The outfield interim manager Ryne Sandberg used the other day when he put shortstop Freddy Galvis in left field and Cesar Hernandez in center with John Mayberry Jr. in right got us thinking ...
Needless to say, those old guys are doing pretty well.
Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth have moved on, but for a Phillies' front office that likes to keep aging veterans around, it seems as if it gambled on the wrong guys. After all, Ibanez, Victorino and Werth just might be having better seasons than they ever did with the Phillies.
Ibanez, 41, needs two more homers to tie Ted Williams' over-40 home run record. With 27 homers and 62 RBIs in 110 games for the youthful and exciting Mariners, Ibanez has a .822 OPS that is on par with he numbers he posted during the end of his second run in Seattle. In fact, Ibanez is having his best season since 2009 when he had a monster first half for the Phillies when he hit 34 homers and had a .899 OPS.
If Ibanez had been able to avoid the sports hernia he suffered through during the second half of the 2009 season, he could have flirted with 50 homers.
For the Red Sox, Victorino, 32, could post career-bests in batting average, on-base percentage, homers and slugging. He also leads the American League in times getting hit by a pitch and has abandoned switch-hitting. In fact, the conversion has gone so well that Victorino led the Red Sox in homers during August with seven and had three of them off right-handed pitchers batting right-handed.
Werth, meanwhile, is set to establish new career-bests in average, on-base percentage and slugging. His .323 batting average has him in the mix to win the batting crown and his .926 OPS is second behind only Paul Goldschmidt in the National League. Amongst all hitters in the majors, Werth ranks no worse than eighth in batting, on-base, slugging and OPS.
A player right there with Werth in all those categories is Michael Cuddyer, a player the Phillies passed on during free agency two years ago because of the price tag. Cuddyer (.328/.390/.532) got a three-year, $31.5 deal from the Rockies, which is less than the deals Werth and Victorino got from the Nats and Red Sox and less than what the Phillies gave Ibanez in December of 2008.
So there's the Phillies old outfield and we haven't even mentioned Nate Shierholtz or Hunter Pence.
Just don't get us started on Bruce Chen ...