By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Even before we knew the team would be without Chase Utley, Ruben Amaro, frustrated after their Division Series loss to the Cardinals, said the Phillies approach at the plate had to change. When Spring Training began, Amaro echoed the same sentiments, saying the hitters needed to “notice their faults.” Nine games into the season, whatever approach they’re taking, it seems to be failing.
“Two things that are really killing this team right now. One is, they’re just not getting anybody on base,” MLB.COM’s Todd Zolecki told 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The WIP Morning Show on Monday. “I looked at some numbers yesterday. The last five years when they won the division, no matter where they ranked in the National League in batting average, they always ranked higher in the National League in on base percentage. They were always finding ways to get on base.” So far this season, the Phillies rank seventh in batting average in the NL, but just 13th in on-base percentage. They’re also 29th in MLB in walks.
“Not only are they not getting hits, nobody is walking. Before [Sunday] they had four walks in the previous five games. Which is brutal. You can’t win like that,” Zolecki said. “The other thing is, when they do get hits, they’re all singles.”
Zolecki thinks that manager Charlie Manuel is frustrated, but is being careful about his word choice. “I think he is [frustrated]. He’s trying to be very careful in what he says, not to show a lack of confidence in his offense. But I asked him, ‘how are you supposed to score runs if you can’t get anybody on base?’ And he said ‘well you know, it’s kind of hard to change guys five, 10, 15 years into their career.’ And I think what he’s saying is ‘you know, we might not have the personnel we had in the past.'”