The Phillies evened their record at 8-8 today with a win over the Rockies to split the two game series. Paradoxically, Thome hit his first dinger of the season and Lieber improved to 4-0 – both good news nonetheless. Former Phil Desi Relaford accounted for all Colorado runs with a home run and RBI single. The three earned runs bring the season runs allowed total to 86, the most in the division.
The other J-Mike, Jason Michaels hit his third double of the season reaffirming Manuel’s decision to platoon the centerfield spot. Don Bostrom of Allentown’s The Morning Call wrote today on how the two have co-existed in harmony with spectacular results.
Entering Wednesday’s game with Colorado, Lofton had a .387 average, eight runs scored and an on-base percentage of .457. Michaels owned a .400 average and a .519 on-base percentage. Combined, they had a .392 average and .492 on-base percentage.
I’ll be honest: I never liked the prospect of either of them patrolling centerfield. I’d prefer investing time and training in Marlon Byrd or another young prospect. Now I’m usually an advocate of the platoon system, but the centerfielder plays a unique and crucial role on a baseball team. It is not a two man operation. See how Juan Pierre, Andrew Jones and Carlos Beltran catalyze their lineups with consistent speed and power. Despite the early season success of Lofton and Michaels it is unlikely there will be a successful future with this setup.