Jul 232010

July 23 Delaware County Times

“An exasperated Charlie Manuel looked at his lineup card after the offensive malaise de jour Wednesday night – when his team’s offense was limited to one run on one Ryan Howard swing – and put his thoughts in rather blunt terms.

“I’ve been giving everybody in that locker room a chance,” said Manuel, who drew up seven different lineups in eight games during the post-All-Star road trip. “If you can hit, please do.”

The Phils scored one run in two of the last three games in St. Louis and have managed to scored one run or less in an eye-popping 23 of 95 games this season.

“If you would have told me my offense would sputter like this? I would have been upset — really,” Manuel said Thursday. “We have had guys out and playing without (Chase) Utley is a part of it. But at the same time, we’ve got guys who in the past have been very productive hitters.

“Numbers are sometimes misleading. A guy might be hitting .270 or .280 and his RBIs might be OK and you think he’s having a good year. But when you see what he’s done in the last month or two, you go, ‘Damn.'”

The outfield has been the main source of inconsistent offense production this year, which begs this question: isn’t it high time for some new blood in the lineup — namely, Domonic Brown?

“It’s hard to gauge what kind of production he would have here,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday. “Obviously, he’s handling Triple-A well so far. There are other parts of his game he’s working on. When it’s time for Domonic, we feel that Domonic is going to be a productive player for us. We’ll make a decision when (it’s necessary). Right now, he’s exactly where he should be.”

Since making the jump from Double-A Reading to Triple-A Lehigh Valley June 25, Brown has come close to out-producing all three of the Phillies’ outfielders — combined. In 22 games at Lehigh Valley entering Thursday, Brown was hitting .337 with four home runs and 17 RBIs. In the same four-week span, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez and Shane Victorino were hitting a combined .258 with six homers and 23 RBIs.

Werth, who happens to play the same position as Brown, entered Thursday hitting .241 with no home runs and three RBIs since late June.”

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