Sandberg wants Revere to revisit approach
Phillies skipper suggests center fielder could increase doubles power
SAN DIEGO -- The Phillies need to get creative this offseason to improve an offense that badly needs help.
They will look for improvement in the outfield.
Phillies right fielder Marlon Byrd could be traded. The organization also might move on from left fielder Domonic Brown. But what about center fielder Ben Revere? He entered Thursday's series finale against the Padres at Petco Park hitting .306 with 13 doubles, seven triples, two home runs, 25 RBIs, 46 stolen bases and a .690 OPS.
Despite a second-half surge, Revere's .689 OPS as a center fielder ranks 19th out of 26 qualifying center fielders.
"I can say that he's made very good strides in different parts of his game," said Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg, who stopped short when asked if he views Revere as an everyday center fielder for a National League team. "I think he's really improved his stolen-base capability, a little bit more aggressive. His bat has come alive like we saw at times last year for a long stretch, and I think that he's improved on his outfield play with some added work and a change of the routine. I think overall he's made improvement, which goes a long way with him being an everyday center fielder."
The Phillies certainly could use more power from Revere, and Sandberg said he thinks Revere has it.
"I actually think that he has the ability to hit 30 to 35 to 40 doubles with the way that he makes contact," he said. "He's strong. I think that should be the next thing for him is to hit 35 to 40 doubles in the season, hit in the gaps. We see it all season long in batting practice, there is no reason that shouldn't translate into games and certain situations with certain pitches.
"It might be a little bit of a mindset change. He tries to hit it on the ground and he really tries to work it up the middle, which I think is the approach that he has probably been told for a number of years. But I think he has the ability to turn on the ball and hit the ball the other way to left-center, to right-center, down both lines."