Four-for-Four: The Reality Sucks Edition

3 of 5


Mar 21, 2014; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies mascot drives a fan around the field before the game against the Boston Red Sox at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports


As the Phillies mercifully wrap up their spring training, one has to take inventory on more than just the record. Make no mistake, countless MLB scouts don’t bash a team based on their spring performance for no reason. The Phillies have shown very little to inspire hope for the regular season, but to ignore the exploits of some of their players who have put together a decent exhibition campaign would be an oversight. While there is much to be desired from the players who will have to lead the way for the Phils, that doesn’t mean that some impact figures didn’t turn in solid springs.

Marlon Byrd-OF

The Phillies’ “splash” in free agency may end up earning his paycheck after all. In 20 games, Byrd has turned in a .315 average, an .873 OPS, a pair of home runs and eight RBI. At least from the start of the season, one would have to think that Byrd will be looked upon to provide protection for Ryan Howard. For now, Byrd has been the Phillies best threat on offense and looks as if he will be an upgrade compared to some of the platoons that took that corner last season. One just hopes he can stay healthy.

Ben Revere-OF

When Ben Revere got hurt toward the middle of last season, the Phillies saw any opportunity at contending for a playoff spot go down with their spark plug of a center fielder. He was getting on base more consistently, settling into his base stealing role, patrolling center field as best he could, and providing energy to a lineup that so desperately needed it. If Revere’s spring is an indication for how he’ll return from injury at the start of the regular season, the Phillies have to continue to be happy with the swap that sent Vance Worley to Minnesota. Revere is batting .313 with a .357 on-base percentage. He has stolen a team-high six bases and even has six RBI. An energy player like Revere can help mask slumps by some of the team’s more notable bats. Especially at the start of the season, where the Phillies will need to come out strong, a good start by Revere at the top of the lineup can go a long way to determining if the Phillies can contend in the NL East.

Cliff Lee-P

If nothing else, the Phillies look to have a legitimate number one starter on their staff for the start of another season. Cliff Lee has looked to be in midseason (or all season) form from his opening start. With the uncertainty surrounding the health of Cole Hamels, the organization owes a great deal to Lee for going about his business in such a professional manner. Lee continues to feel that the team has a chance to contend and, based off his performance in exhibition play, he will do everything in his power to make sure he is not the reason for their struggles. Lee has a 1-2 record with a 2.55 ERA in six starts. In his 24.2 innings, Lee has nine strikeouts and just two walks. Hamels return to the rotation is uncertain at this point. What might be the only certainty with this Phillies team is that Cliff Lee is their best player, regardless of position.


Feb 12, 2014; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) talks with the media during a press conference for spring training at Bright House Networks Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

While the Phillies prized lefthander Cole Hamels has been recovering from an offseason injury, he has apparently been brushing up on his ability to administer nick-names, a valuable skill for a top-end starter. The artist formerly known as Fausto Carmona (AKA Roberto Hernandez) will start games for the Phillies in some capacity these season. Playfully, Hamels took it upon himself to come up with a universal moniker for the new staff hand that should clear up some of the confusion.

I’m a fan, personally. If ROFO can contribute at all this season, it will be a huge benefit to not be splitting hairs over what to call him. And if not…who cares?


Prospective starting third baseman Cody Asche is a native of St. Charles, Missouri. Being a native of the ‘Show-Me-State’, Asche is also a St. Louis Blues fan. Last weekend, the Flyers topped the Blues by a 4-1 final as part of their five-game winning streak. Apparently Asche talked a big game leading up to the tilt and got the appropriate treatment from the locker room authorities.

Nice to know the Phillies have a full repertoire of Flyers gear on standby in case any of their players try to associate themselves with the enemy.