Speedy Revere Off to a Slow Start
The Phillies, as expected, have done little to raise the hopes of being anywhere near .500 this year. Following Sunday’s loss in Washington, they have slipped to 4-9 on the season.
A lack of consistency both from the offence and the pitching staff has each played some role, and it isn’t difficult to pinpoint particular members of the squad who are under performing.
One of the most surprising of this bunch is Ben Revere. Having been switched to LF with the emergence of Rule 5 find Odubel Herrera, there is no denying he has been cold at the plate thus far in April.
Revere sat out Saturday’s game against the Nationals in DC, after going 2-for-14 in the preceding games of the Phillies road trip . Upon discovering that his name was left out that day, he responded with a pretty frank assessment of how April has been for him.
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“It’s just one of those unlucky months. I think this is the first time in April that I’ve hit the ball as hard as I have. I don’t know how many times I’ve lined out to guys, but that’s the game of baseball.”
Unlucky he may have been, but Revere can take consolation from the fact that he thus far has been a career .296 hitter from the month of May onwards.
Apr 10, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Revere (2) is tagged out by Washington Nationals shortstop Desmond (20) after attempting to steal during the first inning at Citizens Bank Park. Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Aside from just making contact and contributing as a hitter, there are other ways that Revere can influence a game. This was definitely evident on Saturday, as he came in as a substitute and helped the Phillies halt a 6-game rut.
Entering the game as a pinch-runner, Revere proceeded to steal second base, advancing to third on a fly out. He then scored on a ball that Grady Sizemore leathered.
Revere was first to acknowledge that if he can’t help out with the bat, he is happy to do so in other departments.
“I just try to do everything I can,” he said in an interview with MLB.com, “Especially with me being on first with no outs, everybody in the whole stadium knows I’m about to steal, so that was big. It’s all about fundamental baseball.”
After Sunday’s game in which he went 1-4, his first in the starting lineup for four games, Revere moved up to a .168 batting average. A dependable .306-hitting leadoff man a year ago, he has been relegated to the 8-spot in the batting order for now.
The warning signs were there after the 26-year-old struggled in Spring Training, hitting just .205 through 23 games. However, Revere is finding a way to stay positive despite his unfavourable start.
“You have to keep your head up. It’s a long season; hopefully I’ve got a lot more at-bats and a lot more games to play. If I can do that, I’ll be alright. I’ve started slow before, as soon as the ball starts falling the sky’s the limit.”
If Ben Revere can turn his form around and the ball does start dropping for him, it will be huge for the Phillies, who need a return of the dependable hitter they saw in 2014.