The Delmon Young Effect Is Crippling The Phils Lineup: Does it Need To Be Eradicated?

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Sunday May.19, 2013

Delmon Young has not exactly lit up for the Phillies this campaign - hitting .208/.286/.619 and just 1 HR, plus 4 RBI in 48 AB.  Despite this abysmal start, Delmon Young might just hit 5th?  Really?

Delmon Young has not exactly lit it up for the Phillies this campaign – hitting .208/.286/.619 and just 1 HR, plus 4 RBI in 48 AB. Despite this abysmal start, Delmon Young is still going to  hit 5th Today? Really?

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via http://www.warrroomphilly.com – visit the website here

Charlie Manuel is, if not anything else, loyal to his players and his gut-feelings when it comes to filling out the Phillies lineup card every day. If it’s his dedication to Jimmy Rollins batting lead-off over the years or leaving Cliff Lee in for 120+ pitches when he might be cooked, he certainly honors a hunch for better or worse.

So it should come to no surprise there exists a strong belief in his mind that Delmon Young is the right-handed bat to protect Ryan Howard in the five-spot.

While maybe later this season that could eventually be true, the Delmon Young Effect has been plaguing the lineup over the past month after his return from an ankle injury.

Any batter entering into the MLB season a month late due to injury–and slightly out-of-shapedness–is going to play a little catch-up baseball at the plate and Young is certainly not an exception to the rule.

Delmon Young has a 1 YR deal worth 750 K - with a potential $2.5 MIL in incentives in Philly this season. Young hit 18 HRs and drove in 74 RBI for the Tigers last year - but only walked 20 times all year and carried an OBP of .296.  He was worth the low risk though - and brings a playoff pedigree to the table.  In the 2012 playoffs for Detroit, he hit 3 HRs, added 9 RBI and hit for an OPS of .907 with the AL Champion Tigers.  Perhaps that is the player Manuel envisions

Delmon Young has a 1 YR deal worth 750 K – with a potential $2.5 MIL in incentives in Philly this season. Young hit 18 HRs and drove in 74 RBI for the Tigers last year – but only walked 20 times all year and carried an OBP of .296. He was worth the low risk though – and brings a playoff pedigree to the table. In the 2012 playoffs for Detroit, he hit 3 HRs, added 9 RBI and hit for an OPS of .907 with the AL Champion Tigers. Perhaps that is the player Manuel envisions.

But, the Phillies skipper continues to trot Young out there behind Howard with the hope that he’ll return to 2010 form where he batted .298 as a doubles machine (46) en route to 112 RBIs for the Minnesota Twins. However, it should be known that he did most of his damage batting sixth and seventh in the lineup that year.

Delmon Young 2010 / Minnesota Twins
Split AB R H 2B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SF BAbip
Batting 5th 71 10 18 3 3 11 3 19 .254 .280 .423 .703 1 .300
Batting 6th 107 14 39 9 3 23 6 14 .364 .400 .533 .933 1 .396
Batting 7th 233 31 61 17 8 48 12 34 .262 .295 .438 .733 7 .268
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/19/2013.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Chollie, but at a key point in the season where neither the Nationals or Braves have pulled away from the rest of the division, the time is most definitely not now for loyalty to a hunch rather than to the rest of the team.

The insertion of Delmon Young into the five-spot (which is the only place in the lineup he’s batted this season) triggered a disruptive tremor which has been felt among probably the three most important batters in this Phillies lineup, Michael Young, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.

Delmon Young / Game Log 2013
Rk Date Opp Rslt AB R H HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Apr 30 CLE L,2-14 3 1 2 1 1 .667 .750 1.667 2.417
May Opp Rslt AB R H HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS
2 May 1 CLE L,0-6 3 0 0 0 0 .333 .500 .833 1.333
3 May 2 MIA W,7-2 3 0 0 0 0 .222 .364 .556 .919
4 May 3 MIA W,4-1 3 0 1 0 0 .250 .357 .583 .940
5 May 4 MIA L,0-2 3 0 0 0 0 .200 .294 .467 .761
6 May 5 MIA L,2-14 3 0 0 0 0 .167 .250 .389 .639
7 May 6 SFG W,6-2 2 0 0 0 1 .150 .250 .350 .600
8 May 8 SFG L,3-4 3 0 0 0 1 .130 .214 .304 .519
9 May 9 ARI L,1-2 4 0 2 0 0 .185 .250 .333 .583
10 May 11 ARI W,3-1 2 0 1 0 0 .207 .306 .379 .685
11 May 12 ARI W,4-2 4 0 2 0 1 .242 .325 .424 .749
12 May 14 CLE W,6-2 4 0 0 0 0 .216 .295 .378 .674
13 May 15 CLE L,4-10 4 1 2 0 0 .244 .313 .390 .703
14 May 17 CIN W,5-3 3 0 0 0 0 .227 .308 .364 .671
15 May 18 CIN L,0-10 4 0 0 0 0 .208 .286 .333 .619
48 2 10 1 4 .208 .286 .333 .619
Generated 5/19/2013.
Ryan Howard: Before Delmon Young returned from his rehab assignment on April 30th, Ryan Howard had improved his batting average from .241 on April 17th to .286 on April 28th only striking out eight times in that 10-game span. In the 17 games which followed, Howard’s average has dropped significantly from .286 to .245 with a whopping 23 K’s.
Michael Young, Howard and
Utley

Michael Young: It’s no coincidence that with Michael Young batting fifth behind The Big Piece, the offense
was beginning to show signs of a rebirth in 2013. During the same 10-game span as Howard, Michael Young saw his steady-Eddie average rise to .352 on April 28th with an OBP of .418. Since his move to the 3-spot after Delmon Young’s return, he has fallen to .300/.395.

Chase Utley: Chase was raking in April and from the 17th through the 28th, he stayed on pace to hit around the .300 mark arriving in Cleveland with a .296 average, a .340 OBP and five home runs while batting third in the  lineup. Since then, he’s been batting 2nd and is now carrying a .268 average with just 2 home runs and a .325 OBP. 

It seems clear to me that it’s time for Charlie to demote Delmon to either the sixth or seventh spot in the lineup in order to find his stroke after missing the first month of the 2013 season.

This is not to say that I don’t think Delmon Young can become a better contributor to this Phillies offense, I just think that the fifth spot in this lineup is far too important with the Braves and Nationals still within a reasonable striking distance.

The Phillies enter today’s action somehow only 4.5 games out of first place in the National League East Division and only five games out of the wild card spot. Is it too early to talk about the wild card race?

Yes, maybe, but if they are to consider themselves legitimate playoff contenders rather than salary sellers at the trading deadline, the time is now to make a change in order for this lineup to click. Because I don’t think any of us want to start reading about Chase Utley trade rumors in June or July.

Ryan Howard has seen his production plummet since the hefty Delmon Young has hit behind him.  Young is not a very patient hitter - that features a Lifetime OBP of .316.  Howard is not seeing any quality pitches to hit.

Ryan Howard has seen his production plummet since the hefty Delmon Young has inserted into the lineup Apr.30/2013. Young is not a very patient hitter – that features a Lifetime OBP of .316. Howard, and the rest of the lineup are just not seeing any quality pitches to hit with the man making it easy to punch out by the opposition.  The offense has been cascading down the ranks of Team Batting Average.  Could it be as simple as DY having infiltrated a negative effect?  The Phils have plenty of options to rectify the situation.  At 20 – 23, the franchise is extremely fortunate to remain in striking distance of the NL East lead heading into today’s game with the Reds. The management simply can’t wait much longer on Delmon (unbelievably only 27 years old) to break out of his funk.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***

A big thank – you goes out to our Philadelphia Phillies Correspondent Chris Creighton for preparing today’s featured post.  Chris is a Phillies Phan, Baseball fan & player. He thinks that there is no better place for food and is a  proponent of the city of Philadelphia. Huge U2 fan. Phillies writer at  http://www.warroomphilly.com .

Chris says:  “Follow a Web Show covering everything in the Philadelphia Sports Scene. Sit back and enjoy from the hearts of two die-hard Philly guys here !  You can follow Chris Creighton on Twitter or the WarRoomPhilly

a war room chris

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker

Posted on May 19, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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