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.
Friday, September 28, 2012
Darin Ruf got yet another start against a LHP, going 2-for-4 on the night. Howard went 0-for-3.
At this point, it is obvious that Howard is a platoon player. He should only start against RHPs. I know this is tough to accomplish, because the other team usually doesn't announce their starting pitcher until 5 minutes before the game, but it is still an option to explore.
Ruf hit thirty-eight home runs in AA this season in only 489 ABs. He will be entering his age-26 season in 2013, the same age where Ryan Howard knocked 58 homers in 2006, his best year in the majors. Are we really going to enter next season with Ruf on the bench, or worse, in Allentown? With Nate Schierholtz, John Mayberry, Domonic Brown, Ryan Howard, and Darin Ruf all under team control for 2013, here is what the Phillies should do:
1) Brown plays left field every day .
2) Howard starts at first base only against RHPs.
3) Darin Ruf starts at first base only against LHPs.
4) John Mayberry starts in right field only against LHPs.
5) Schierholtz starts in right field only against RHPs, occasionally spelling Brown against tough lefties.
This, of course, will never happen. Amaro would sooner go 0-162 than admit so early into Howard's contract that the extension was a mistake. Also, there is a better chance of Charlie Manuel winning a World Series of Poker event than ever platooning Howard. So what does this mean? It means that 2013 will be yet another year of hideous game management, inefficient roster structure, and a bullpen where pitchers are labeled with "innings" rather than their actual skill-set. Can't wait!