Pete Mackanin has clamored for the better part of the last year about how the Phillies need to take a better approach at the plate, so it's no surprise the theme of his conversation with reporters on Tuesday at baseball's Winter Meetings centered around the offense.
He also seems really smitten by outfielder Howie Kendrick.
"We have guys here - [Maikel] Franco and Freddy [Galvis] - to name a few, that really need a better plan at the plate and I think a guy like Howie [Kendrick] is going to help them out. Just watching his at-bats and how he goes about his business, it'll help."
Franco hit 25 homers to go along with 88 RBIs last season, but hit just .255, struck out 106 times, and really struggled with runners on base. Kendrick, meanwhile is a career .289 hitter over 11 seasons and has a career OPS+ of 106.
Mackanin's hope is that Kendrick's professionalism at the plate rubs off on the young impressionable hitters scattered throughout the Phillies lineup.
"Franco didn't have a very good season and he's much better than he showed, but with a little bit of discipline and help from Howie, I think that will make him a much better player, maybe even an All-Star caliber player," Mackanin said.
Even with Kendrick in place, Mackanin wants another potent hitter to add to the lineup and the only position that appears open, not withstanding a trade, is right field.
"You can never have enough, but that's what I want; I want another hitter," Mackanin said.