The Delmon Young Effect Is Crippling The Phils Lineup: Does it Need To Be Eradicated?
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Sunday May.19, 2013
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Michael Young, Howard and
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.
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.
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Posted on May 19, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 2012 world series, @warroomphilly on twitter, @warrroomphlchris on twitter, al central, Atlanta Braves, Charlie Manuel, chase utley, chris creighton, Cleveland, cliff lee, delmon young, detroit tigers, dmitri young, jimmy rollins, michael young, minnesota twins, NL east, philadelphia phillies, ryan howard, washington nationals. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.