Phillies Need to Fix Their Lead-Off Problem
The Phillies all to familiar trend continued last night in St. Louis against the Cardinals.
The Phillies have joined the proverbial see-saw their seven games, alternating wins and losses, leaving them one game under. 500 at 11-12 currently.
The Phillies opened the season 4-0 but are just 7-12 since that hot start.
So what has led to the teams inconsistent play?
The team has plenty of well documented holes to fill, center field, lead-off batter, shaky bullpen and the back-end of their rotation are just some of the areas of concern thus far.
"I believe the talent is in there, we just need to play better," said Phillies manager Joe Girardi on Tuesday night.
Girardi mentioned the team missed second baseman Jean Segura, who is on the injured list with a strained right quad. Segura was having a solid season at the time of his injury and while losing his bat has certainly been a blow to the lineup, the combination of Brad Miller and Nick Maton has been solid in his absence.
"We need to get some other guys swinging the bat," Girardi pleaded.
One major issue has been the lead-off spot in the order. Veteran Andrew McCutchen has really struggled out of the gates, and the team really doesn't have another option to hit at the top of the order.
Thus far the 34-year old former N.L. MVP is hitting just .154 with one home run and six RBI in 65 at-bats.
Of the potential lead-off options, Segura, who lead-off in 365 games in his career, is currently injured. In the lead-off position in the battling order, Segura has a .303 average with 35 home runs, 137 RBI, 72 stolen bases and .345 OBP.
One other option could be Odubel Herrera. Herrera was the Phillies primary lead-off man in 122 games, hitting .289 with 11 home runs, 42 RBI, 11 stolen bases and a .342 OBP. Herrera of course, just returned to the Phillies lineup after missing 23 months of baseball due to a domestic violence suspension.
“We just need a little change of luck,” laughed Girardi. “We need a couple bloopers, a couple slow rollers. Maybe it will get everybody going.”
If they ever want to get off the see-saw, they will certainly need more consistent at-bats from whoever leads-off.
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