Philadelphia Phillies: To Hit, or Not to Hit?
Ben Revere represents one chapter in a bigger story
Ben Revere's offensive concerns are the least of the Philadelphia Phillies' worries. Instead, likely projections for other members of the roster will dictate how this baseball year flows.
Revere wasn't obtained in the off-season as a lineup savior. Instead, he represented a decent, yet reduced, option to replace Shane Victorino's glove in center field. Any offense that this developing young man might be able to muster will purely be accepted as a bonus.
Jimmy Rollins has been, is and will remain a key cog in Charlie Manuel's red pinstriped machine. In lieu of any in-season trade acquisitions, the best shortstop to ever wear a Phillies' uniform will eventually return to the top lineup spot. Yes, the table will be set if 'J-Roll' can regain his swagger in that familiar role.
The real Chase Utley appears to be back. As long as his knees remain attached to his legs, number 26 will be a dynamic force this season. He's unlikely to reach past production numbers, but he'll help to generate offense this season.
The jury remains out on Ryan Howard. However, we mustn’t forget that this slugger is still playing his way into home run shape. It's still too soon to tell what impact his Achilles' tendon surgery will have on his long-term ability to lift balls over the fences. Guessing that his power-stroke will completely be restored is a gamble.
Michael Young isn't a game-changer, but his bat should help to steady a lineup that was unbalanced last year. His smart plate approach and lineup protection should enable an OPS around .800 this year.
Carlos Ruiz' future performance is a mystery. It will be fascinating to see how he endures the 'grind' now that he won't be using his ADHD supplement. Unless he has received proper authorization, 'Chooch' will have to go it alone. He doesn't need to post All-Star offensive numbers, but will help his team if he can equal past career averages.
Domonic Brown's curious career continues to unfold this spring. Just when it seemed as though he had found his stroke, it has disappeared again. He's not a terrible player, or a great one. Possibly, that description hints at who he really has been and will continue to be.
Delmon Young has the potential to add a legitimate power-punch somewhere behind Howard this season. This low-risk acquisition will have been well worth it if he can hit between 15-20 home runs and knock in 70+ runs. However, his ability to play defense and remain healthy represent two of the reasons why other teams weren't overly interested in his services.
Laynce Nix carries a decent stick to the plate and has posted better-than average defensive numbers during his career. Those attributes should make him an ideal platoon partner in right field this season.
John Mayberry, Jr. has decent power and will continue to serve as modest part-time outfield option.
Freddy Galvis is a spark plug who may become one of the Phillies' starting infielders in the future. As for right now, sporadic appearances will suffice.
Kevin Frandsen is a solid spare part. He has a pinch-hitters' mentality and is grateful for his major league job. While he's not a great glove man, he always takes a versatile attitude with him to the field.
Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard must produce another collectively good year
The 'Big 3' remain as vital as they have ever been to the Philadelphia Phillies' success.
Michael Young's presence should steady the lineup
This veteran's demeanor will help to ease team pressure.
Carlos Ruiz doesn't need to produce another All-Star season
Reasonable offensive expectations for 'Chooch' are justified.
Domonic Brown's offensive inconsistencies have reappeared
The Philadelphia Phillies' new left fielder will have a full-season opportunity to prove his major league worth.