IF BEN REVERE was hitting .300 and doing the types of things the Phillies envisioned when they acquired him from the Twins, he might have started in centerfield last night against the Marlins.
But the diminutive speedster was hitting .204 with a .471 OPS that ranked ahead of only Adam LaRoche among qualified batters in the National League. On top of that, he had jammed a finger sliding into second base during the third inning of the Phillies' 6-0 loss to the Indians on Wednesday. So when Charlie Manuel posted his lineup, John Mayberry Jr. was starting in centerfield for the fourth time in six games.
"Mayberry's been playing good," Manuel said. "[Revere's] finger, it definitely made it easier to put Mayberry in there, of course."
Revere said he was hopeful he would be in the lineup tonight, but the sense before last night's game was that centerfield will be a night-by-night proposition for the foreseeable future. Manuel said he plans to mix in Mayberry there and in the corner outfield spots, where Domonic Brown and Delmon Young started last night. While Revere has played Gold Glove-caliber centerfield, he has been a huge liability at the plate, where he had grounded into five doubleplays and walked five times. He started both the Phillies' losses in Cleveland after a four-game stint on the bench. He reached base twice on Wednesday, but also bunted into a forceout that eliminated a leadoff baserunner at second base.
"Just take it one game at a time, that's all you can do," Revere said. "It's early. Don't put too much pressure. I know I can hit. I just can't put too much pressure on myself."
Kyle Kendrick entered last night with a 2.41 ERA and solid averages in strikeouts (6.4 per nine innings), walks (2.1 per nine) and home runs (0.8 per nine) in five starts, all of which featured Erik Kratz behind the plate.
But Manuel said his decision to give Carlos Ruiz the night off had more to do with the fact that the regular catcher had not played more than three consecutive games during his rehab assignment that preceded his activation from the restricted list. Before that, Ruiz served a 25-game suspension for a violation of Major League Baseball's banned stimulant policy.
Ruiz had started the previous three games, going 1-for-12 with a double and four strikeouts. Manuel said the catcher would be back in the lineup tonight.
Delmon Young last night made his first start in rightfield since 2007, when he was a 21-year-old in his first full major league season.
Young has spent most of his time since then as a leftfielder and designated hitter, but the Phillies signed him with the intention of using him in right, and Manuel said he is confident the 27-year-old righthanded power bat can be an adequate defender.
Young was replaced in right by Laynce Nix in the eighth inning.
Rookie righthander Jonathan Pettibone will get his third career start tonight, when he faces off against veteran righty Ricky Nolasco, who held the Phillies to one run in six innings in a 3-1 Marlins loss on April 12.
The Phillies won Pettibone's first two starts. He allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Pirates in his major league debut and then allowed three runs in five innings against the Mets. He has 10 strikeouts, two walks and two home runs in his 10 1/3 innings this season. John Lannan, on the disabled list with a strained quadriceps tendon, is scheduled to be re-evaluated by a team doctor tomorrow. He is 2 weeks into a recovery that the Phillies estimated at 6 to 8 weeks.
Tomorrow, lefty Cole Hamels (1-3, 4.78 ERA) will square off against rookie righty Jose Fernandez, who dominated the Phillies the first time they faced him this season. On Sunday, Roy Halladay (2-3, 6.75) is scheduled to face righty Kevin Slowey (0-2, 2.15).
The early projected matchups for next week's road series in San Francisco: Monday - LHP Cliff Lee vs. LHP Madison Bumgarner; Tuesday - RHP Kyle Kendrick vs. RHP Tim Lincecum; Wednesday - RHP Pettibone vs. LHP Barry Zito.
Outfielder Ezequiel Carrera was claimed off waivers by the Indians, his original team before the Phillies claimed him in early April. Carrera saw limited playing time during his brief stint in Philadelphia, going 1-for-13 with one walk and four strikeouts.