Phillies Notebook: Revere returns to Minnesota, downplays adjustments to playing CF

Posted: June 13, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS - Ben Revere was greeted with handshakes and hugs yesterday afternoon at Target Field. After spending the first 6 years of his professional career in the Twins organization, Revere returned to Minnesota for the first time since the December trade that sent him to Philadelphia.

Revere said the biggest adjustment was simply switching uniforms, adjusting to being in a new city with a new team.

But no matter if its at a cavernous outfield in Minneapolis or the cozier confines of Citizens Bank Park, it would appear that Revere's more difficult adjustment has come on the field, and specifically, in centerfield.

When the Phils swapped righthanders Vance Worley (demoted to Triple A last month) and Trevor May for Revere at the conclusion of the winter meetings, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. raved about Revere's defense, saying it was the team's priority to fill centerfield with an athlete who could cover ground a la Shane Victorino and Aaron Rowand.

In his first year as an everyday centerfielder, Revere has displayed some speed, but also has struggled at times running routes.

"I think that he shows you he's capable of making what you'd call real good catches," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I think that he can definitely get better. He can get better on the routes he runs. He can get better on positioning, stuff like that."

When asked specifically about the adjustment in centerfield in a group setting with a throng of Minneapolis-area reporters yesterday, Revere didn't answer, instead focusing on the adjustment to becoming an everyday player on a team with great expectations.

"It's been good," Revere said. "It's just, going to another league, coming to a new ballclub, kind of the little adjustment and everything."

Although there isn't a defensive statistic that is any better than the eye test - watching how a player reacts at his position day in and day out - Revere has mixed results if you do put stock in the stats.

Among major league centerfielders, Revere's 2.93 range factor (putouts plus assists, divided by innings played) is tied for third. However, Revere's 0.3 dWAR (defensive WAR, a stat that measures the number of wins a player contributes relative to a freely available minor leaguer) is tied for 13th among the 16 players who have started at least 20 games in centerfield this season.

Although he has five assists, third most among major league centerfielders, Revere's weakest asset is his below-average arm. The number of assists, of course, could be skewed because baserunners are more likely to try to advance on Revere's arm.

"He plays deep," Manuel said. "He plays deep; evidently, he must think that coming in is his best asset, and I wouldn't disagree with that. But he didn't play there [before]. He played rightfield for 2 years. So, actually centerfield is new to him. That might have something to do with it."

Although Revere wasn't Minnesota's starting centerfielder in his first two big-league seasons - he played in right, while Denard Span started in center - Revere did make 126 of his 229 starts for the Twins in centerfield.

Hernandez sits again

When the Phillies had to add an infielder to the roster 3 weeks ago after second baseman Chase Utley was placed on the disabled list with an oblique injury, the team opted for veteran Michael Martinez.

The front office explained that the light-hitting Martinez was more versatile than the other options. Second-base prospect Cesar Hernandez was ruled out because they didn't want a developing, everyday player to sit on the bench more than he'd be on the field.

But Hernandez eventually got a call-up to the big leagues when Michael Young took a brief leave from the team to tend to his ill infant son. Hernandez stuck on the roster over Martinez when Young returned.

Yesterday, Hernandez was out of the starting lineup for the sixth time in the last seven games. Freddy Galvis started at second base against the Twins.

"He's a young player - you don't want him sitting around," Manuel acknowledged. "That is a problem. [But] you've got to make up your mind who you want to play."

Hernandez is 7-for-28 (.250) since getting promoted to the big leagues for the first time. He hit .305 with a .810 OPS in 49 games with Triple A Lehigh Valley.

Through Monday, Hernandez had only five at-bats in the previous 7 days.

"You can only play one guy at a time," Manuel said. "I like him. He's got good actions. He looks like a good, young player."

When approached yesterday, the Venezuelan-born Hernandez declined to talk.

"I don't speak English," he said coherently. "Sorry, man."

Phillers

Setup man Mike Adams, who was unavailable all weekend in Milwaukee as he battled biceps soreness, entered last night's game in the eighth inning and took the loss. Adams has given up at least one run in five of his seven appearances since returning from the disabled list late last month . . . Erik Kratz, placed on the disabled list on Sunday, will have surgery this morning in Philadelphia to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. The Phils will have a better idea of how long he will be sidelined following the procedure, but he's not likely to return for at least a few months . . . Carlos Zambrano is on tap to start for Triple A Lehigh Valley tomorrow night at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown. Zambrano is 2-0 with a 0.55 ERA in three minor league starts with the Phillies. If the Phils don't add him to the major league roster before July 1, Zambrano can opt out of his contract.

Today on PhillyDailyNews.com : The sinking Phils lose their fourth straight.


On Twitter: @ryanlawrence21

Blog: ph.ly/HighCheese

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