Ruben Amaro “I Was Hoping That Ben (Revere) Would Be Playing Better”


This morning CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury published an exclusive interview with Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr., that has give us a lot to talk about.

The first thing that caught my eye in the interview was Amaro’s response to how he felt about Ben Revere’s disappointing first season in red pinstripes.

"“Listen, we got what we thought would be good complementary players, especially in center field,” Amaro told Salisbury. “We wanted to make sure we had someone who could defend and stabilize the position. It’s so important to have that in the middle of the field."

Ben Revere was always slated to be the starting center fielder, and many felt like he would be the lead-off hitter and hopefully would set the table for the lineup. Having complementary players is nice, but is a guy who many expected to be the leadoff hitter, and he has been at times this season, really just a “complementary player”?

So far Ben Revere has been a dissapointment in a Phillies uniform. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Amaro went on to discuss how maybe the expectations put on Ben Revere were a little too high after the Phillies acquired him from the Minnesota Twins over the off-season.

"“Ben has been OK. I was hoping that he’d be playing better. He hasn’t played up to expectations yet. He’s still a young guy. He’s still adjusting to a new club and he wasn’t an everyday center-fielder in Minnesota. Unfortunately people expect a lot from a guy when you trade for him. We still need to be patient. Hopefully he’ll be the player we think he can be, but you always run a risk with a young player."

I agree with this statement for the most part, but the problem is that it wasn’t just the fans and the media that put these high expectations on Revere. Ruben Amaro put high expectations on Revere, by trading Vance Worley and top pitching prospect Trevor Maye. Charlie Manuel had him leading off on opening day. The Phillies had just as high expectations for Revere as we did, if not higher.

Nonetheless, Amaro also spoke on his feelings on how inconsistent Revere has been in the field so far this year.

"“From what we saw [when he was with Minnesota] we felt he’d be an above-average defender. He’s had some issues with routes. Again, he’s still learning. People wanted young players. We wanted young players. Sometimes it takes a young player time. You can’t expect them to all be stars right away.”"

We did want young player Ruben. We wanted young player because since you took over as General Manager in 2009, you took an aging core and only added more aging players onto it. But we wanted the right young players, and too this point Ben Revere hasn’t looked remotely like that. Revere not only has struggled to do much of anything with the bat, but as you alluded to with your quote above, he’s played so shallow in the outfield this year that it has cost the Phillies runs and sometimes even games. He is extremely raw both with the bat and the glove, and you traded a pretty fair package for a player who needs this much work.

Amaro continued to discuss Revere, making the case that he is a young player just like Dom Brown. And with some seasoning look what Dom Brown has turned into.

"“Look at Domonic. People said, ‘What’s with Domonic Brown? He’s never going to be a player. Trade him.’ I see that stuff. The fact of the matter is it takes time for guys to develop. What Dominic has done has been great. I didn’t expect this type of success this early. But he’s always had the ability and the talent and now you’re seeing what can happen when it comes together.”"

The difference between the two? Dom was a top prospect who just hadn’t panned out thus far. Ben Revere has been in the bigs for a few years and displayed enough for Amaro to go make a trade for him to be the Phillies long-term center-fielder. So if Brown didn’t work out, it wasn’t Amaro’s fault. If Ben Revere doesn’t work out, then a decent amount of the blame will go Amaro for misjudging the player that he traded for.