7/4/2013 1:00 P.M. ET
Manuel urges arms to rely more on catcher Ruiz
By George Von Benko / Special to MLB.com
PITTSBURGH -- Phillies starting pitchers have compiled a 4.04 ERA entering action Thursday. The bullpen has an ERA of 4.55. Put it all together, and the Phillies rank next-to-last in the National League with a combined ERA of 4.19.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has told catcher Carlos Ruiz to be more assertive with the pitching staff, particularly the young relief corps.
"Ruiz is good," Manuel said. "Ruiz gets aggressive with those guys, and if they let him, he can definitely walk them through, because he knows how to call the game, and he really knows how to pitch to the hitters and basically what he wants to do with them. I'm telling you Ruiz can be very good.
"When people shake him off, I'd like for him to just get up and go out to the mound and tell them, I really would, because I think he's that good. Roy Halladay never used to shake him off , Halladay would pitch the whole game and not shake him off, and that's got to tell you something. I told Ruiz he had to be more demanding and lead them where he wanted them to go. They'll follow him because he's good."
The Phillies pitchers are learning to put their trust in Ruiz.
"There is nothing really that needs to be said on that matter," Phillies right-hander Justin De Fratus explained. "Chooch is an All-Star, he's a World Series Champion, and he's been to the World Series twice, so nothing really needs to be said. I learned my lesson when I shook him off and I got beat."
Revere's numbers skyrocketing since April
PITTSBURGH -- Phillies center fielder Ben Revere is batting .326 in 56 games since May 1, which is the second-best average among all Major League center fielders during that period, trailing only the Angels' Mike Trout (.341). Over that span, Revere has a .367 on-base percentage, 23 runs scored and 15 stolen bases.
In April, Revere batted just .200 with one extra-base hit, five stolen bases and nine runs scored.
He hasn't made any drastic changes.
"It's just that the hits are starting to fall in," Revere said. "I've been kind of doing the same stuff. Usually April is not my best month, but most hitting coaches know that if you are a good enough hitter to get your confidence up and your average up, and it's all about just buying time and getting your hits."
Getting on base on a more consistent basis has helped showcase Revere's baserunning skills.
"Yeah, that's the main thing," Revere explained. "The Phillies got me to do that. I just bust my tail and get good at-bats, and I'm working on my bunting. I'm just trying to score as many runs as I can."
Manuel lobbying for Brown to make All-Star team
PITTSBURGH -- Phillies left fielder Domonic Brown is making a strong case for a spot on the National League All-Star team. He is batting .280 and is second in the NL with 22 home runs and fifth in RBIs with 60 entering Thursday's game.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel feels that Brown deserves to play in the July 16 Midsummer Classic. All-Star teams will be announced on Saturday, and Manuel has said he will lobby for Brown.
For his part, Brown is low-key about making the All-Star team.
"It would mean a lot," Brown said. "But I'm not focusing on that. I'm not really focusing on the All-Star Game. If I don't make it, I'm just going to have to play better. That's my goal -- to just go out and keep playing hard."
• Including Wednesday night's loss, the Phillies have posted a 21-27 road record so far this season. Their 27 road losses are tied for third most in the Majors.
• Brown hit his 22nd home run of the season on Wednesday, and he is one out of the NL lead entering Thursday -- Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez has 23. Brown began the season batting .230 with two home runs and eight RBIs in his first 23 games. But since April 27, he is hitting .295 with 10 doubles, three triples, 20 home runs and 52 RBIs in 61 games.
George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.