SAN FRANCISCO - Ben Revere reached base three times Sunday, just the second time that happened in 27 games, and that earned him a spot on the bench Monday night.
The Phillies were ranked 14th in the National League with a .669 OPS before Monday's game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Revere is far from the sole culprit, but when the lineup is struggling, the manager will typically seek the weakest link and remove him.
That, right now, is Revere.
"I didn't say Ben couldn't hit," Charlie Manuel said. "He hit .294 in the big leagues in 500 at-bats last year. He can hit. He's scuffling right now."
But, Manuel admitted, he can use John Mayberry Jr. in center field against lefthanded pitchers. Revere started the season's first 22 games. He was benched for six of the last 11, some of which were because of a quadriceps injury.
Revere's .496 OPS was third worst in baseball among qualified hitters. He is batting .212 with 15 strikeouts and six steals in 99 at-bats.
"I'm looking for someone to help us," Manuel said.
As Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. lamented another injury to one of his highest-paid players, he was asked if the team's slow start surprised him.
"I'm a little disappointed at the slow start," Amaro said. "I can't be surprised by anything that happens in baseball, I guess. Just because, generally, we were healthy. We haven't put it together enough yet to be consistent. That's what we are striving for."
Both the offense and pitching were to blame. Entering Monday's game, the Phillies ranked 14th in the 15-team NL in ERA. They had the same record through 32 games - 14-18 - as a season ago, and that was done in 2012 without Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.
"When we get good pitching we don't swing the bats and vice versa," Amaro said. "We have to get all phases of the game together and clicking. We can do that. We have talented guys here. But they have to perform."
Amaro said John Lannan was cleared for more long tossing, but he has yet to strengthen the injured tendons in his left knee. "He's still a ways away," Amaro said. . . . Kevin Frandsen and Jimmy Rollins, two Bay Area natives, showed their support for the Golden State Warriors by wearing shirts and posing for photographs.
What is OPS?
On-base plus slugging (OPS) is a statistic that adds a player's on-base percentage and slugging percentage. The major-league average in 2012 was .724.