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Philadelphia Phillies: Top 7 Right-Handed Outfield Platoon Trade Options

Posted By Adrian Fedkiw On Jun 25 2011 @ 2:05 am In Philadelphia,Philadelphia Phillies | No Comments

No manager in Phillies history platooned his players like Gene Mauch.

They called him the “Little General” because of his phenomenal attention to do detail. At times he’d single-handedly win a game by consistently being one step ahead of the opposing manager. There were also times where he overmanaged and cost his team games.

During the historic 1964 collapse, Mauch panicked down the stretch and started aces Jim Bunning and Chris Short on two days rest three seperate times in September.

A lot of people fault him for the collapse, but his platoon system was one of the main reasons why the Phillies stayed in first place for most of the season.

Frank Thomas, Danny Carter, John Herrnstein, Roy Sievers and Vic Powers all at one point played first base. Ruben Amaro Sr. and Bobby Wine shared duties at shortstop. Cookie Rojas and Tony Taylor flip-flopped at second base. Clay Dalrymple and Gus Triandos shared playing time at catcher. Johnny Briggs and Tony Gonzalez combined to play center field. Wes Covington, Adolfo Phillips and Alex Johnson played left field. 

Six of the eight regulars on the current Phillies are left-handed (Victorino and Rollins are switch-hitters); it’s no secret that the Phillies could use a right-handed bat. With Domonic Brown and Raul Ibanez both left-handed, it makes the most sense to get a right-handed corner outfielder. 

7. Reed Johnson

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 19: Reed Johnson #5 of the Chicago Cubs hits the ball against the New York Yankees at Wrigley Field on June 19, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Yankees defeated Cubs 10-4.(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

vs LHP 2011: 37 PA .343/.378/.543 1 HR 8 RBI

vs LHP career: 1173 PA .313/.373/.466 24 HR 128 RBI

If the Phillies are looking for a cheap right-handed platoon option, they might take a look at Reed Johnson. He signed a one-year $900,000 contract before the season.

His stats against lefties aren’t too shabby.

There is a risk; he just came off the DL due to back spasms.

6. Ryan Spilborghs

DENVER, CO - APRIL 06:  Ryan Spilborghs #19 of the Colorado Rockies takes an at bat against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on April 6, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

vs LHP 2011: 59 PA .250/.322/.404 1 HR 6 RBI

vs LHP career: 679 PA .280/.366/.453 18 HR 84 RBI

Ryan Spilborghs would be another relatively cheap right-handed outfield option. His name’s been brought up by Ken Rosenthal.

The Rockies currently stand at 37-36, just 2.5 GB in the NL West.

They really don’t have many other right-handed options off the bench, so I’d think they would keep him unless they fall off the cliff during the next month.

5. Matt Diaz

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 19:   Matt Diaz #23 of the Pittsburgh Pirates bats against the Cleveland Indians during their game on June 19, 2011 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.  The Indians defeated the Pirates 5-2 in 11 innings.  (Photo by David Maxwell

vs LHP 2011: 63 PA .233/.270/.267 0 HR 4 RBI

vs LHP career: 860 PA .327/.366/.513 29 HR 104 RBI

Matt Diaz has struggled this season against lefties, but his career numbers are much more telling.

Diaz has experience as a platoon player. He stands tall at the plate and can drive the ball to all parts of the field.

4. Jeff Francoeur

KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 7:  Jeff Francoeur #21 of the Kansas City Royals singles to drive home Eric Hosmer in the third inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Kauffman Stadium on June 7, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Im

vs LHP 2011: 76 PA .329/.355/.600 5 HR 17 RBI

vs LHP career: 1058 PA .301/.344/.489 39 HR 159 RBI

Jeff Francoeur hasn’t played this well since his second and third years in the bigs. In 2006, he hit .260 with 29 home runs and 103 RBI. He upped his average to .293 a year later, to go along with 19 roundtrippers and 105 RBI.

For whatever reason, he went into a free-fall after the 2007 season.

Currently he’s hitting .260 with nine home runs and 43 RBI.

If the Phillies weren’t interested in him during the offseason, I wouldn’t expect them to be interested in him now.

3. Ryan Ludwick

BOSTON, MA  - JUNE 20:  Ryan Ludwick #47 of the San Diego Padres connects for a broken-bat single during a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on June 20, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

vs LHP 2011: 65 PA .271/.338/.339 1 HR 9 RBI

vs LHP Career: 869 PA .235/.312/.431 36 HR 118 RBI

Ryan Ludwick excelled most in St. Louis hitting behind Albert Pujols.

As the clean-up hitter for most of the season in 2008, Ludwick hit .299 with 37 HR and 113 RBI.

So far with the Padres this year, Ludwick is hitting .255 with nine HR and 45 RBI.

He doesn’t have a great career average against lefties, but Ludwick’s career didn’t get going until he was 28 in 2007. He struggled to find his swing during his first four years in the league for Texas and Cleveland.

2. Michael Cuddyer

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 17: Michael Cuddyer #5 of the Minnesota Twins gets an RBI double against the San Diego Padres in the first inning on June 17, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

vs LHP 2011: 79 PA .388/.481/.731 6 HR 12 RBI

vs LHP career: 1353 PA .293/.381/.492 46 HR 160 RBI

As much as I’d like to see Michael Cuddyer in a Phillies uniform, I don’t think it will happen. At least, not right now.

Like I stated in my benchwarmers slideshow, the Twins have found their winning ways. Does anyone really trust Cleveland to stay a top that division? Detroit has solid starting pitching, but they’re a team that has yet to fulfill expectations over the years.

As crazy as it sounds, I still like the Twins to win that division; they’re currently 6.5 games back of the Indians.

1. Josh Willingham

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 01:  Josh Willingham #16 of the Oakland Athletics in action against the New York Yankees at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on June 1, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

vs LHP 2011: 79 PA .211/.291/.465 5 HR 16 RBI

vs LHP career: 740 PA .261/.378/.493 37 HR 106 RBI

Josh Willingham will not get a chance to audition his talents in front of Ruben Amaro this weekend as the A’s come to town for a three-game series. He’s on the DL with an achilles injury.

I wouldn’t read too much into his struggles so far this season. Remember what happened to Matt Holliday’s numbers when he went over to Oakland?

He’s not going to hit for a high average, but he’ll give you pop. On a team that lacks power, Willingham seems like the perfect fit. The dilemma… do the Phillies have the money? And this goes for the top four names on this list.

If the Phillies want a cheap option, then they should consider Spilborghs or Johnson.

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