There are going to be some serious changes to the Phillies' offense, and Rube Amaro's not taking "no" or "leave me alone" or [blank stare, behind which lies a screaming maw] for an answer.
"We're going to work on some things differently than we have in the past as far as the offense is concerned," Amaro said. "One of the major things that came out of our organization meetings is we've got to start doing things differently throughout the organization offensively.
"It's a little tougher to do with veteran guys, but we hope to have a much younger team that we can influence better. We're going to do things significantly differently, actually."
--via Matt Gelb, Inquirer
Charlie Manuel is the key cog here, as he will be more involved with the team starting with spring training. Manuel's offense from 2007-2011 centered mostly on having Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino, and Jayson Werth; Placido Polanco was hot for a while, Raul Ibanez had a couple of real hard hit balls. You know. Young sluggers at their most fertile and veteran stopgaps who couldn't be stopped from finding gaps.
So we'll see what happens after the following changes:
This past season, the Phillies relied on a steady offense of Ben Revere beating out weak grounders and having to bite a wooden spoon for the pain after running through first base, Marlon Byrd, a month of Chase Utley, and fun/weird anomalies.
Really looking forward to pulling out this #funfact years from now: Maikel Franco's 1st MLB hit came in the same game as a Ben Revere HR.— Corinne (@Ut26) September 6, 2014
Obviously, we have somewhat laboriously entered a new era, one in which the hits don't come as easily from the Phillies' lineup, nor all across baseball. There are now several modern styles of baseball offense the Phillies could be choosing to emulate in 2015.
Atlanta Braves: I don't know just get in there and heave that stick that whatever they throw you. Yeah, that's a recipe for having the fourth most strikeouts in all baseball but we will have the fourth most strikeouts as a team. And sometimes, we'll actually make contact with the ball, and they will be home runs. I've never heard of no playoff team that doesn't hit home runs. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I rest my case.
Kansas City Royals: Okay, you know those guys who have plus plus speed who you perch at the top of the lineup, get them to first base, and sort of forcefully prod them along until there are runs on scoreboard? Let's get a whole litter of those guys and see what happens.
San Francisco Giants: All right, get up there. Wait what year is it [checks 2015 calendar] Okay never mind let's just pack it up and wait until next year. [wackiness ensues]
But what does Amaro say the Phillies are going to change most about their offense?
As Amaro says, "things" are the toughest aspect of a veteran hitter's game to change. His plan to combat this is to have more players who aren't veteran hitters.
Veterans have been at the heart of every Phillies offense since about 2011. Last year, they finished 23rd in runs, 20th in hits, 21st in home runs, 24th in BA, and 27th in OPS. Amaro believes inserting Charlie Manuel into the repertoire of young hitters can improve those rankings, or get them trending upward at least, to the point that he is confident to end his statement with three straight adverbs like some kind of animal. But now, the offense will be working with an infield with at least one subtracted mainstay, and potentially the worst outfield the world has ever seen outside of Atlanta.
Work your magic, Charlie!