Despite the meager offensive output from the Phillies lineup over the last few weeks, Charlie Manuel and Ruben Amaro, Jr. must be pretty excited about their team’s chances heading into “Hittin’ Season” as the Phillies’ skipper likes to call the summer months.
The Phillies are 10 games over .500 in Mid May, on pace to win 100 games, and the offense hasn’t been viable for weeks.
Although the pitching has carried the team to this point, offensive fire power is on its way to Broad and Pattison.
Chase Utley is expected to return to his familiar number three spot in the lineup as early as Monday. As if adding the best second baseman in the National League wasn’t enough, it will also allow Placido Polanco can hit second where he is clearly more comfortable.
The Phillies have had no production from their corner outfielders this year, but that could change quickly. John Mayberry, Jr. has started the last four games and he is showing Manuel, like Jayson Werth in 2008, that he can play every day. He is hitting, stealing bases and playing above average defense.
With Domonic Brown back from a thumb injury that sidelined him for five days, he is only a week or two from being called up for good. Brown, hitting .341 for Lehigh Valley, could replace Raul Ibanez in the regular lineup and add youth, power and pure athleticism to an aging lineup. He won’t be called up to ride the bench like he did late last year. Brown could be a major difference maker down the stretch.
Brown’s 11th inning single won the game for the Iron Pigs last night, but it also made him one step closer to heading down the Northeast Extension to South Philadelphia.
If Shane Victorino can return to the lineup in the next week, he could join one of the most athletic outfields in baseball — not to mention one of the best lineups with The Man back at second base.