Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cesar Hernandez, welcome to center

The Phillies have a new leadoff hitter and centerfielder.

Cesar Hernandez, welcome to center

Philadelphia Phillies´ Cesar Hernandez. (H. Rumph Jr/AP)
Philadelphia Phillies' Cesar Hernandez. (H. Rumph Jr/AP)

The Phillies have a new leadoff hitter and centerfielder.

Cesar Hernandez, recalled Sunday from triple-A Lehigh Valley, is atop Ryne Sandberg's lineup and in center for Monday's series opener against Washington. He becomes the 15th different outfielder used by the Phillies in 2013, which ties a franchise record established in 1989.

He becomes the eighth different player to man center for these Phillies, which is one shy of the team's most. Can you name all eight? (The answer is at the bottom of this post.)

Hernandez never played center before 2013 and spent 22 games at the position in the minors this summer. The Phillies like his bat and are trying to make the second baseman into a utility player with hopes of forging a bench role in 2014.

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He hit .314 for double-A Reading and triple-A Lehigh Valley. He appeared in nine games for the Phillies earlier this season when Chase Utley was disabled. He hit 7 for 28.

The full lineup, which does not include Domonic Brown nor Darin Ruf:

1. Cesar Hernandez 8
2. Jimmy Rollins 6
3. Chase Utley 4
4. Carlos Ruiz 2
5. Kevin Frandsen 3
6. Pete Orr 5
7. John Mayberry Jr. 7
8. Roger Bernadina 9
9. Cole Hamels 1

If you made it this far, the other seven Phillies centerfielders: Ben Revere (87 games), John Mayberry Jr. (46 G), Roger Bernadina (10 G), Michael Martinez (11 G), Casper Wells (3 G), Ezequiel Carrera (1 G), Laynce Nix (1 G).

Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.

Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
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