Phillies looking for CF help

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Sunday, July 14th, 2013

The Philadelphia Phillies were a team already in need of help but after Ben Revere broke his right ankle on a foul ball, they’re REALLY in need of help. Their center fielder will be out six to eight weeks and leaves a huge hole at the top of their lineup, more importantly it leaves a gaping hole in their defense. John Mayberry Jr is a good player but not an everyday center fielder.

Ben Revere had been one of the hottest hitters on the planet until he broke the malleous bone in his right ankle yesterday in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park.

He said this morning he could miss six to eight weeks, although he will learn more tomorrow when he visits a foot specialist. In the meantime, Ruben Amaro Jr. said the Phillies are in the market for a centerfielder.

“The prognosis doesn’t sound too good,” Amaro said. “I think it’s something that’s going to take a while. … Whoever we think is an upgrade, whether it’s defensive or offensive. We’d like to probably get a little bit better. John (Mayberry Jr.) is a good center fielder. He’s not a plus defender. So if we can get a better one than that, that’d be good. (The Zo Zone)

Ruben Amaro Jr is going to have a lot of work to do in his search as there hasn’t really been many center fielders worth mentioning on the market yet. It also doesn’t help that Amaro is still trying to figure out if his team is going to be buyers and sellers. That’s got to be the reason he’s looking internally even though the team has no outfielders ready to man that position.

That’s right Ruben’s looking internally, even though there is no one skilled and ready to fill in for Revere. It makes sense since the team did trade for Revere in the off season, it was a position of weakness. So what’s the internal plans? Move players around and see if they can stick.

“We’re moving Cesar (Hernandez) to doube A (Monday) from triple A,” Amaro said. “He’ll play center field every day for the next 10 days or so. We’re going to get him extensive work down there. He’ll be at Reading through the break, then back to Lehigh Valley at some point. But he’ll be playing exclusively in center field to see if that’s an option for us. He struggled (Saturday), but it’s a new position for him. We’ll give him a shot.”

Hernandez has played four games at the position so far, making one error in nine chances. Prior to those four games his last appearance in center came when he was 17, he’s currently 23. My concern wouldn’t so much be the errors but the routes he takes to balls hit towards the gaps.


Those routes can easily be the difference between doubles and triples.

Those routes can easily be the difference between a runner getting from first to third, or from first to home.

The good thing is Hernandez at least has experience against major league hitting. He filled in earlier this season for Chase Utley and hit .250 with a double and two runs scored. Not great but he’s at least gotten his feet wet.

Another option mentioned was Freddy Galvis who has corner outfield experience but Amaro quickly shot that down.

So it appears the Phillies are going with Hernandez, for the moment. He’s got a ten day tryout to see if he can handle the role, with a four day All-Star break it will only leave the team short for one week. Just long enough that Mayberry Jr won’t get totally exposed.

If Hernandez shows he can’t handle it though expect many GM’s to be getting calls from Ruben.

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