The Philadelphia Phillies already have a “Big Piece” in the infield, as that’s the nickname for first baseman Ryan Howard.
GM Ruben Amaro hinted rather strongly on his weekly radio show Wednesday that the team might be looking for a Big Piece in the outfield as well. Amaro opens himself up to the callers each week a half-hour before the game and fielded another call asking him about the current group of outfielders he has on the team.
“We’re used to having great outfield defense with guys in the past like Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino, and we want to do something to improve our outfield defense and give our pitchers a better chance to succeed,” Amaro said. “That’s a priority.”
Translation: The current group playing the outfield, which includes players like Darin Ruf, Ben Revere, John Mayberry, Jr., Roger Bernadina, Cesar Hernandez and Domonic Brown just aren’t good enough with the glove. Amaro listed the Phillies’ priorities as “catcher, bullpen help and an outfield piece”, but the more he talked, the more emphasis he put on improving the outfield defense.
While the available free agent outfielders include a number of left-handed hitters, the Phillies might want to go to the right side of the plate to balance their top-heavy left-handed-hitting lineup for an outfielder who can both hit with power and field his position well.
The best way to get that is through a trade, and the Phillies might have something another organization wants in third baseman Cody Asche . Since the team’s Minor League Player of the Year, Maikel Franco, appears ready to play third, Asche could be moved for a right-handed hitting outfielder who can improve the team’s defensive profile and that’s something to watch as the season winds down now.