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Predicting the Phillies’ 2014 starting lineup

Spring Training games have not yet begun for the Philadelphia Phillies, but we already have a very good idea of who will be starting for the Phillies in the upcoming season.

  1. Ben Revere, CF
  2. Chase Utley, 2B
  3. Marlon Byrd, RF
  4. Ryan Howard, 1B
  5. Domonic Brown, LF
  6. Jimmy Rollins, SS
  7. Cody Asche, 3B
  8. Carlos Ruiz, C
  9. Pitcher

I have Ben Revere hitting leadoff because he did very well there last year. You may be used to Jimmy Rollins hitting leadoff in past years, but with Ryne Sandberg leading the team now I don’t expect that trend to continue. Revere’s speed is great to have at the leadoff spot because if he gets on base then he’s an instant stolen base threat. Having a stolen base threat on base is a distraction to the pitcher, and pitchers typically throw fastballs when there’s a speedy runner on base, which is good because Chase Utley, the second man in the lineup, is a very good fastball hitter.

I think Marlon Byrd should be hitting third in the lineup for the Phillies this season, because he’s an overall good hitter. He hits a lot of home runs, he hits for a solid average, and he has a very good slugging percentage at .511. He had 88 runs batted in last season, and with guys like Ben Revere and Chase Utley up right before him in the lineup, I would expect that number to increase. He hits well with runners in scoring position and he would most likely get a lot of opportunities to hit with runners in scoring position if Ryne Sandberg decides to put him at third in the lineup, which he should.

Of course, Ryan Howard will deservedly be hitting fourth in the Phillies’ lineup. He has struggled with injuries over the previous few seasons but he still drove in runs, and this season it appears that he’s healthier than he has been since the 2011 season. I, and a lot of over Phillies fans, are expecting big things from Howard this season.

Domonic Brown at fifth in the lineup is another obvious selection in my opinion. He hit 27 home runs last season and had a weak batting average of .272; he drove an impressive amount of runs, 83; sounds like a cleanup hitter, right? Well yeah, he has the statistics of a good cleanup hitter, but the Phillies already have a solidified cleanup hitter in Ryan Howard. So I just put Domonic Brown right behind Ryan Howard at fifth in the lineup. Brown was hitting fifth in the lineup for the majority of the 2013 season and he did just fine.

I think that Ryne Sandberg should bat Jimmy Rollins sixth in the lineup. Usually he’s hitting first, second, or third in the Phillies lineup, but he really hasn’t been getting the job done recently. Ryne Sandberg knows that, so he should bat Rollins sixth in the lineup. Putting Rollins at sixth in the lineup also creates a separation between all of the Phillies’ left handed hitters. I think that sixth in the lineup is a great place for Jimmy Rollins.

Seventh in the Phillies’ lineup should be Cody Asche. Asche had a decent slash line of .235/.302/.389 in only 50 games with the Phillies last season. He also had five home runs; nothing too spectacular, that’s why he should be hitting seventh.

Carlos Ruiz would then be the Phillies’ eighth hitter. No offense to him at all, it’s just that, that’s where he has hit for most of his career and he has done a darn good job at it. I wouldn’t want to mess with anything. We found out a couple of days ago that Chooch will be allowed to use Adderall in 2014. He was suspended 25 games last season due to his use of Adderall in 2012, Ruiz’s best season offensively.

My prediction for the Phillies lineup is different than what we’ve seen in past years, but they have a new manager now, who isn’t willing to take anyone’s lack of effort no matter who they are. He doesn’t seem to be worried about “respecting the veterans,” he just seems to want to have the best lineup on the field at all times.