Posted by Kenny Ayres, Mon, March 10, 2014 06:34 PM Comments: 57
I know, I know, it is only Spring Training and it means nothing once April hits. But regardless, it is worth pointing out after another one run effort today against Atlanta, that the Phillies are still lacking incredibly at the plate.
Apart from an 11-run outburst against Houston on Saturday, the Phillies have scored just 16 runs in their other nine games since March 1- an average of less than two per game. Today, seven different Braves’ pitchers combined to allow just a run on six hits, and the run didn’t even come across for the Phillies until the eighth inning. Five of their six hits were singles.
Currently, the Phillies are in dead last place in all of Major League Baseball in batting average, and by a hefty margin. The 29th place Dodgers are hitting .228, more than 30 points more than the sub-Mendoza line .194 from the Phillies. They also rank dead last in on-base percentage, and are in the bottom third in baseball in runs and RBI.
The big guns-Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, who they will so desperately count on this season, have combined to go 9-for-56. Marlon Byrd, one of the only players producing this spring, has the same number of hits in almost half the at bats.
What does it mean? Maybe nothing. But it is certainly not good. As the minor league pitchers start to get weeded out, the talent they will be facing is only going to get harder throughout the spring and especially into the regular season. Something needs to change, because .194 is not going to score a whole lot of runs.
On a different note…
The starting pitching has been great the last couple of days. Jeff Manship, who could be an important piece in the injury ravaged rotation, made his first start of the spring Sunday and was lights out. He allowed just a run on two hits in three innings of work. It was the only run he has allowed the spring so far.
Today, Cliff Lee pitched well despite taking the loss, tossing 3 2/3 innings while striking out five. He gave up two earned runs on three hits, but one run was a leadoff homer from Jason Heyward and the other was a runner that was his responsibility who came around to score after he was lifted. Twenty of his first 26 pitches were thrown for strikes, and he walked just one in the outing.