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When Darren (Dutch) Daulton squats, his knees sound as if
they're delivering a 21-gun salute. This is understandable, of
course. In 12 seasons with the Phillies, Daulton has caught 965
games and has undergone nine knee operations. But after number
9--reconstruction of his right knee, his "good knee," in the
off-season--he decided it was time to ditch the tools of
ignorance. So at 34, Daulton is moving to leftfield, where he
will become Philadelphia's 13th Opening Day starter at that spot
in the last 13 years.

It was also 13 years ago that Daulton last played in the
outfield, while in Double A. His recollection? "It's a long run
out there between innings." That run won't be any easier on
Veterans Stadium's unyielding carpet--and Philly's shaky
pitching staff should keep him on the go. If he falters, the
Phils have speed in Lee Tinsley, who came from Boston in
exchange for stopper Heathcliff Slocumb, and power in Pete
Incaviglia, who suited up at the Vet from 1993 to '94. Inky hit
a dinky .181 for the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan last season.

Another option for manager Jim Fregosi is to shift Lenny Dykstra
over to left and slot Tinsley in center. A chronically aching
back and bum right knee limited Dykstra to 62 games in 1995, and
his range has been below average for the last few years. But the
33-year-old Dykstra has made it clear that he would not welcome
the move, calling leftfield too "boring." During the
Tinsley-Slocumb trade talks, Dykstra was asked if Tinsley might
replace him in center. "Who?" he said. Way to welcome the new
teammate, dude.

Daulton is best suited to play first base, that most sedentary
of positions--"Where guys usually go when they break down," he
says--but Gregg Jefferies is there and he doesn't want to move
either. Jefferies relocated to the infield last July after
playing 55 games in left, and now he vows never to leave ("I
burned all my [outfield] gloves"). Jefferies's newfound comfort
at first was evident at the plate: He hit .257 before the
All-Star break and .342 after.

The new backstop is Benito Santiago, who signed a one-year
contract for $1.1 million plus incentives. Santiago, 31, hit
.286 for Cincinnati last year and is still one of the better
defensive catchers in the game. Over the last five years, when
Santiago has been behind the plate, 36% of those trying to steal
against him have been gunned down; Daulton's rate during that
same time span was 30%. Though Santiago missed two months after
having arthroscopic elbow surgery in May, his arm was fine
throughout the Reds' postseason run.

For Philadelphia, injuries were the leitmotiv of the
strike-shortened 1995 season, when the trainer's room was
standing-room-only. "I started the year managing a replacement
team," says Fregosi, "and I ended it managing a replacement team."

The Phillies had the best record in baseball up to June 25 and
the worst record in baseball after June 25. They set a franchise
record by using 50 players, including 26 pitchers. At one point
during the last week of the season, All-Star second baseman
Mickey Morandini sat on the bench, looked first to his left and
then to his right and didn't recognize a single teammate.

This season the rehab continues. The biggest question mark is
pitching. The Phillies had an unbelievably high ERA
(emergency-room admittance) last year. Can they rebound?
Consider that their team ERA (the more conventional one) in 1995
was 4.21. Consider that Curt Schilling, David West and Bobby
Munoz--three fifths of what would have been the starting
rotation--have undergone arm surgery since last July, while
injuries limited Tommy Greene to six starts in '95. Consider
that no pitcher on the roster won 10 games in the big leagues
last year. And consider that the staff ace at the start of the
season will be the notoriously unreliable Sid Fernandez.

"Don't think it doesn't bother me that all these guys were hurt
and we don't know when they're going to be ready," says
Jefferies. "Hey, that's not Curt Schilling's fault. Or Tommy
Greene's fault. Or David West's fault. I don't know enough about
the arm to know why these things happen. I just know the Braves
have been very fortunate. They've got the pitching. And all we
have right now is an if--a big if."

No, the prognosis doesn't look very good for the Phillies. And
there are no ifs about that.


COLOR PHOTO: CHUCK SOLOMON (2) COVER PHOTO [Varies by region] Hit Man Gregg Jefferies and the Phillies are ready to get back in the swing COLOR PHOTO: JOHN IACONO The battered Dykstra, still the Phils' spark plug, wants to remain in center. [Lenny Dykstra in game]


1995 Team Statistics (NL rank in parentheses)

Batting Average .262 (8)
Home Runs 94 (14)
ERA 4.21 (10)
Fielding Pct. .982 (2)

Firing Up the Phillies

Over the last five seasons Lenny Dykstra has started only 451 of
the Phillies' 745 games (61%). He played in all but one game in
1993, when the team won the National League championship, but
started fewer than half the club's games in the other four years
combined (291 of 583). During that five-year span Philadelphia
scored 4.8 runs per game with Dykstra playing, compared with 4.0
without him, and his absence was clearly felt in the wins column.

Phillies with and Without Lenny Dykstra, 1991-95

W L Pct.

Overall record 368 377 .494
With Dykstra starting 243 208 .539
Without Dykstra starting 125 169 .425


Pop quiz: Name the three National League pitchers who faced more
than 150 batters last year and held them to a sub-.200 average.
Hint: One was the Cy Young Award winner, another won rookie of
the year honors, and the last one--well, he was a setup man for
the Phillies. Need more info on the third pitcher? He is a
26-year-old righthander who went 5-3 with a 2.46 ERA as a rookie
in 1995. Before that he was used mostly as a backup catcher at
Florida Southern and Central Connecticut State, then went
undrafted out of college and wound up pitching in the semipro
Greater Hartford Twilight League. One of his teammates on the
club happened to be the son of a Phillies bird dog, who
persuaded the team to see the pitcher in action. Philadelphia
ended up signing him as a free agent five years ago. In 1993 he
was named the best pitcher in the team's minor league system.
Give up? The answer: Greg Maddux, Hideo Nomo and Ricky
Bottalico, who is now expected to replace the traded Heathcliff
Slocumb as the Phillies' closer.



CF Lenny Dykstra .264, 2, 18, 10
2B Mickey Morandini .283, 6, 49, 9
1B Gregg Jefferies .306, 11, 56, 9
3B Todd Zeile[**] .246, 14, 52, 1
LF Darren Daulton .249, 9, 55, 3
RF Mark Whiten* .269, 11, 37, 7
C Benito Santiago[**].286, 11, 44, 2
SS Kevin Stocker .218, 1, 32, 6


OF Lee Tinsley[**] .284, 7, 41, 18
OF Jim Eisenreich .316, 10, 55, 10
IF Mike Benjamin[**] .220, 3, 12, 11


LH Sid Fernandez* 6-1, 3.34
RH Tyler Green 8-9, 5.31
RH Curt Schilling 7-5, 3.57
RH Mike Williams 3-3, 3.29
RH Mike Grace (R) 13-6 in AA


RH Ricky Bottalico 1, 2.46
RH Ken Ryan[**] 7, 4.96
LH Dave Leiper*[**] 2, 2.86
RH Toby Borland 6, 3.77

*National League statistics
[**] New acquisition (R) Rookie