The Phillies outfield – once considered the worst in the National League, it was on the upswing for a second there until broken feet and sore Achilles made it pretty much a place where Roger Bernadina fits right in.
Next year, though; oh ho ho man, NL, you better watch out. If you’re not careful this Phillies outfield is going to force one of its infield prospects into the right place and time out there and you are all going to be sorry. Where’d that guy come from, you’ll wonder.
“The infield,” Ruben Amaro will say, adding ‘relentless genius’ to the title of his autobiography.
Oh, you’ll reply, taking another bite of your sandwich and making a mental note to not read that book.
But perhaps the Phillies outfield would be served well by bringing in outside help. The free agents-to-be OF class isn’t horrible, and suggestions have already been made in word form for a few different fellows. Shin-Soo Choo is one; Carlos Beltran is another. Hey, is that Jeff Francoeur! Oh, nope – that’s a sick cat. Don’t get near it. Ew.
Ever since someone mentioned it to me during a world wide web-based conversation, the notion of a Revere -Jacoby Ellsbury-Brown outfield has had some great appeal. Ellsbury is a natural center fielder and lead-off hitter, whose career OPS isn’t awful and whose hitting upwards of .300 this season at the age of 29. I mean, he’s a lefty, but who pays attention to that sort of thing? Other than opposing managers late in games and also everyone.
So here’s this Ellsbury-world, where the Phillies have used their unlimited money to sign him, but it all comes crashing down, as Ellsbury now is suffering from the same ailment that killed Michael Martinez. Well, close.
It’s a ‘compression fracture’ in his foot, not a full-on pulverization, and he’s expected back any minute. Though he is wearing a boot right now, which makes center field a difficult position. The true litmus test will be whether he can overcome the odds and still perform at an All-Star level with it on, which I’m sure the Phillies are watching for.