"It's easier to get a look at a guy for two months than a September callup," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "You look at Tommy Joseph, how he started so quickly and then all of a sudden he faded. But then he made adjustments and came back. That's the important thing to see. Anybody can get off to a hot start and fade and never do anything the rest of his season. Two months is a good indication of where he may fit into for next year."
But where will Altherr play? Odubel Herrera is locked into center field. Cody Asche has been getting the bulk of playing time in left field lately, while Peter Bourjos has been playing in right field. But Asche entered Monday's 4-0 win over the Marlins at Marlins Park hitless in his last 25 at-bats. And Bourjos, who appeared to be a non-waiver Trade Deadline candidate, has been in a slump. He has hit .140 (7-for-50) with a .370 OPS over his last 12 games after batting .447 (34-for-76) with a 1.218 OPS in 24 games from June 12-July 7.
"I don't know why, but he's missing good pitches to hit," Mackanin said about Asche. "He's getting a lot of good pitches to hit, and he's fouling them off. He's not hitting them. He has to start hitting. With Altherr in the picture, that's going to make it tougher for everybody to play. [Tyler Goeddel] hasn't been playing much. Asche was playing quite a bit because he was swinging the bat so well. Bourjos was hitting first, but he's not hitting. So here we go. We're trying to find out as much as we can about Altherr. Everybody competes. It's a competition for jobs."
• The Phillies announced Rule 5 Draft pick Daniel Stumpf has been returned to the Royals' organization. The Phillies designated Stumpf for assignment last week. He sandwiched a 10.80 ERA in seven appearances with an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a steroid designed by East Germany in the 1960s.
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.