Delmon Young took the next step toward his 2013 debut today, suiting up for Class A Clearwater for the start of his official rehab assignment. But the Phillies are going to take it slow with Young: he hasn't played regularly in the field over the past couple of years, and he has not seen any action in right field since 2007, when he was a 21-year-old in his first full major league season.
Not only does Young have to prove to the Phillies that he is fully recovered the from the microfracture surgery he underwent on his ankle in the offseason, he has to show them that he can play a major league right field.
Manager Charlie Manuel said today that he thinks Young is still between 10 days and two weeks away from being ready to join the Phillies' active roster. The Phillies have a two-game interleague series in Cleveland on April 30 and May 1, when they will need an extra hitter to serve as the designated hitter. That could be a potential return date for Young (Ruiz will definitely be back by then). From Cleveland, the Phillies head to Miami for a series against the Marlins.