The situation, Michael Young insisted, is not awkward. He dropped a bat and two gloves into the Phillies dugout at 3:37 p.m. "Still here?" Laynce Nix said. Young smiled. He assumed his customary spot at third base during batting practice with 23-year-old Cody Asche beside him.
"He's not going to lose playing time," Charlie Manuel said.
Young is still a Phillie, and will remain here through the end of the season barring a waiver deal in August. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Young's no-trade clause was not a hindrance to a possible deal. "Teams weren't willing to give up what we wanted," Amaro said. The Phillies did not have much leverage in any deal. Young said he would have approved a trade to more than one team.
"For sure," Young said. "I told Ruben all along, 'Listen, man, if nothing happens, I’m happy to stay here in Philly.'' He said the same thing. I think we're all happy with the way it turned out. If they didn't make a deal they felt was going to help out the team, I wouldn't expect them to. I'm happy to be here and I’ll play as hard as I can for this organization for the next couple months."
The 36-year-old veteran is unlikely to return in 2014. For now, the Phillies can play him at first base while not intruding upon Asche's tryout at third. But when Domonic Brown makes his expected return from a concussion in a week's time, the situation is complicated.
Amaro said the next two months are a chance to test Asche and Darin Ruf in the majors. Ruf is viewed as a possible left fielder. That is Brown's current spot, and Charlie Manuel sounded reluctant to shift Brown to right. Doing that would require either trading, benching or releasing Delmon Young — a move the Phillies have not yet considered.
Ruf could play first base, too, but that would mean Michael Young must play third or sit on the bench. The Phillies have kicked around the idea of Asche manning the outfield while Young plays third base. Asche has never played there.
"He's going to be playing pretty much every day," Amaro said. "I don't see Charlie taking him out of the lineup. We'll just figure out ways to get him in the lineup, either at first or third, and we’ll kind of go from there."
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