It’s odd to hear a man who has never hit a big-league home run talking about regaining his power stroke, but that’s the subject center fielder Ben Revere raised Saturday afternoon after finding out his name was not in the starting lineup for the fourth straight game.
“Right now I’ve been working with Hendu (hitting instructor Steve Henderson) on getting my stroke back, my power swing back,” Revere said before the Phillies’ game against the Cincinnati Reds.
In Revere’s case, he is talking about finding the swing he had in his first two seasons of professional baseball when he had 10 triples each year in the Gulf Coast League and the Midwest League after the Minnesota Twins took him with the 28th overall pick in 2007.
“We’ve kind of been talking and going back to my old films from the minor leagues with the Twins and trying to find that power stroke,” Revere said. “I know back then I was a 10-triple guy. It was gap to gap with everything and they want me to get back to that and I do too. That’s the stuff I’m working on.”
In the meantime, Revere has been relegated to duty as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement while John Mayberry Jr. gets the starting assignments in center field. This is the first time this season Mayberry has received four straight starts in center field and even Revere understands why manager Charlie Manuel is sticking with him.
Mayberry was 6-for-12 with a double and three RBIs in his three previous starts, raising his batting average from .218 to .253.
“We’ve been winning games with the lineup we’ve been having,” Revere said. “I’ll be ready to come in whether it’s to pinch-run or to be in the field. I always have to be ready because you never know when they’re going to need me.”
Revere, of course, is hoping he can make the most of his next opportunity by taking advantage of his time away from the starting lineup.
“I’m getting back in the film room and back in the cages,” he said. “There are small techniques and things you want to do. I’m trying to get back to line drives. Of course I’m a speed guy, so even when I had the 10 triples I was mostly hitting the ball on the ground. But my line drives had more backspin on them. Now, they want me to get back to the power swing of my younger days and I want to, too.”