nix could mix and match in left and Ruf is a bit of a wild card right now.
Maybe this could all be thrown out the window if Brown plays well enough to be a full-time starter and Young comes back strong from his injury.
For now, it’s a sticky situation in the Phillies’ outfield. At this time, the best guess is that Mayberry and Nix share time in left field, Brown plays full time in right and Ben Revere starts as an everyday guy in center. Then again, plans are subject to change.
A platoon in both outfield spots is a very real possibility for the Phillies in 2013. They shouldn’t be afraid if things go that way. It’s worked before.