05/02/2013 11:09 PM ET
Lee, Phillies offer take on struggles
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies looked lifeless for much of the first 28 games of the season, which actually is pretty easily explainable.
They entered Thursday's game against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park ranked 26th in baseball in scoring, averaging a measly 3.57 runs per game. It is nearly impossible to look energetic or lively when nobody is on base or scoring runs. But after the Indians outscored the Phillies, 20-2, in a couple of blowout losses this week at Progressive Field, Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee made an interesting comment about the team's play.
"We have to have a little more pride than that and figure out a way to at least get back into games and make it somewhat competitive," he said.
Asked Thursday afternoon about Lee's comment on MLB Network's "The Rundown Live," Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins said, "It's back and forth. It's tough to put a finger on it. There are times we come out and the energy's there behind us and you go out there and play and we go out there and perform as a team. Then there are games and series where it's just like we're stuck in neutral -- not going forward, not going back but not getting going at all. And that's the thing that we can't have.
"On the field, we go out there every single day. Guys are coming in early to prepare. I'm even getting there much earlier than you remember, to prepare. But it just isn't happening all the time on the field. The good thing is, we have a long way to go. We've just got to make sure we take advantage of it and take what we do in practice into the game and we'll be OK."
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said a lack of pride, leadership and effort are not the reasons why the Phillies have been unable to get on a roll. It is more of the team simply playing poorly the first month of the season.
"To me, what [Lee] meant was, 'We need to get after it more and do better,'" Manuel said. "I think how we play kind of shows up. I think when you're hitting the ball, you look better. When you win the game, it looks better. When you don't hit, you look lethargic and dead or something. But that's not necessarily the case."
Injured finger keeps Revere out of lineup
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies center fielder Ben Revere hurt his right ring finger stealing a base early in Wednesday's loss to the Indians at Progressive Field.
The injury pushed John Mayberry Jr. into the lineup Thursday against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.
"His finger, that kind of definitely made it easier for me to put Mayberry in there," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
Revere had his right ring and middle fingers wrapped before batting practice. Revere said the finger is swollen, but he expects to be back in the lineup Friday. Of course, if Mayberry has a big game Thursday, that could change. Revere missed four consecutive games recently because of a sore right quadriceps, but it sounded like he could have been playing earlier if he had been hitting better.
Revere entered the night with the third-lowest slugging percentage (.226) and 12th lowest on-base percentage (.245) in baseball.
"If I take a day to get the swelling out, it should be good," Revere said. "We had X-rays. Everything was good."
Phillies outfielders entered Thursday with a .601 OPS, which ranked last in baseball. That made Mayberry (.794 OPS) the Phillies' most productive outfielder since the beginning of the season. Manuel said Mayberry will be in the lineup, even with Delmon Young playing more regularly in right field. The manager can give Revere, Young or Domonic Brown occasional rests.
"The better you do, the more you get to play," Manuel said.
Delmon back in right field for first time since 2007
PHILADELPHIA -- Delmon Young started in right field for the Phillies on Thursday against the Marlins, playing there for the first time since 2007.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said before the game he expected Young to handle himself well in right, despite concerns about his abilities to play there. For one reason or another, Young's two previous organizations (Twins and Tigers) felt Young was a better fit as a left fielder or designated hitter. The Phillies think otherwise.
Young caught the only fly ball hit his way in the sixth inning. Laynce Nix replaced him in right field in the eighth, something Manuel said he would do.
"From what I've seen on film and everything, he was definitely catching the balls he's supposed to catch," Manuel said. "He was getting to the ball and catching it. I think he has a chance to be OK, really."
• Erik Kratz caught right-hander Kyle Kendrick on Thursday. Carlos Ruiz, who rejoined the team Sunday after serving a 25-game suspension, had played Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Manuel said Ruiz had not played more than three consecutive days in the Minor Leagues. The manager said with a day off Thursday, he could play Ruiz through the weekend.
• The Phillies are 5-13 when Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay or Lee has started this season.
• The Indians claimed outfielder Ezequiel Carrera off waivers. The Phillies designated him for assignment Tuesday to make room for Delmon Young on the 25-man roster.
• Phillies third baseman Michael Young doubled to center field in the first inning Thursday. It was his first extra-base hit since April 10, snapping a streak of 20 consecutive singles.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.