Yesterday, Phillies beat writer David Murphy declared that is was “CMGPOATOD…Charlie Manuel Gets Pissed Off At The Offense Day.” Apparently, the 4-4 game against the Tigers is what set off the usually good-natured Chuck.
Over the years, it has become painfully obvious that this team is not performing up to par on offense. But it is still Spring Training, so why all the fuss? I guess when you see non-roster invitees out slugging your regulars, even in spring training, this is not a good thing.
Stats matter very little in the spring. However, the large gap in production between certain players can say a lot. Also remember that the hitters are facing sub-par pitching for the most part, as the experienced pitchers are working out the kinks.
When you think of it that way, the lack of offense is a little worrisome. The chart below shows hitting stats for Phillies players with at least 10 at-bats so far this spring. Notice that the top hitters include mostly non-roster invitees…and Hunter Pence.
If Pence, the Phillies starting right fielder, can make the effort, then why can’t the other starters and regulars follow suit? This deviation is probably sending Manuel the message that there is a lack of effort here.
Neither the games nor the stats count, which promotes a more relaxed approach. But isn’t this relaxed period the best time to work on your hitting, rather than in the high pressure situation of a regular season game? And that is exactly why Charlie wants to see more from his team this spring.
Go get em’, Charlie!