Ben Revere is not in the starting lineup for a third consecutive game. He last started on Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers. Odubel Herrera starts again in center field while Darin Ruf mans left field and Jeff Francoeur will take care of right field.
Among Phillies with at least 100 plate appearances, Revere’s adjusted OPS of 97 ranks third on the team behind Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez. Along with ranking among the Phillies’ most productive hitters, Revere is one of few threats on the bases, having stolen 19 bases in 24 attempts. The 19 steals exceeds that of the Phillies’ number two and three base stealers combined.
As it turns out, Francoeur petitioned interim manager Pete Mackanin for more playing time:
Jeff Francoeur batting cleanup tonight for the first time since May 9. He met recently with Mackanin and told him he wanted to play more
— Matt Breen (@matt_breen) July 4, 2015
Francoeur has been nearly as good a hitter as Revere, just a different way: rather than hitting for average or getting on base, Francoeur has hit for more power. The more relevant detail, though, is the fact that Frenchy has no trade value. Now 31 years old, he entered the season with an aggregate .615 OPS over the past three seasons. He adds nothing of value except for the ability to occasionally crank out a home run, and occasionally throw out a runner from right field. He’s a subpar defender and frequently makes outs.
Meanwhile, Revere is 27 years old and has two more years of team control left. He could reasonably start for a contending team despite his lack of power and lack of an arm. He would also be an excellent bench bat, pinch-runner, and/or late-inning defensive replacement. The Phillies could easily get a useful player or two at the trade deadline for Revere.
That would require first allowing him to play. An interim manager shouldn’t have much input on the starting lineup for a rebuilding team. That should be dictated from the front office. And that only becomes more imperative with the knowledge that Mackanin is easily swayed by campaigning from the players.
In Oakland, the Athletics’ front office has instructed manager Bob Melvin to sit All-Star-caliber outfielder Josh Reddick against left-handed pitching. Reddick has compiled a .459 OPS against lefties this season compared to .937 against right-handers. Still, Reddick was upset about his diminished playing time and ranted about it on the radio. What are the odds the Athletics budge after hearing Reddick complain? Close to zero. Jeff Francoeur shouldn’t be calling the shots; GM Ruben Amaro, current president Pat Gillick, and incoming president Andy MacPhail should be. They should make it a point to include Revere in the starting lineup as often as possible over the next four weeks.
Where’s Ben Revere?
Author: Bill Baer
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