• May 19, 2022

Manuel Shuffles Lineup Again, Bats Ruiz Fourth

Charlie Manuel has been searching all season for a lineup combination that can consistently produce more than three runs a game. He’s given many different players a chance to perform in different roles, and he just hasn’t found a batting order that he feels confident in yet. On Wednesday, the Philadelphia manager’s latest offensive changes featured catcher Carlos Ruiz batting in the cleanup spot with Hunter Pence moving to the three-hole, and Shane Victorino dropping to fifth.

“The media told me to move him up there. Make sure you hit Chooch fourth. Thought I’d make somebody happy,” Manuel joked. “I’ve got a lot of people telling me what to do.”

Manuel’s latest lineup didn’t set the world on fire, but they were able to put four runs on the board to support starter Cole Hamels.

It was the first time in Ruiz’s career that he had been asked to hit in the cleanup spot, and the catcher responded by picking up three hits in four at-bats, and scoring a run. The Panama native might not be able to supply the Phillies with the power of a typical cleanup hitter, but he can offer his team-high .357 batting average, and his ability to come through in clutch situations. He had a good showing in his first game in the four-hole, and it may be best if Manuel leaves him there for the time being.

Ruiz is the best choice to bat cleanup not just because of his production at the plate, but because of the disappointing season Hunter Pence is having. Pence has been brutal as the team’s fourth hitter most of the season. While he’s been able to hit 10 homeruns and drive in 28 runs, he’s been brutal with runners in scoring position, batting just .228. It might be best to get Pence away from the four-hole for a little while, putting him in a role he’s more comfortable with might help him relax and become a more productive hitter again. He went 0-2 on Wednesday, but did manage to draw two walks and score a run.

Shane Victorino also responded well to hitting fifth. The centerfielder went 2-3 with a homerun, and drove in two runs last night. He’s not cut out to be an ideal three-hole hitter, and should enjoy much more success hitting lower in the order.

Charlie Manuel is doing all that he can to come up with an effective lineup. There isn’t anything he won’t try at this point to get runs on the board. His latest batting order was able to produce four runs and a win for him, and that may be what he decides to stick with, at least for the next game or two.

Denny Basens

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4 Comments

  • Another great win by the Phils last evening as they are really showing their grit and determintation… They are presently 4-4 during the “Paulman’s 23 Game Stretch that will determine the 2012 Season” and have a fighting chance as they need to start winning series and have 2-0 leg up on the Cards and need to keep the momentum up… a nice job by the Phils Bullpen last evening to give them a chance

  • phils enoyable to watch again, little fire between lee and victorino, good for the team , this nl east probably the best division in baseball top to bottom, this will be no cakewalk for the phils as they fight on through summer, will have them tuned in my android radio chillin at LBI, drinking some fine micros

  • How about Kendrick’s Performance last evening.. a complete game shutout..
    Phils are playing some solid ball again and are currently 5-4 in “Paulman’s 23 Game Stretch to Determine the 2012 Season”.. Let’s go get the 4-0 Sweep and then go to NY to play the Surprising Mets and show them who the boss of NL East are.. Now it’s time for Doc & Lee to get untracked and start tossing some gems

  • Paul man schizo man

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