5/1/2013 11:36 P.M. ET
Manuel wants struggling Revere to shorten swing
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Every time somebody asked Phillies manager Charlie Manuel about Ben Revere this winter, he said he needed to see his new center fielder play before offering any opinions.
Manuel liked what he saw in Spring Training enough to make Revere the Phillies' leadoff hitter to open the season, but Revere didn't last a month there. He hit ninth for the second consecutive game Wednesday in an Interleague series against the Indians at Progressive Field, and he seems likely to hit eighth when the Phillies open a four-game series Thursday against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.
Revere entered Wednesday's game hitting .200 (18-for-90) with one triple, four RBIs, nine runs scored, a .234 on-base percentage and a .222 slugging percentage. His on-base percentage ranked 178th out of 189 qualifying batters in baseball. His slugging percentage ranked 188th. He also grounded into five double plays, tied for ninth in baseball, despite his speed. That is because he had an 88.9 ground ball percentage, which ranked first.
He simply is not hitting much of anything in the air.
"Ben's got a lot going on," Manuel said of Revere's swing. "His style of hitting, he takes a long stride and he takes a long stride for a little guy, and he swings hard. And he hits a lot of balls on the ground. Is that wrong? I don't know. I mean, because I guarantee you he's been told to hit the ball on the ground. I haven't told him that, but I'm sure a lot of people have."
When the Phillies acquired Revere in December from the Twins, they mostly touted his ability to catch the ball in center field. He has done that, but they also expected something closer to the .294 average he posted last season.
"He's had a hard time getting going," Manuel said. "Basically, what we want to do, we'd like to slow his stride down, might get his stride a little shorter and get him to be quicker with his hands instead of a lot of movement and real hard swings. There's ways you can work with him, but at the same time, too, he's never going to be a guy who's going to hit doubles. I'll take that back, he could hit some doubles because he's fast, if he hits the ball in the right place."
Delmon remains at DH with knot in right elbow
CLEVELAND -- Manager Charlie Manuel planned to play Delmon Young in right field Wednesday against the Indians, but then Young got hit with a pitch on his right elbow in Tuesday's 14-2 loss at Progressive Field.
"It's nothing crazy," said Young, who thought he could play in right field as early as Thursday against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. "I've got a big, fat knot right there. Today was one of those days where if I had to play out there, I could have played."
But because this is an Interleague series, Manuel could use Young at designated hitter instead.
"Yeah, probably," said Manuel, asked if Young could be his right fielder Thursday. "Probably going to take a couple days for the soreness to get out of his arm, though."
M. Young's strong start comes with limited RBIs
CLEVELAND -- Phillies third baseman Michael Young was a hit machine the first month of the season.
He hit .341 (31-for-91) in April, which ranked fifth in the National League. Young had 31 hits, but only four extra-base hits and six RBIs, despite hitting in the middle of the lineup the entire season. His .418 slugging percentage ranked 49th out of 90 qualifying batters.
"He'll hit streaks where he starts getting the ball up in the air," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He should. He'll go through some periods where he's hitting the ball hard up in the air."
Young went 0-for-4 in the first game of May -- a 6-0 loss to the Indians on Wednesday -- and grounded into his seventh double play of the season, pulling him into a tie for the Major League lead.
"Yeah, for sure," said Young, asked if he expects more from himself, considering the lack of extra-base hits and seven double plays. "The double plays don't bother me. That's a byproduct of me hitting some ground balls right now. But I expect that to turn."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.