Charlie Manuel frequently makes poor strategic decisions. The 11-million dollar scoreboard in left field would probably do a similar job. We guarantee a post analyzing Manuel's decisions for every Phillies game. Please click on our aliases below to email us.

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Game 3: Minor league .315 OBP is the Phils leadoff man, and they still win (3-0)

The Phillies won today, 7-3, behind 6 strong innings by Roy Oswalt and home runs by Ryan Howard and Ben Francisco. We're not here to talk about that.

Shane Victorino was slightly injured yesterday when he collided with Francisco on a deep fly ball. Manuel removed him from the game, but he appeared today as a pinch hitter. It obviously doesn't seem to be a serious injury.

However, it was serious enough for Manuel to keep him out of the starting lineup today. He decided Michael Martinez was the appropriate replacement for centerfield, and somehow, he figured it was good for Martinez to also bat lead-off. Manuel has done this in the past. When starter gets injured, he not only replaces him in the field, he also just puts him in the same slot in the lineup. Two years ago when Jimmy Rollins was late to Shea Stadium, Eric Bruntlett played shortstop and batted first. How on Earth could anyone justify Bruntlett as a leadoff man in this lineup? Well, now you can, because he's actually lightyears better than Martinez.

I didn't even bother looking up his major league stats, because Martinez has a .315 career OBP in the minors. It's embarrassing to put a MLB OBP like that in the leadoff spot, let alone minors. Putting Martinez at the top of the lineup today is 10 times more irresponsible than anything Andy Reid did this past season, including failing to throw the challenge flag on the Desean NYG fumble. Yet, Manuel will get about one millionth of the criticism Reid gets. That's why we're here.

We've said it here a lot, but now is as good a time as any: Carlos Ruiz should be the team's leadoff man. It sounds ridiculous, but it's a lot less ridiculous than Michael Martinez. Batting Ruiz first, followed by Victorino and Rollins, would be incredibly productive. Ruiz would GIDP much less often, Polanco's aggressive plate approach would work better in the 7-slot, and Ruiz's patience at the plate would improve the top of the lineup.

Instead, Manuel thinks a rule 5 draft pick with the OBP of Paul Bako is a better option.

It's a good thing this team is stacked. The 3-0 start is huge, and they haven't even had a dominant pitching performance yet.

Tuesday night the Phils host the NY Mets at 7:05 when Cole Hamels faces RHP Chris Young.


Anonymous said...

soooooo guys are depressing.

That said, the top of the order is frighteningly bad at getting on base.

Andy Musser said...

were not the ones putting AA players at the top of the lineup