Reading Eagle - April 9, 1980
Green Feels Better About Pitching
John W. Smith, Asst. Sports Editor
CLEARWATER – Dallas Green put the Philadelphia Phillies through their final full-scale Florida workout Tuesday, and pronounced himself comfortable with his new batting order, convinced his team will score a lot of runs, and more confident about his pitching than a week ago.
The Phillies were scheduled to stage a brief workout this afternoon before boarding a late-afternoon flight to Philadelphia. They’ll hold an open workout Thursday night at the Vet and open there against Montreal Friday night.
After much thought and discussion, Green has settled on a batting order of Rose, McBride, Maddox, Schmidt, Luzinski, Boone, Bowa and Trillo. He had decided to start with Rose last winter, but toyed with various combinations following Pete.
He explained his reasonings:
“McBride pulls the ball well, can handle left-handers, and has been hitting as well as I’ve ever seen him. I think Garry fits the classic No. 3 role – whatever that is – as well as anybody. He’s a career .290 hitter, he got great speed, and he’s pretty consistent.
Wants To Use Speed
“Using Mike fourth keeps our speed up pretty high. Bowa’s going to hit seventh instead of eighth because I want him to steal. Manny can still play hit-and-run hitting eighth, and he’s a pretty good breaking-ball hitter.”
Dallas says he doesn’t plan to do a lot of right-left switching with the lineup, but doesn’t consider himself locked into it. “I know some guys like to get comfortable in a spot, but we’ll use the lineup that’s best for the whole team.”
What about working in Greg Gross and Lonnie Smith?
“I told you at the beginning I’m a 25-man guy. I still am – recognizing that the eight guys I put out there are supposed to do a job for a majority of the season.
“At the same time, they know that I’m gonna take them out of the lineup defensively, and to rest them. And I’m gonna use my judgment when it’s best for the team and for them as individuals.”
Green is taking north a squad which in spring-training games had nine players who hit .318 or better, led by Greg Luzinski’s .405. (The others: Schmidt, McBride, Rose, Gross, Unser, Moreland, Smith and G. Vukovich.) Luzinski had a spring slugging average of .662. But Schmidt, who had 18 RBIs out of 43 at bats, slugged .953!
“Greg looks like he’s gonna have a super year,” said Green about the 1979 disappointment. “And if the guy in front of him has the kind of year it looks like he’ll have, it could be awesome. Schmidtty has put on a few pounds – of muscle. You’ve got to say he’s stronger.
One concern is Trillo, with his .190 spring average. “He’s not had a good spring, but he’s starting to come out of it,” said Green.
The big question, of course, is the starting pitching, after Steve Carlton, who goes Friday.
“The pitching isn’t where I would like it to be. The strike hurt us. But I feel a little better than I did at the beginning of the strike.
“We were able to get our pitchers more ready, and some of the other teams weren’t able to do that.