PHILADELPHIA -- Pat Burrell's resurgence as a hitter following his brief, barren tenure with Tampa Bay has surprised some observers. But Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel believes that the reasons behind Burrell's fluctuating performance aren't difficult to discern.
"When he played here, [he was] a hot-and-cold hitter," Manuel said. "A lot of players are that way. And when he's not hitting, you have to find some room to sit him, and also don't forget about him and always go back to him."
Burrell hit .218 with 16 home runs, 77 RBIs and a shockingly low .672 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) in 146 games beginning in 2009 before the Rays released him this year in mid-May. But he hit .266 with 18 homers, 51 RBIs and an .872 OPS in 96 games for the Giants. Burrell has acknowledged that he couldn't adjust to serving as Tampa Bay's designated hitter. That made plenty of sense to Manuel.
"If he had ever gotten comfortable and had some success in the DH role and he knew how to spend that downtime, I felt like he definitely would have liked it," Manuel said.