Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Could Delmon DH next week? Probably not

The Phillies will need a designated hitter for two days beginning Tuesday. It probably will not be Delmon Young, who continues his rehab in the minors.

Could Delmon DH next week? Probably not

The Phiiles Delmon Young, left, took batting practice on Tuesday.<br />Philadephia Phillies vs New Yaork Yankees at Bright House field. Game<br />Action 03/19/2013  ( MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer  )
The Phiiles Delmon Young, left, took batting practice on Tuesday. Philadephia Phillies vs New Yaork Yankees at Bright House field. Game Action 03/19/2013 ( MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer )

NEW YORK — The Phillies will need a designated hitter for two days beginning Tuesday. They play their first of 10 interleague games at an American League ballpark with a brief trip to Cleveland. By then, Delmon Young will have a week's worth of minor-league action under his belt.

"We talk about him every day," manager Charlie Manuel said.

Could that be the time to actviate Young?

"At this point," assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said, "nothing is imminent."

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Young played his second game with triple-A Lehigh Valley on Friday. He spent three days on single-A Clearwater's roster. The Phillies believe Young needs more time in right field, a position he has not played since 2007.

"We have people watching him," Proefrock said. "Sometimes you stand out there and don't do anything. I don't think we're to the point where we're comfortable yet."

In other words, a week of evaluation is not enough to convince the Phillies. Young is guaranteed $775,000 in salary. He receives a $225,000 bonus the moment he is activated from the disabled list. That is part of the reason why the Phillies will exercise discretion.

The latest possible date for Young's debut is May 11, barring a setback in his recovery from ankle surgery. Official rehab assignments have a limit of 20 days.

If the stint in American League ballparks were longer, there would be more consideration to activating Young. But, Proefrock said, the determining factor is Young's readiness in right.

What will another week of minor-league games prove? Proefrock said Young must learn his limitations in right field, in addition to understanding what he can and cannot do on the surgically repaired ankle.

"I don't think anybody thinks he's not going to be able to do it," Proefrock said. "It's just that he hasn't played right field in a long time. It's an opportunity for him to get comfortable out there again and understand how his ankle is, what he can and can't do."


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