Angelo Cataldi: Ben Revere not good enough to lead off, play centerfield
When Ruben Amaro Jr.’s tenure ends — probably at the end of this season — the one player who personifies the extraordinary failure of the Phillies GM will be Ben Revere, an outfielder who cannot throw and a leadoff hitter who cannot walk.
Revere is a terrible baseball player. No team will ever win with Revere in centerfield or at the top of a lineup. If there were any doubts remaining about his shortcomings, they were removed on back-to-back nights last week so horrific, they earned him a seat on the bench.
With the score tied in the 10th inning last Tuesday night, Revere uncorked a throw intended to cut down the winning run at home. No more than 250 feet from the target, Revere pop-gunned the ball onto the infield grass closer to first base than the plate. The next night, Revere misplayed a long fly ball into a triple that led to the unraveling of the Phils in a 10-0 loss.
When Amaro traded for Revere, the GM gushed about the young outfielder’s defense. Now the only question is, whom was Amaro lying to — us or himself? As for Revere’s leadoff talents, well, how does three walks in 129 at bats sound to you? Or no doubles — not one — in the first six weeks of the season?
Ben Revere is one of those players with speed, youth (26), and a good attitude who are especially tempting to talent evaluators who have no idea how to evaluate talent. Yes, Amaro gave up the equally useless Vance Worley in the Revere trade, but that doesn’t excuse the awful decision to turn over centerfield to a player so lacking in basic skills.
Ryne Sandberg benched Revere for two games after the second fiasco, and it is hardly a secret that the Phils manager actually prefers journeyman Tony Gywnn Jr. Sandberg realizes Ben Revere is the kind of player who gets managers fired — and, hopefully, GMs, too.