No, the Phillies' most recent roster additions are not the same as last season’s, when Chase Utley and Ryan Howard returned prior to the All-Star break.
However, the arrivals of two right-handed hitting lineup options this year can still boost an offense that is slowly heating up as the first month of the season concludes.
The first option, Carlos Ruiz, returned from a 25-game suspension last Sunday and picked up a double in the Phillies win.
Young’s presence means that the Phillies' lineup has picked up two right-handed hitting options in three days, and gives the team its full set of roster options for the first time this season.
Casella also notes that Ezequiel Carrera has been designated for assignment.
While the Phillies know what they are getting with Ruiz, Young’s arrival is a bit more intriguing.
For one, following the brief series against the Indians, Young will have to play right field in order to remain in the lineup. He has not played right field since 2007, and only played 31 games in the outfield last season while primarily serving as the designated hitter for the Detroit Tigers.
If Young’s defense in right field is not up to par or fails to remain consistent throughout the season, the Phillies could have an interesting decision to make going forward regarding his status.
Additionally, the Phillies have currently drawn the second fewest number of walks in the National League and have the fourth lowest team OBP.
Last season, Young had 112 strikeouts to 20 walks and finished with a .296 OBP.
In seven minor league appearances this season, Young struck out seven times and did not draw any walks. However, he also batted .367 between High-A ball and Triple-A, picking up 11 hits in 30 at-bats.
Young’s arrival gives the Phillies another lineup option following Ryan Howard. Ruiz batted fifth in his return, but Young also received 508 at-bats from the five spot last season. With Domonic Brown also batting behind Howard, the Phillies' lineup will have power potential, but question marks remain surrounding how often the team can get on base.
If the Phillies decide to keep Chase Utley and Michael Young batting second and third, respectively, Ben Revere’s next appearance in the lineup could come from the eighth spot.
A batting order that features two more right-handed batters with double-digit home run potential, followed by Revere, the pitcher’s spot and Jimmy Rollins, could make for a solid lineup.
Combined with a starting rotation that is beginning to heat up, the Phillies are getting their full team together at a great time.
One player whose stock could take a hit if Young’s return is a success is Darin Ruf. With Young, Brown, Revere, John Mayberry, Jr. and Laynce Nix currently set in the outfield, and Freddy Galvis also playing adequate outfield defense, Ruf has his work cut out for him to earn a call-up.
For now, however, the Phillies will have their full lineup together has they begin a stretch of six straight games against opponents with losing records.
Young’s arrival will not single-handedly push the Phillies into first place, but his presence combined with Ruiz’s, as well as continued success from Utley and Michael Young, gives the Phillies a potent lineup that should no longer be at a disadvantage against left-handed starters or relievers.
Furthermore, the Phillies have now exhausted their two remaining internal options for improving their offense, meaning that they could now look externally for other lineup options.
In the meantime, the Phillies' activation of Young gives them another right-handed lineup option at a time when its pitching staff has the third lowest ERA in the NL in the last seven days.
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